The Game Player

The Game Player is a carefully observed and witty portrait of how the games boys play shape their natures as men. Brian Stoppard, a versatile champion at every kind of competition — athletic, intellectual, sexual — is always able to locate his opponent’s weaknesses. Howard Cohen, a shy and introspective, is fascinated by Brian’s skill. Rather than seek to defeat Brian, Howard tries to penetrate the mystery of his prowess as they grow from children into adults. Their friendship mirrors the relationship of audience to star. And charting its progress, The Game Player becomes a surprising study of the unexpected pain and pleasure in winning, and the envy and longing in the hearts of its most devout fans.


  • Rafael Yglesias has a winner with this quiet, beautifully crafted book that grabs hold of its readers by leaps and bounds… stunning.

    Boston Globe
  • Yglesias is… a skilled and intellectually vigorous artist. His writing is crisp and poised, and his ideas are fresh and honestly examined.

    Virginia Quarterly