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King's Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game

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King's Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game Cover

ISBN13: 9781401300975
ISBN10: 1401300979
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As a child, Paul Hoffman lost himself in chess. The award-winning author of the international bestseller The Man Who Loved Only Numbers played to escape the dissolution of his parents' marriage, happily passing weekends with his brilliant bohemian father in New York's Greenwich Village, the epicenter of American chess. But he soon learned that such single-minded focus came at a steep price, as the pressure of competition drove him to the edge of madness.

As an adolescent, Hoffman loved the artistic purity of the game — and the euphoria he felt after a hard-fought victory — but he was disturbed by the ugly brutality and deceptive impulses that tournament chess invariably brought out in his opponents and in himself. Plagued by strange dreams in which attractive women moved like knights and sinister men like bishops, he finally gave up the game entirely in college, for the next twenty-five years.

In King's Gambit, Hoffman interweaves gripping tales from the history of the game and revealing portraits of contemporary chess geniuses into the emotionally charged story of his own recent attempt to get back into tournament chess as an adult — this time without losing his mind or his humanity. All the while, he grapples with the bizarre, confusing legacy of his own father, who haunts Hoffman's game and life.

In this insider's look at the obsessive subculture of championship chess, the critically acclaimed author applies the techniques that garnered his earlier work such lavish praise — the novelistic storytelling and the keen insights — to his own life and the eccentric, often mysterious lives of the chess pros he knew and has come to know. Intimate, surprising, and often humorous, it's both Hoffman's most personal work and his most compelling.

Review:

"[An] endearing and digressive tapestry; Hoffman is a knowledgeable guide who explains the game well." New York Times

Review:

"If you enjoy playing chess, this will be the most fascinating, best-written book that you have ever read. If you have no interest in chess, then get ready to enjoy a fascinating, fast-moving story with unforgettable characters many of whom just happen to be chess players." Jared Diamond, author of Collapse

Synopsis:

The critically acclaimed author applies novelistic storytelling with keen insights--to his own life and the eccentric, often mysterious lives of the chess pros he knows so well. Intimate, gripping, and often humorous, its both Hoffmans most personal work and his most compelling.

About the Author

Paul Hoffman was president of Encyclopaedia Britannica and editor in chief of Discover magazine, and is the author of Wings of Madness and The Man Who Loved Only Numbers. The recipient of the first National Magazine Award for feature writing, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Hoffman lives in Woodstock, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Terry Labach, June 13, 2008 (view all comments by Terry Labach)
I had an inkling of how odd the world of chess players was, thanks to my son who showed early chess promise and success, until he gave the game up to play guitar.

But the obsessives of the chess world remain largely hidden to most of us. King's Gambit is one of a number of recent books that opens up that world. Paul Hoffman, former editor of Discover magazine, brings his writing talent to bear on both the world of chess and his troubled relationship with his father. Hoffman, himself a chess talent, was introduced to the game by his father.

Readers of "Searching for Bobby Fischer" will recognize many of the venues, characters, and observations. In some ways Hoffman's book feels as both prequel and sequel to the earlier book, as he records his travels around the world, attending tournaments and meeting players at all levels. Gossip about Kasparov and Kramnik is interspersed with his memories of his youth, his parents, and his chess.

For chess nuts, or anyone who has struggled with their parents, this book is highly recommended.
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(6 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781401300975
Author:
Hoffman, Paul
Publisher:
Hyperion Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Chess - General
Subject:
Chess
Subject:
Fathers and sons -- United States.
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20070931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 25.28 oz
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Biography » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Chess
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Miscellaneous Games

King's Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Hyperion - English 9781401300975 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[An] endearing and digressive tapestry; Hoffman is a knowledgeable guide who explains the game well."
"Review" by , "If you enjoy playing chess, this will be the most fascinating, best-written book that you have ever read. If you have no interest in chess, then get ready to enjoy a fascinating, fast-moving story with unforgettable characters many of whom just happen to be chess players."
"Synopsis" by , The critically acclaimed author applies novelistic storytelling with keen insights--to his own life and the eccentric, often mysterious lives of the chess pros he knows so well. Intimate, gripping, and often humorous, its both Hoffmans most personal work and his most compelling.
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