Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny by Holly Madison is an autobiographical book focused on Holly’s time in the Playboy mansion and how she got there. I listened to the audiobook of this which is narrated by Holly and I 100% recommend this as the way to consume this book.
In the book, Holly Madison, Hefner’s former number-one girlfriend, looks back on her old life and how the glamourous life she went after turned into a nightmare filled with oppressive routine, inflexible rules, manipulation, and a continual battle to stay on top.
If you enjoy reality TV, ever watched the Girls Next Door or are just curious about what life was like with Hugh Hefner in the Playboy Mansion then you should give the book a read or listen. Even though it deals with some tough situations and sensitive topics like suicidal ideation, it is a thoroughly entertaining read.
Excerpt from Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison
I just put my head under the water and take a deep breath in, it would all be over, I thought. The bathroom was empty as I swam alone in the giant marble tub. The air was chilly inside the mansion walls, with a draft that always seemed to rustle through the rooms. I pulled my shoulders under the warm water and rested my stoned eyes on the wall opposite me. But could I really do it? I dipped my toes in and out of the water and listened for the quiet echo the splash made as it bounced off the tile walls, feeling like an exotic fish trapped in some enormous aquarium. Outside the bathroom, the mansion was eerily quiet.
It was unusually calm at this hour of the night. We spent yet another evening out at one of Hollywood’s hottest nightclubs (like clockwork, we went clubbing every Wednesday and Friday), before coming home and retiring to Hef’s room, where we all smoked weed and went through the weird bi-weekly “bedroom routine” (which was nothing like most people imagined it to be). To an outsider, our evenings looked incredibly glamorous: seven beautiful women dancing the night away behind velvet ropes and bulging security guards, private table service to cater to our every desire, and exclusive access to the club—all at the expense of the world’s most notorious boyfriend: Hugh Hefner. But if you looked close enough, each girl appeared to be just a little bit vacant and merely going through the motions of what life ought to be. Life inside the mansion wasn’t at all what I expected to be—not even close.
Everyone thinks that infamous metal gate was meant to keep people out. But I grew to feel it was meant to lock me in. I wasn’t quite sure how I ended up in this curious, often dark world, but I was petrified by my own fear of what it would mean to ever leave.