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The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis
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The Queen's Gambit (original 1983; edition 1983)

by Walter Tevis

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3891327,583 (4.19)10
Member:anglojaxon
Title:The Queen's Gambit
Authors:Walter Tevis
Info:Random House Inc (T) (1983), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 243 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis (1983)

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I had thought this was a book for children, since it is about an 8 year old girl who learns chess. However, it is an adult novel, with interesting characters. The girl, an orphan in Kentucky in the 1950s, is given a daily tranquilizer, along with the other orphans, to keep them quiet. This starts an addiction that develops along with her Chess prodigy skills. She becomes an US Chess champion, and later faces the Russian Chess Grandmasters, who really frighten her.
The pacing is good, the characters are realistic, and you soon begin to care for the people in the book. A little knowledge of chess will help understand what is going on, but the tension is not shown in the moves, but the reactions to the games and positions the players put themselves in to.
A good book. ( )
  hadden | Sep 30, 2013 |
I found this book lying on a table at the library one day and started reading it. A great story--I keep recommending it to people but I don't think anyone's taken me up on it yet. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
Recensione su: http://wp.me/p3X6aw-ah
Review at: http://wp.me/p3X6aw-ah ( )
  Saretta.L | Mar 31, 2013 |
Amazing and disturbing look at the life of a young female chess prodigy. The husband read it first years ago, immediately passed it on to me, and we have since passed it on to others. I must say that I had some fears when Z started playing chess so avidly because of this book. ( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
I chose this book because of the chess theme. I'm trying to read all chess fiction available. Walter Tevis is well-known because three famous movies are based on his books, The Hustler, The Man Who Fell To Earth and The Color Of Money. I think this one too would make a great movie. Tevis' style is very cinematic. However, contrary to what other reviewers - as well as the introduction to my edition by Lionel Shrivel - say, I don't think the book or a movie made out of it appeas to a non-chessplaying audience to be honest. How can someone understand the feeling of realising an oversight, making a strong move in a crucial situation or finding yourself in time-trouble without being a tournament player himself/herself is beyond me. And the book is filled by such moments. All other fragments of the story - the orphanage, Mrs. Wheatley, the pill addiction etc - are there to provide the background for the chess struggles, studying the openings, fighting against the anxieties of tournament life, overcoming the fear of losing - things that only a chess player can really comprehend. To sum it up, the books gets a 5/5 for chess players, but I'll give it a 3.5/5 for the general public. ( )
  trandism | Jan 2, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394528018, Hardcover)

Beth Harmon becomes an orphan when her parents are killed in an automobile accident. At eight years old, she is placed in an orphanage in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, where the children are given a tranquillizer twice a day. Plain and shy, she learns to play chess from the janitor in the basement and discovers that she is a chess genius. She is adopted by Alma and Allston Wheatley and goes to a local school, but remains an outsider. Desperate to study chess and having no money, she steals a chess magazine from a newspaper store and then some money from Alma Wheatley and a girl at school, so that she can enter a tournament. She also steals some of the tranquillizers to which she is becoming addicted. At thirteen she wins the tournament, and by sixteen she is competing in the US Open Championship. Like Fast Eddie (in "The Hustler"), she hates to lose.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:46 -0400)

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