top of page

Another Idea?  Yes!  Several readers have asked "When will The Game be available as a movie or television series?"  It's a good question for such an emotional story.  To help understand why this is true, a summary each chapter follows.

There are 42 synopses. To help remember who does what and when and where use the "Chapter Status" button.  Click it at the end of each synopsis and select one of the four choices: "Unread", "Read", "Re-read", or "Saved".  Keep in mind that your initial choice can be reset.

With this website version the "Chapter Status" button is completely reset when moving to a different Page or a different website.  A coming version of The Game website will allow your synopsis choices to be saved.

       Chapter 1 -- The Catalyst:
On a ordinary summer Saturday afternoon (July 10, 1999), Trip (Wright) and his seven friends are enjoying lunch during a break in a routine competitive volleyball game at the Miller’s house in Norwalk. Trip leaves the group to lie down at the far end of the pool, trying to ignore his growing boredom when he begins to conceive a sexual fantasy involving him and the four wives of their group called the Fearless Foursome. He is awkwardly awakened when Janet (Tucci) sneaks up on him in such a way that he sees her as a magnificent and perfect player for his growing fantasy.    

        Chapter 2 -- Seeds Are Sown:
Several friends, sensing that an agitated exchange just developed between Trip and Janet, attempt to restart the volleyball match. After the finish, the group breaks up oddly and mildly distressed. On the way home, Mimi (Trip’s wife) tries to learn what had happened with Janet at the pool. Trip dodges answering when Mimi is called to the telephone. As he shelters in his office, he begins to recall the time and place he and Mimi first met. 

       Chapter 3 -- Promises of Things to Come:
Trip’s daydreams take him back to the summer of 1982. His dreams revive meeting Mimi and that first afternoon and early evening when they began to experience each other. He remembers how they learned their similarities and differences, where they sharpened their interest within each other, and their desires to meet again. No matter what he thought and hoped he expected that it would be impossible.

        Chapter 4 -- Meeting Mickey Burke:
As Trip’s dreams persist, he remembers saying goodbye to Mimi with troubled thoughts about his family and the plans for the coming summer. Returning to his home, he is surprised by seeing the car of his best friend, Mickey (Burke), in the driveway. This turns out to be fortuitous as he begins to see a way to see Mimi this coming summer after all. As this progresses, Mimi introduces him to teenage sex while hiding her level of experiences far beyond her one year old difference. During this period, Trip struggles with the divergences of sex, lust, and love. 

         Chapter 5 -- Karma:
As the summer ends, possibly along with Trip’s dreams, he and Mimi cope with what they can do. Mickey continued his womanizing approach and perplexes Trip's emerging intentions with Mimi. As Trip and Mickey get ready to go to Yale for their freshman year and Mimi gets ready to return to her junior year at University of Michigan, Mimi and Trip agree, cautiously, to stay in touch. Trip's remembrances finally awakens late in the Saturday afternoon. Unhappily, he discovers there is no time or interest to get the usual Saturday gang together, leaving him only to go to bed. Mimi, concerned, follows.

        Chapter 6 -- A Nontrivial Pursuit:
On the following Tuesday, Trip and Mickey meet in one of their Manhattan offices to discuss the merger they agreed to facilitate earlier in the year. Their undertaking is not going sensibly, and neither is their current discussion. On the way home, they stop at a bar hoping they can come up with an ethical solution. They find the effort boring, so they shift to talking about Trip’s fantasy spawned by ogling women. Mickey doesn’t agree with what Trip is trying to do because he uses a quicker and easy approach, which he calls "The Chorus Line Approach" which is to look only at “tits and ass”.

        Chapter 7 -- Lessons to be Ignored?
On the train home, Mickey falls asleep and starts a series of flashbacks including when he first met his wife, Cindy, in 1988. They met, fell in love, and married when both were studying at Columbia. Also Mickey remembers his behavior and sexual attitudes were both emerging after what he saw of his mother's and sister's conduct. When his latest infidelity was uncovered, Cindy demanded they move out of the city hoping that suburbia, now where their friends were living, would establish a change. When Mickey awakes, he tries to figure out if his awareness of how he watches women fits with Trip's evolving approach. 

          Chapter 8 -- A Wife's Dilemma: 
Several days later, Cindy finds herself at home, where she had been living in Darien for the last seven years. It is the last day of a two-week home-based scheme designed by her boss to see if her department could work successfully at home. As she watches Mickey leave to go to work, she wonders if he is wandering again. She has made it clear he would be thrown out of their home if he were. In flashbacks to 1983 and then 1989, she recalls her life in Ashville, North Carolina, and her desire to work with Foundations and Banks after finishing her MBA at Columbia University. She also remembers her fight to avoid being categorized as a Southern Belle especially by her accent. After all this, she questions not only her marriage but the reactions developing among the Fearless Foursome's based on Trip's evolving questionable brainstorm. 

