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3.22  ·  Rating Details ·  55 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
A critically acclaimed best-seller set in the glamorous, gangster-dominated Hollywood of the 1940s tells the story of Blue Tyler, a child star who disappears from Hollywood and becomes a bag lady in New York City.
ebook, 512 pages
Published May 2nd 2012 by Random House (first published 1994)
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Apr 04, 2014 Caryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intellectual, colorful, and loaded with detail. But in the end I am disappointed. There is a jerky, disjointed pace to the book. The ending just drifted into place. The 512 pages were about 200 too many. And as the storyline progressed, I had a vision of the movie Bugsy -- and I didn't like the comparison because I wanted so much more for this book. The story of Meta Dierdorf could have led to something dramatic and powerfully explosive, and even unifying to the plot line. Yet she ended up being ...more
Rebekah R
Jun 05, 2011 Rebekah R rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reread Joan Didion's "A Year of Magical Thinking" and she talks so much about her husband's writing that I had to pick it up and see what kind of man was married to such a wonderful, talented woman. About "Playland:" I wasn't really drawn in. It's a story about a woman who was a child movie star and disappears, the narrator is the one who goes to find her, and how he gets sucked in to the connected web of her story, mobsters, gamblers, death, trailer parks, and his own personal mess where his ...more
Tim Adler
Aug 01, 2014 Tim Adler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: James Ellroy fans
I absolutely loved this book.

John Gregory Dunne is an unfairly overloooked master, way better a novelist than Norman Mailer in my opinion. PLAYLAND is a wicked collision between an amoral Fifties starlet -- kind of Shirley Temple all grown up -- and a Bugsy Siegel gangster. The scene where the gangster arrives at Los Angeles train station to be met by the LAPD is tuning-fork pitch perfect fiction writing. The book reads like grown-up James Ellroy. Highly recommended.
Sep 02, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Screenwriter Jack Broderick gets caught up in a search for former child star Blue Tyler. The portrayal of retro Hollywood is colorful and maybe too detailed. Sometimes I found myself wondering, "Who cares?" The book did hold my interest enough to finish it, but not to re-read.
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John Gregory Dunne was an American novelist, screenwriter and literary critic.

He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and was a younger brother of author Dominick Dunne. He suffered from a severe stutter and took up writing to express himself. Eventually he learned to speak normally by observing others. He graduated from Princeton University in 1954 and worked as a journalist for Time magazine. He m
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