Playground: A Childhood Lost Inside the Playboy Mansion
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Playground: A Childhood Lost Inside the Playboy Mansion

4.2 49
by Jennifer Saginor
     
 

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You are six years old. Every day after school your father takes you to a sprawling castle filled with exotic animals, bowls of candy, and half-naked women catering to your every need.

You have your own room. You have new friends. You have an uncle Hef who's always there for you.

Welcome to the world of Playground, the true story of a young girl who grew

Overview

You are six years old. Every day after school your father takes you to a sprawling castle filled with exotic animals, bowls of candy, and half-naked women catering to your every need.

You have your own room. You have new friends. You have an uncle Hef who's always there for you.

Welcome to the world of Playground, the true story of a young girl who grew up inside the Playboy Mansion. By the time she was fourteen, she'd done countless drugs, had a secret affair with Hef's girlfriend, and was already losing her grip on reality. Schoolwork, family, and "ordinary people" had no meaning behind the iron gates of the Mansion, where celebrities frolicked, pool parties abounded, and her own father—Hugh Hefner's personal physician and best friend, the man nicknamed "Dr. Feel Good"—typically held court.

Every day was a party, every night was an adventure, and through it all was a young girl falling faster and faster down the rabbit hole—trying desperately hard not to get lost.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060761578
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/30/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
393,957
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.64(d)

Read an Excerpt

Playground

A Childhood Lost Inside the Playboy Mansion
By Jennifer Saginor

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Jennifer Saginor
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060761571

Chapter One

It's 1975. I'm six when I see sex for the first time.

After school, I wait alone by the fence. Most of the other kids have gone home. I push my Coke-bottle-thick glasses up my small nose as my green eyes squint against the sun. I pull my long brown hair back into a ponytail.

Dad's housekeeper, Carmela, a Hispanic woman with broken English, blares the horn of Dad's champagne Rolls-Royce convertible from across the street. She picks me up today because Dad is too busy.

Carmela cooks, cleans, and drives, but mostly she is my friend.

"Jennifer!" she hollers.

I rush to the car and duck inside.

"Where's your sister?" she asks.

"She's at Mom's. She stayed home sick," I tell her.

Carmela drives the car carefully to my father's five-bedroom, six-bathroom estate in the heart of Beverly Hills. Pulling into the circular driveway, the automatic gate opens. Water trickles down a large Mediterranean-style fountain.

Inside the foyer, a huge staircase parts to the left and right, dividing the room. The walls display the works of Alberto Vargas: nude women with perky breasts and thin legs, and nude women clad in black fishnet and holding whips posing next to whitedogs. Dad's favorite is titled Temptation.

Arcade games and pinball machines line the living room walls and an air hockey table sits in the center. In the corner is an oldstyle jukebox. I punch in Linda Ronstadt and Kenny Rogers since my father's always telling me how lucky I am to know them.

I throw my Hello Kitty purse on the leather sofa and play a quick game of pinball. After beating my highest score, I go into the kitchen for a grilled cheese sandwich.

Carmela tells me now there's a note from my father at the top of the staircase in the pair of oversize porcelain breasts designed to hold mail. The note is placed between the breasts and reads, "I'm up at the Mansion. Have Carmela drop you off if you're bored."

I crumple the note, flicking it at the enormous AndyWarhol portrait displaying six different angles of my father's face on the wall.

I tear my eyes away from his multiple faces and ask Carmela to take me to Dad.

As we're driving down Sunset Boulevard my curiosity gets the best of me and I ask, "What's the Mansion?"

"You know, Jennifer, I am just supposed to drive you, you should ask your father," Carmela rambles.

We pull up to a gigantic barred black gate. I start to get a sick feeling in my stomach. We look around for a few minutes until we hear a voice coming from a large rock next to Carmela's window. If you look closely, you can see a small round speaker inside the rock.

"Carmela Delatora. I have Jennifer Saginor," she announces and the enormous gates open.

We drive up a long driveway and I notice at least five gardeners working on the cliff-like lawn. A castle comes into view and I instantly feel like Alice in Wonderland, diving into the Great Unknown. My nerves take over again as we near the massive gray stone mansion before us. I tell Carmela I've changed my mind and to please take me home. She assures me that my father is waiting inside as she pulls around the circular driveway. I ask her to come in, but she says that it would not be right.

Reluctantly, I slip out of the car and begin the journey of my life.

