Down The Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison

Down the rabbit hole, Holly Madison, Playboy mansion, Book Journey

Ok ok…. if you recently read my review of Suddenly One Summer and I said it was a bit racy for my taste this audio choice may surprise you – but let me say… this audio surprised me in a good way.  Narrated by Holly Madison herself about her time in the Playboy Mansion and beyond, this is actually way less graphic (in fact pretty much graphic free!) . Recommended – Interesting!  ~Sheila

Holly Madison was eventually known as the “#1 girlfriend” of Hugh Hefner after trying hard for quite a while to be asked to live at the Playboy Mansion.  This book is Holly’s story as told by herself, on working her way into the Playboy Mansion, the years of living with many other girls all hoping for their shot in the magazine or on TV,  and her career after.  Holly shares what living in the Playboy Mansion is really like, Hef’s very strict rules for the Bunny’s (like only two nights out a week and they had to be back by 9 pm and no boyfriends other than him- either of these two indiscretions would get you kicked out of the mansion.  Let’s just say – all is not as it seems.  Each girl had an allowance and a leased car that they paid for our of their allowance and was revoked if they decided to leave the mansion.  Plastic surgery and salon needs were unlimited.  The girls were never allowed to go out on their own or stay anywhere else but the mansion.

Holly shares what is was like living at the mansion for ten years, the girls that came and went, and the remaining three (including herself) that were the stars of the TV show, The Girls Next Door.  Down The Rabbit Hole, with fun references to Alice In Wonderland between chapters, is a tell all of one girls dreams to hit it big, what it cost her, and what she learned about herself along the way.

This choice of a read may shock you but I hope it doesn’t.  I chose to listen to this one from and Audible has a policy that is you don’t like it, you can return it and get your credit back.

What drew me to this audio?  1.  Cover.  I have to admit I like the cover.  2.  I like true stories and I especially like them when they are narrated by the author.  3.  As long as it wasn’t crude and rude, I was curious about Hef’s amazing way to lure in these poor young girls… was it money he offered?  Was it just the prestige of being a Bunny that was the draw?  What did they all do day to day?  4. I listened to a sample of the audio and was sold.  The few reviews that were up on the audio all raved about Holly’s tell all and I thought why not?

Honestly, I really enjoyed this audio book.  I knew next to nothing about the Playboy mansion other than what it was and of course the magazine.  I didn’t know that Hugh paid rent on each of the rooms he used for himself and each of the girls bedrooms as well as the Magazine owns the mansion, not Hef.  It was also really interesting to hear about all of Hef’s odd rules and angry blow ups including stomping is feet, screaming, and faking tears when he didn’t get his way.

When you hear all of this (including how old the items in the mansion were, that money was not invested in upgrades or new carpet which was stained with dog well you know… ), and a crotchety old man who is truly full of himself, you (I) have to wonder why Holly stayed as long as she did.  Holly covers that topic well and you start to get a real picture of these young girls wanting nothing more than attention and affection and living to be a Playboy Bunny.

The audio goes on to what Holly did after she left the mansion as well including her time with The Girls Next Door (and awkward scenes after she had left Hef), and Dancing With The Stars.

I realize that this is one person’s story – but if even half of what she says is accurate… wow. Very good listen and thankfully, a clean listen.  There is only one mention of what Hef expected from the girls (not as mush as one would think or probably have heard) and it is brief and thankfully not graphic.

Memoir lovers? Like to learn new things?  Add this one to your To Be Read (listened to) list.

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 51 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Harper Audio
  • Release Date: June 23, 2015

20 thoughts on “Down The Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison

  1. When I read you mention this book in a previous post I thought “nah”, but after reading your review I’m thinking about adding it to my tbr list.

  2. This was on my tbr list. I watched the show and am curious (nosey) about life in the mansion! Sheila, just want you to know you are always in my thoughts…

  3. I’m not a big memoir fan, but I have seen all episodes of Girls Next Door at least twice and have followed what Holly, Brigette and Kendra are up to in their new lives. Smart people knew it was a job while watching the show, but it would be interesting to see her vision of Hef after being away from him for 5 years. At the time all she wanted was to have his baby and get married.

    1. Yeah I was really surprised about Holly’s confessed love for Hugh. She does explain later that once she was away from the mansion she seen way more clearly the manipulating way he controlled them all.

  4. I’ve been wondering about this one! I never watched the show, but of course, caught snippets of it and the girls here and there. I’ll have to check it out.

  5. Sheila I was on Amazon last evening looking at this book, I have watched some GND and then have watched the show that Holly had after leaving the mansion. I nearly pressed my finger on the I click button but resisted. I listened to the snipped of her recording and would have got the audio version but not available from Audible to me in NZ. After reading your review I think I will get a Kindle copy. They say so many people have bought it that It is a big success. Lot of controversy has helped sell. Interesting that she and Kendra don’t get on, too. Ah thank you for the review, now I will indulge my curiosity and buy the book.

  6. Oh I just found it is available to me on Audible – after buying the Kindle version, but will get it, I am sure it will be at reduced price now I have Kindle copy anyway.

  7. You know, I didn’t used to watch The Girls Next Door once in a while just because I was curious as to what would make someone want to be with an old man that spent his days in his pajamas. I just might have to pick this one up.

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