A Book Review of Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison

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Book Review-Down the Rab­bit Hole

A few months back I pur­chased the audio book for Holly Madison’s auto­bi­og­ra­phy called “Down the Rab­bit Hole”. It was a sur­pris­ingly enter­tain­ing and good book so I decided to do a book review on it. I was a major fan of the show The Girls Next Door and Holly was always my favorite bunny. I have fol­lowed her career after she left the man­sion and started her new life out in Las Vegas. I watched her spin­off tele­vi­sion show “Holly’s World” and was always very curi­ous about her depar­ture from the man­sion. She never pub­li­cally addressed the full break up but I always knew there was a lot more to the story then what was released. Let’s be hon­est, we have all been super curi­ous about what hap­pened behind the man­sion doors and what it was really like to be there, a fly on the wall so to speak. So with­out fur­ther ado here is a full review of the book below.

Man­sion Life

The book starts out with Holly talk­ing about her child­hood then mov­ing to Los Ange­les. She started out as a Hoot­ers girl and was invited to one of the man­sion par­ties. She become friends with one of the girl­friends of Hugh Hefner at the time and that is how she was invited to the par­ties. Holly talks about how when you first come to the man­sion as a guest you have to get your photo taken. The pho­tos are then rated and put into three cat­e­gories A, B or C.

If you were on the A list then you were con­sid­ered top of the line guest and would always be invited back to every event etc. If you were on the B list then you were only invited to events as a “filler” if they needed guests to fill an event etc. If you were a C then you pretty much were not invited back to the par­ties etc. All guests have to be rated and pho­tographed no excep­tions. Holly dis­cusses in great detail how Hef was obsessed with doc­u­ment­ing and pho­tograph­ing every­thing. He has a mas­sive col­lec­tion of scrap books dat­ing from the 60’s on to present day. When he dies he plans to donate all of these scrap books to a museum.

This includes all pho­tos of test shoots, photo shoots, per­sonal pho­tos, events, clip­pings of sto­ries, diaries and let­ters of Hef. Pretty much all of his per­sonal and pro­fes­sional life to be on dis­play. Even let­ters between Hef and his girl­friends noth­ing was off lim­its all was for pub­lic con­sump­tion. This was a sore spot for Holly and I could only imag­ine about hav­ing your per­sonal life on display.

Holly talks about the first time Hef really paid atten­tion to her at a party. She was there with the girls and he offered her “thigh opener” drugs. She declined but did pro­ceed with him and the girls back to his bed­room one night. In order to become a girl­friend with Hef you had to sleep with him. Let’s just say that the event that unfolded was a real page turner! After this night Holly was invited to move in the man­sion but not as a girl­friend right away. She moved in and hung around the girls and Hef but was a guest and not a girlfriend.

Man­sion Rules

Finally after a few weeks she was invited to be a girl­friend and moved to a big­ger and bet­ter bed­room down the hall. Shortly after Holly moved in she noticed the steep com­pe­ti­tion, the fight­ing and the con­stant tug and pull for Hef’s atten­tion. The girl that was once her friend quickly turned on her and now she was on the outs with the other girls. They were mean bul­lies and she started to develop low self-esteem and was con­stantly wor­ried about her appear­ance. She got a nose job and a boob job while at the man­sion which Hef paid for. He wanted all of the girls to look exactly alike and no one was allowed to pretty much have their own look or even own opin­ions. Step­ford girl­friends can you say?

Holly describes the strict rules of the man­sion the 9pm cur­few, never being allowed to stay overnight any­where, not even home for the hol­i­days. They had a weekly sched­ule that they had to stick to no mat­ter what. The house revolved around Hef and they were just win­dow dress­ing. They were given a salary but that was for hair, makeup and clothes. They spent their days get­ting ready to go out or to enter­tain guests that Hef always had over. They were not allowed to work or even go to school out­side of the man­sion. Noth­ing could inter­fere with their sched­ule. So basi­cally they were a bunch of pretty birds in a nice man­sion cage.

After a few years Holly worked her way up to be the “main” girl­friend this was some­thing that Holly really didn’t want but was given any­way. She had to move into Hef’s bed­room and share his bed nightly. She wanted her old room but now had to share with Hef. Being the main girl­friend caused her stress and there was a lot of pol­i­tics involved with the other girls. Finally Holly was able to help weed out the other girls and it was just Holly, Brid­get and Kendra.

The book went into a lot of details and it was really inter­est­ing. As a fan of the show look­ing back now, I can see a lot of what she was talk­ing about. There was a lot of “fak­e­ness” and ten­sion on the show and Holly really thought that mar­ry­ing Hef and hav­ing his baby would solve a lot of these prob­lems. She dealt with Hef’s ver­bal abuse and manip­u­la­tion of her. She even talked about how Hef and E! Enter­tain­ment net­work cheated the girls out of money and in the begin­ning of the show didn’t want to pay them much money. Most of the earn­ings was going to Hugh Hefner as they con­sid­ered him the “star”. She also goes into a lot of detail about Hugh’s obses­sion of being a celebrity and all of his rules and con­di­tions etc.

Life After the Mansion

After a few years life with Hef became unbear­able for Holly and being under the con­stant con­trol and scrutiny was start­ing to take its toll out on her. So Holly decides after 7 years that it is time to leave and moves to Las Vegas. There she stars in a broad­way show “Peep Show” and starts a strange, roman­tic, rela­tion­ship with Chris Angel. This story was very inter­est­ing as well and again it is worth read­ing for the details.

The book ends with her cur­rent life and her becom­ing a mom and get­ting mar­ried. I am still a fan of Holly Madison’s and I loved this book. Really, I feel like she is telling the truth and I did have a bet­ter under­stand­ing of what she was going through after read­ing this book. I actu­ally did the audio book where she reads it in her own voice. So if you are not into read­ing or do not have time to read a book. I highly rec­om­mend her audio book that you can down­load through Audible.com. I lis­tened to the entire book in two days, it was really good and addicting!

You can get her book by click­ing on the link below or by going to Audible.com and down­load­ing the audio version.


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Michelle Norman is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Puregoddess University. She is also the owner of Puregoddess a women's brand that features clothing, accessories and makeup.

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