I enter a grand marble foyer to find men lined up in funny black penguin suits. The men smile at me creepily; they already know my name. One of them escorts me through an enormous living room with the biggest television screen I've ever seen. It's like a movie theater, but with soft plush couches, a fireplace, a grand piano, and as much free popcorn as you want. Lounging girls in short shorts, poufy hair, and Heaven T-shirts stare at me as I pass.

The butler opens the doors to a smoky room where five men glance up for a split second. They're playing cards. There's a built-in backgammon table that is surrounded by a comfy couch and leather chairs. My father's eyes instantly light up at the sight of me as he proudly introduces me to the men one by one. They nod, distractedly, and wave hello. Dad motions for me to say hello to Hef, the handsome, kind-looking man dressed casually in a silk robe.

"Hello, darling." Hef smiles graciously, as if he's known me my whole life. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you. Doc, you have such an adorable daughter, are you sure you're related?"

"Why, thanks, Hef. Your girls aren't so bad themselves."

Dad excuses himself and leads me through the screening room, where four young blondes jump up to kiss him and wrap their skinny arms around him.

Dad is a powerfully built man in his forties, with broad shoulders, an athletic body, manicured hands, and a handsome face -- a face people turn to look at. He's a doctor, but he looks more like a movie star playing the part of one.

He's the kind of guy everyone wants to know ...

Continues...


Excerpted from Playground by Jennifer Saginor Copyright © 2006 by Jennifer Saginor. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Jennifer Saginor was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she still lives. She has worked in production and development at Spelling Entertainment, Miramax Films, and the Motion Picture Corporation of America.

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Playground: A Childhood Lost inside the Playboy Mansion 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 49 reviews.
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
The Playboy Mansion conjures images of the ultimate adult playground. Frolicking playmates enjoy the fun and sun of California living while men of all ages simply ogle. What is fascinating in the book Playground: A Childhood Lost Inside the Playboy Mansion by Jennifer Saginor is that you get a firsthand account of someone who grew up there. Her father, affectionately known as Dr. Feel Good, was friends the Mr. Playboy himself, Hugh Hefner and also served as the in house plastic surgeon and general doctor. His magical hands would improve these beautiful women into the dream woman. The book starts off with her tagging along with her recently divorced dad and venturing into the infamous grotto, where she witnesses the secret of the birds and the bees with non other than John Belushi. The book moves fast and as she grows up in this adult playground she becomes part of the scene and is witness to some eye opening adventures. She finds and loses love and in the end decides to chart her own course. What is intriguing how time stands still on the hallow Playboy mansion grounds. With all the recent focus on the Playboy mystique, this book is a candid peek into life behind the iron fence at the Playboy mansion before the Girls Next Door made it fashionable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was one of the best books ive read in a long time! i would reccomend this book to almost anyone. i finished the book in 2 sittings, (2 days) once i picked it up, i didnt want ot put it down. yes parts were very disturbing, but very well written about. i think it was great of the author to write the book, to let others in her shoes, know they arent alone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of Jennifer Saginor is one that is exciting and mundane at the same time. She gives such a detailed account of the lifestyle that she was forced into, that at times I would actually have to put the book down and shake off my adrenaline rush. The reader walks in Jennifer's shoes as she gets berated by her father or snorts lines of cocaine into all hours of the night. Jennifer tells you what designer she was wearing, what song was playing, and the levels of undress that everyone around her was in. You also learn about the various combinations of drugs that she and her counterparts all enjoyed and despite the newness of everything, it was really all the same. It reveals how lonely and isolated her father had made her life. I would recommend this book to readers that are open-minded, sympathetic, and curious about the lifestyles of the wealthy and elegantly wasted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book while I was in australia with my field hockey team, and by the end of the trip the whole team had read it...if you enjoy books about high profile,out of control, fast paced lifestyles you will def love this one. The drama, drugs and sex never stops which seems a little twisted yet you can't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book starts off well although midway through it starts to get irksome & tiresome. What a spoiled, whiney, brat she truly is! Do your self a favor save your money & skip this one!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is exceptionally interesting, who doesn't wish to have a look inside the playboy mansion especially from the eyes of a child? I do warn future readers though that the father daughter relationship in this book is quite disturbing and at times made me feel uneasy. The father seems like he would have no problem going incestuous with his daughter and has no problem belittling his other daughter and ex wife which obviously explains the sexual orientation and personality of the writer herself. even more so to get a look at how things went down at the playboy mansion in the early 80's/late 70's it's all so intriguing it was hard to put the book down regardless of all the ahem strange moments she shared with her father it was nevertheless a good read.
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Joyce Kewley More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. Fast easy read!
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