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Publisher's Summary

The critically acclaimed novel from a master of contemporary American fiction - now available as an ebook.
A story of genius, performance, and the psychological forces that drive the competitive spirit.

Brian Stoppard is blessed with prodigious natural talents. Howard Cohen, less so. Starting in middle school in New York, Howard watches Brian effortlessly win at everything he tries: He’s a natural chess champion, a perfect athlete, a brilliant student. As the two move through life as friends and competitors, Brian’s easy success is a constant source of envy, awe, and inspiration for the ambitious but less-gifted Howard.
Told with great humor and style, The Game Player is a story of those born to greatness and those who must strive for it.
©1978 Rafael Yglesias (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Angela on 05-08-14


Friends for life. Is there any such thing? Can you be friends with someone for life? In this story it makes you believe that you can. Howard Cohen and his family move to New York and into their new home. Howard has never been good on making friends and he's been used to not having friends until the day he meets Brian. They become friends almost immediately, lifelong friends. Brian Stoppard is a unique young boy who seems to be blessed with natural talents that continue into adulthood.Brian never loses at anything. It's an odd gift to have, a gift at never losing, never losing at things he's never even tried before. However, Howard doesn't have a talent at winning at anything.From the start of middle school Howard begins to watch Brian as he wins at everything he does or tries. It seems as Brian is a natural chess player, a brilliant student, and a perfect athlete. The two move through life as friends and even as competitors. Howard is in awe of and he's ambitious to be like Brian.

In all honesty I don't normally listen to these types of books, I've never found them enjoyable, that is until this story. Paul Heitsch does a perfect job with his narration of this story. He does a superb job with distinguishing the main characters from young boys to adults, I loved how he changes his voice. He even did an exceptional job with the voices of a woman. I find that really hard for men to do and some really can't change their voice to a woman and make it sound good, like a woman. Paul didn't have any trouble with doing this at all. The book consisted mostly of male characters but there were times when he had to change his voice to sound like a woman. I found Paul Heitsch to be wonderful and he performed the story with great talent. If it weren't for Paul, I honestly don't think that I would've found this story so enjoyable. I want to say thank you to Paul if he ever happens to read this. Thank you Paul for making this story such a great listen. I also just listened to another audio book that Paul narrated called, The Devouring. Paul's talents show much more with this book. The Devouring is a book for teens and adults. I will post my review soon. I really look forward to listening to more audio books by this author.

Rafael Yglesias wrote this book in 1978. I'm extremely thankful that I listened to this story because it addresses some lifelong things, life lessons that we all could learn from. This book was exceptionally great and it was written with pure perfection. This is a book that teachers should give out at school and have the students read including an assignment to see what each student learned from this story. I've never read or listened to anything by this author. I do find this book to be a wonderful "TOOL" so to speak and everyone could benefit from reading this story, no matter the age.

II received this audio book as a gift and I'm so thankful that I was able to listen to this story. I still probably wouldn't have given this book a chance if not for Paul Heitsch keeping me intrigued and pulling me into the story in such a way that I couldn't stop until I finished it in one day. Honestly, I'm not a reader since I discovered Audible. I enjoy listening to books and I don't read unless I'm beta reading for an author. I have a huge audio library with Audible and I correspond with authors daily about Audible. I even talk to them to put their books on Audible. I help them with that, I give them names of narrators, and I even listen to the narrators auditions. I will definitely be giving this narrator, Paul Heitsch out to authors. I highly recommend giving this book a chance. I guarantee you'll find it as enjoyable as I have. I can't wait to listen to more of his work. Check out this audio book and The Devouring because I found them to be great books narrated by Paul.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By LilMissMolly on 04-10-14

Excellent Friendship Story in NYC 1960's Suburbs

Any additional comments?

The Game Player is a feel good story about two young boys whose friendship over about a dozen years develops into brotherly love as they grow up into young adults. Written by Rafael Yglesias in 1978, the story starts with middle-schooler Howard Cohen moving from New York City into the suburbs with his parents. There, he observes that all the girls are blonde and all the boys are athletic. In other words, the students in his middle school are all perfect and very different from him.

Howard specifically observes Brian Stoppard who seems to win at everything he tries. To Howard, Brian appears to be a natural athlete, a straight-A student, and a perennial chess champion – all without exerting much effort. As the story develops, the focus is less on the competition between Howard and Brian and more on the friendship that develops between these two young boys as they get to know each other (and eventually respect each other) through high school, college and post-graduate work.

Paul Heitsch did an admirable job narrating. His voices “matured” as the boys grew up, which is particularly important when the characters start off young and end up as adults. His descriptive powers made the chess games come alive and exciting for me.

Simply put, this story should be made into a movie – it’s that good!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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