Playground: A Childhood Lost Inside the Playboy Mansion

( 48 )

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...

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Playground: A Childhood Lost inside the Playboy Mansion

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060761578
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/30/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 694,364
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

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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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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Ultimate play ground

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2008

    couldnt put it down!

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2007

    Elegantly Wasted

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    You'll love it

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    1 bunny star for Jennifer S

    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

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Kaitlynn

    Is this the chatroom ?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    Meesha and Mersadies

    Back.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    Liked it

    I love when people write a tell-all. Thing was that she never mentioned anything bad about Hef. I'm sure Hef was as much a womanizer as her dad, prob worse. She didn't say anything bad about him cause she still wanted to be invited back where some a listers hang out. I did want to see some pics of her when she was younger at the mansion. Not nude pics just some of her standing by the zoo or something. I also wanted to see how she compared to the playmates who were there.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Insightful and slightly Taboo

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Enjoyable book

    This was a fun, easy, beach read. Carefree and full of sass and antics, this book won't disappoint.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2011

    Gee poor little rich b itch i feel so sorry for her Ha

    Right and i had to deal wiith all of that without a mercedes isnt life a total bummer

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    Playground

    I enjoyed this book very much. Fast easy read!

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A good book to pass the time

    I just finished this book and it was interesting to read. My only thing was she didn't go into much detail where you can image what was going on or the scenery. Other than that I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to anybody with curiosity of Playboy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2007

    Great Book

    Like other reviewers, this book depressed me and facinated me. While I believe the accounts in the book to be very honest,I did feel like the author was holding back. I thought that there should have been closure with some of the events in the book. I would reccommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2007

    Disturbing

    This was an interesting read but I left it feeling disturbed by the events in her life. The end dragged on a bit other than that, it was very interesting that someone could survive this childhood!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006

    great book but often depressing

    Very interesting to read about a life nothing like my own, but depressing at times. The only closure given by the author in the end is that she has yet to have closure. Remember that song from the late 90s, Rock-a-Bye? I think that was written about Jennifer. 'She'd be a whole lot prettier is she smiled once in awhile...She's seen a lot of devils in this Angel town...'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2006

    An addictive book

    I could not put this book down! This girl led the kind of crazy life you think only exists in movies. It's a fun and quick read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2006

    Addictively captivating

    I happened to stumble across this book out of nowhere. I'm not much of a book reader and have only read a handful of books in my life. But amazingly I finished this book in a matter of days by choice. It was so true how I couldn't put this book down. Like Jennifer Saginor's strange and strong urges to return to the mansion, this book does the same with its reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2006

    amazing book

    this was probbaly one of the best books i've ever read. jennifer saginore went through everything in the playboy mansion .. drugs, sex, happiness, depression etc. she has actually really inspired me. she was so young to go through so much but she made it out and is a brilliant writer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2006

    I love it!

    I opened this book and could not put it down.

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