         Chapter 9 -- Can Promises be Kept?
That Friday afternoon, when Mickey gets home, he convinces Cindy to go to dinner with Rob and Betsy Miller. Cindy is completely at ease with the Millers since they too were raised in the South. They discuss the differences between men and women’s work issues in the financial business world and she brings up the need to cover her accent along with bringing up thoughts about the sexual harassment in the air. One aspect of their conversations leaves Cindy with increased suspicions about Mickey’s meandering.

          Chapter 10 -- The Fearsome Foursome - Men:
The following Saturday morning, the men (Trip, Mickey, Rob, and Joe) play tennis at Rob’s home in Norwalk. Competition is obvious immediately and continues by the way of Joe's heckling and with the gingerly examined upbringing of both Joe and Janet. Not able to maintain where their discussions was going, they shift to discuss the positives and negatives of their version of an Olympiad they have used for their last five summer sporting party. For a change, they decided to run a Triathlon. As this discussion comes to agreement, the status of Trip and Mickey’s merger efforts comes up until they decided to investigate Trip’s ideas of how to consider the myriad allures associated with observing women. Without any agreements, the male get-together dissolves when Rob's wife, Betsy, stops by to say hello on her way to their swimming pool,

        Chapter 11 -- Midsummer's Fête - Getting Ready:
Saturday, August 23 is scheduled for their yearly Midsummer’s Eve Dinner. The women, who are as competitive as their husbands, take turns organizing an annual formal dinner. Even though there are no specific rules, the offerings and décor have become more and more elaborate. This year's hostess is Janet and is responsible from hors d'oeuvres to after dinner drinks. As she gets everything ready, she discovers that she has chosen a dress too revealing for a functioning hostess.  Before she could change her dress, Trip arrives with an overwhelming greeting.

         Chapter 12 -- Midsummer's Fête - Guest Arrive:
As the guests continue to arrive, the women congregate first in the kitchen while the men move to the patio outside the dinning room. Both the men and women dress for the evening, which causes some concern for the women and enjoyment for the men. The women help Janet get all the food on the dinning room table as the men deal with various options of alcohol. 

         Chapter 13 -- Midsummer's Fête - Before Dessert:
As the dinner comes to an end, everybody moves away from the table and agrees that dessert can wait. The well-fed and pleasurable conversations focus on what to do with the upcoming competitive endeavors along with a possible winter ski trip and, of course, the requirements of getting the men ready for the Triathlon. 

          Chapter 14 -- Midsummer's Fête - Women and Men Talk:
After the desserts are served and eaten, all eight move to the patio which abuts the living room. After dinner, drinks of wine and cordials are discussed and chosen. The women congregate around the two-stair steps to the patio as the men sit around a table further into the porch. Kudos are given by all to Janet. As the two groups settle to their various interests, Cindy, unexpectedly asks if any of the ladies have ever been sexually harassed. Much of the resulting discussion focuses on why Cindy raised that issue. Trip, who had chosen an excellent view of all four women, mull over each, one by one, as the other men chat about their work and sports. Suddenly, Trip recognizes his wife is intensely frowning at him and so he quickly attempts to get included into any of  the meandering male discussions.

         Chapter 15 -- Midsummer's Fête - A Point of No Return:
At about the same time, both groups come to silence and so more coffee, wine, and cordials were offered. The women move to the patio so they can join the men. Cindy tries to reopen her earlier conversation, but it morphs into a discussion of how those of the opposite sex really think differently. about sex. This evolves into discussing whether the women are appropriately dressed and then the idea that men think about sex every five minutes, and then the if women “have it” should they “flaunt it”.  All this interaction transpires in the expected combativeness laced with conviviality of a Fearsome Foursome Saturday get together.  The Midsummer’s Fête concludes as an apparent winner.

         Chapter 16 -- The Past Arrives:
As Trip and Mimi drive home, they agree they have yet to discuss the situation of their relationship. Mimi suggests that Trip’s consistent interest in watching women is not helping.  Both admit that whatever is bothering them needs to be addressed and soon.  However, they do not know how to talk about it successfully. Trip awkwardly surprises Mimi with what he calls rough “love making”. Reluctantly, she decides she must go along with it.  After an abruptly finish, Trip goes up stairs, but not before they agree on the need to talk . . . soon.

17

         Chapter 17 -- Innocence Lost:
Mimi, trying to understand what just happened, falls asleep without going up to bed. Her flashback of 1982 starts with the time she first met Trip. She remembers what she had been doing before and throughout that first summer. She presumed that Trip has learned bits and pieces of her history but does not know if he has come to a complete understanding. She comes to believe his knowledge is not important as is his reaction. When she wakes the following morning, Trip appears to be oddly indifferent.

