Playing Hurt by Gerald Nardella (Book Review #145)

This review was written for Online Book Club “I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.” This book was an “ Book of the Day.”

Playing Hurt is a fiction novel written about a story that begins in the year 1960. It surrounds the lives of the main characters, Brian and Deanie and it all begins at a game.

Brian is the quarterback of the high school football team. The game they are playing is very important as it is his last and they are trying to get their first win of the season. Brian and Deanie are an item, but Deanie wishes to end the relationship between them. The atmosphere is tense and as tempers boil over there is a massive brawl. During this brawl, Deanie’s ex-boyfriend appears, and when Brian leaves on the team bus, he sees Deanie getting out of her car and leaning in the window of an unknown car in the parking lot.

As the drama continues between the two men and Deanie, things turn from good to worse making you confused at times and eager to figure out what is going to happen. Some scenes may be uncomfortable to read, and the subject matter is not suitable for the younger audience.


I found the plot and storyline to be ordinary. There was nothing novel about the book. The characters development was good, and the layout appeared to be sufficient to keep the reader’s interest. I particularly found Deanie interestingly weird. Her character could not have been more annoying than it was written.

The only thing I liked about this book was that it kept your attention with the twists and turns on every page. It was interesting to see, how authentic the author had portrayed the period. There were some things that in today’s society we would not approve of, but in the 1960’s they were part of the social norms. At times the story was a little easy to predict, but the ending of the book was not one that I expected.

I would recommend this book to a mature crowd looking for a short fiction story that you could read in one sitting. It does contain several adult subjects and language that may not be appropriate for younger readers.

Written by Jeyran Main

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