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Golden Hour Books

Playworld: A Novel by Adam Ross (1/7/25)

Playworld: A Novel by Adam Ross (1/7/25)

Regular price $29.00 USD
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A big and big-hearted novel—one enthralling, transformative year in the life of a child actor coming of age in a bygone Manhattan, from the critically acclaimed author of Mr. Peanut (“A brilliant, powerful, and memorable book” —The New York Times)

“In the fall of 1980, when I was fourteen, a friend of my parents named Naomi Shah fell in love with me. She was thirty-six, a mother of two, and married to a wealthy man. Like so many things that happened to me that year, it didn’t seem strange at the time.”

Griffin Hurt is in over his head. Between his role as Peter Proton on the hit TV show The Nuclear Family and the pressure of high school at New York's elite Boyd Prep—along with the increasingly compromising demands of his wrestling coach—he's teetering on the edge of collapse.  

Then comes Naomi Shah, twenty-two years Griffin’s senior. Unwilling to lay his burdens on his shrink—whom he shares with his father, mother, and younger brother, Oren—Griffin soon finds himself in the back of Naomi’s Mercedes sedan, again and again, confessing all to the one person who might do him the most harm. 

Less a bildungsroman than a story of miseducation, Playworld is a novel of epic proportions, bursting with laughter and heartache. Adam Ross immerses us in the life of Griffin and his loving (yet disintegrating) family while seeming to evoke the entirety of Manhattan and the ethos of an era—with Jimmy Carter on his way out and a B-list celebrity named Ronald Reagan on his way in. Surrounded by adults who embody the age’s excesses—and who seem to care little about what their children are up to—Griffin is left to himself to find the line between youth and maturity, dependence and love, acting and truly grappling with life.

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