         Chapter 18 -- Mutual Respect?
On the day after the Midsummer's Fête, Joe plays tennis with the other three men. When he gets home, he wants to have sex with Janet no matter he was drenched with sweat. She's not enthralled but agrees. After thinking over the episode, the reason for her marrying Joe comes to mind. They had grown up in very different areas around Boston (she in Beverly Farms and he in the North End) although they both attended Harvard. They has always believed they were copasetic and handsomely balanced. Now, she began wonder how seriously their balance was eroding. 

       Chapter 19 -- Careers, Competition, and Pitfalls:
It seems that finally summer is coming to an end, the late October days behave more like late Fall than Indian-Summer. The Fearless Foursome are limited without their familiar enjoyable outside activities. As usual, the Saturday party is held at the Wright’s, yet it starts with difficulties. The women stay in the kitchen while the men immediately head to the poolroom. Cindy discusses her two professional issues: her new boss, who is known to be a sexual harasser, and her current company is being purchased by a larger, out-of-state bank. The women seek to understand Cindy’s concerns and, in turn, they reconsider their husbands' lousy behaved when discussing how they dressed at the Midsummer’s dinner. The approach and results leave some wondering if they are coming excessively competitive.

       Chapter 20 -- Summer Ends:
While the women are in the kitchen, the men play billiards in an oddly lackluster mood. The men are still tired and unhappy about their Triathlon exercise. They discuss the results before opening a debate as to whether the next year should be a triathlon again or a return to the Olympiad. They also discuss issues such as Cindy’s dilemmas along with their own current marital issues. When the women join them downstairs the pall continues. In aspiration, Trip is badgered into telling how he would choose a woman he would most like to bed via the method he uses in determining his likes needs about female sex appeal. Since he cannot do this, he tries to explain the elements of the game he is creating. The Fearless Foursome leave the party in previously unknown concerns.

        Chapter 21 -- A Plaintive Song:
Rob wakes up on the following Sunday to discover that Betsy has finished writing her Country Western lament. She has been working on it for many, many months without involving him. The song, which he reads, along with his own thoughts brings back how they came to know each other from their beginning, starting during the summer of 1984 on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. For the first time, Betsy states she is tired of being considered the “little southern-girl-without-much-for-brains”.

        Chapter 22 -- Can Fantasy Become Reality? 
Two weeks later the weather continues to be wet and cold, so the men are forced to play their last October Saturday tennis indoors. They are accosted by two women, one of whom is a neighbor of Rob’s. They speak for a while and after the women leave, Trip and Mickey begin to question how each would determine whether one or the other would be adequately to take to bed. Not all of them find this discussion fitting but still Trip convinces them to take a step closer to considering playing "The Game".

        Chapter 23 -- The Men's Turning Point: 
The remnants of the Triathlon faded and with two weeks of "The Game" related deliberation, the men seem to be back in good form. Also, the wives seem to have adjusted to live with the idea. Trip talked with each man separately, but the Fearless Foursome, as a group, has not decided to normalize the idea. For the first Saturday party in November, all hoped it would to develop into one of those previous effortless and memorable celebrations. Mimi wanted to finish the Pictionary match left over from the previous weekend. Trip wanted to make certain everybody accepted the context of "The Game". The tardiness of Cindy and Mickey along with their demeanor upon arrival threaten any convivial get-together. The men returned to their views of a discouraging summer. The wives, considering "The Game", find it more complex and alien to their ethical values. Trip, however, continues to believe his game is logical and ethical. He suggests that if the wives would agree to play, it would just be another exciting example of competition that would be immediately enjoyed by all.

        Chapter 24 -- Polishing the Men's Idea: 
Although the party ends in uncertainty, the men assume their wives will ultimately agree to play. To keep the idea alive, the men decide to have dinner in Manhattan one day after work to better clarify how the functioning of "The Game" would come together. The goal, to determine a common understanding, is not achieved. Each man goes home wondering what his wife is thinking about Trip's idea and what can be done.

          Chapter 25 -- Can It Be? 
On the Friday before Thanksgiving, Betsy and Rob discuss what each believes and accepts about "The Game". What is learned is that each spouse has unexpected reactions.

           Chapter 26 -- History versus Today: 
As Rob finally goes to sleep, he has a flashback to their early 1980’s that provides his understanding of Betsy’s decision and why he must support  her.

         Chapter 27 -- Into the Breach: 
The next Saturday party, the one before Thanksgiving, starts with the previously hoped for camaraderie that has been recently missing. Thanksgiving trips and potential visits are discussed. At the end of the evening, Trip tries to explain how "The Game" works. He has a great deal of trouble articulating what he has in mind. Mickey and Janet take over to explain male and female interpretations of fun versus ethics norms. The men try their best to explain why playing "The Game" is unlikely to come to a “winning” conclusion and, therefore, the result of having sex with another one’s spouse would be extremely unlikely. However, all are discovering that setting up the pattern needed to play runs into questionable results rather than generating fun and awareness. Some of the women remain unconvinced on ethical basis while others feel they must give it a try as a real member of the Fearless Foursome.

         Chapter 28 -- Reap What Has Been Sown: 
After the party ends and everybody leaves, the conversation between Mimi and Trip starts with examining the meaning of "The Game" and finally gets to what has been pestering Trip for years. He wanted to understand exactly what took place the summer they first met. It had been bothering him for years, but he had not been able to discuss it. Mimi was aware of Trip’s anguish but did not want to deal with the possibility of undoing their marriage. Mimi believed playing "The Game" could ruin their marriage. At the same time, she did not know what could be done to avoid playing.

          Chapter 29 -- A Confusion of Doubts -- Mickey: 
After leaving the Wright’s, several concerns between Mickey and Cindy come to the surface and not for the first time. Cindy agonizes with Mickey’s continuing infidelities; Mickey endures Cindy’s battles with sexual harassment and wonders what price she is willing to pay to get a better, more appropriate professional career. Possible solutions for each seem to pull them apart as much as they have keep them together. Neither seems to know what to do.

          Chapter 30 -- A Confusion of Doubts -- Cindy: 
As Cindy struggles with how to deal with her husband, she is also faced with what is going on with her job. Opportunities are coming slowly. One day several weeks earlier an abrupt opportunity develops. She tries to get information from her previous boss but can’t and in the moment decides to say “yes” to working with a new group run by an unknown Vice President being moved to Manhattan. Her final interview is set up for a working lunch that had to be changed to a dinner. She is not pleased, but since her previous interactions with the man have been polite, professional, and effortless she agrees. The dinner starts positively but as the evening progresses the situation goes to pieces. Since she thought she could not tell Mickey about how, why, and what occurred, she believes her only solution is to use it as a means of explaining her willingness to play "The Game".  She sees a way to get him to truly agree to stop his adulterous behavior.

         Chapter 31 -- A Confusion of Doubts -- The Burkes: 
After the Burke’s post-party discussion comes to an end, Mickey is determined to play ... it will be fun! Cindy is unable to determine whether he is willing to agree with her requirements if she agrees to play. After an onerous and tiring discussion, Cindy comes to the decision that she is forced to play because of her own issues. Although her decision is what Mickey wants, he begins to worry about her reasoning. Since Thanksgiving is four days away, Cindy and Mickey both figure they have time to make their final decisions in the coming days. 

         Chapter 32 -- Unquestioned Assumptions: 
By the time Janet and Joe get home, their discussion has started. They review what they agree on and what they do not. Their differences in upbringing and in ethics become obvious. They accept their previous discussions could be reconsidered, what they had casually assumed can no longer be unquestioned. Since they have families in and near Boston, they decide to visit both homes during the Thanksgiving weekend, hoping to find agreeable and viable understandings.

         Chapter 33 -- Getting Home Early: 
The Tucci couple have a difficult Thanksgiving-day visit at Janet’s home in Beverly Farms north of Boston. They find it a challenge rather than any holiday enjoyment: their interaction with Janet’s parents, the implications of their well-established wealth, and rigid conservative politics all result with differences, not hoped-for harmony. When they arrive at Joe’s home in Boston’s North End, they again find it challenging due to Joe’s assumed family responsibilities, their active Italian backgrounds, and their rigid political and religious beliefs. Neither home give them opportunities or a favorable atmosphere on which to discuss their current concerns. Consequently, they come home early. Before they are unpacked, they discover all the other Fearless Foursome couples have come home early as well and the wives are collecting at the Burke’s and the husbands are assembling at the Miller’s.

           Chapter 34 -- Strength in Bonding -- Female Attitudes: 
Joe drops Janet at Cindy’s house on the way to Norwalk. The wives learn about various Thanksgivings, ideas about Y2K issues, and how and why they might play "The Game".  Also, Betsy tells the others about her song, to much amazement. Cindy confesses being more than casually harassed with her debacle with her presumed new boss. Much to a very different amazing and expressed developments among the women, Cindy also blurts her growing belief that their consistent Fearless Foursome competitiveness is undoing their perception of camaraderie. Eventually, their talk turns to whether they should play "The Game". Given that each realize there is no easy way out, they agree on a remarkable choice.

           Chapter 35 -- Strength in Bonding -- Male Attitudes: 
When Joe gets to Rob’s home, he finds his buddies there. They catch up on the various Thanksgiving doings, possible oncoming Y2K issues, the status of the LKG effort, and how and why they should or should not play "The Game". They concede to play even thoug