Friday, May 6, 2011

book review: endgame

Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall- from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness
by Frank Brady

from the back: Endgame is acclaimed biographer Frank Brady's decades-in-the-making tracing of the meteoric ascent- and confounding descent - of enigmatic genius Bobby Fischer. Only Brady, who met Fischer when the prodigy was ten years old and shared with him some of his most dramatic triumphs, could have written this book. Drawing from Fischer family archives, recently released FBI files, and Bobby's own e-mails, this account is unique in that it limns Fischers entire life - an odessey that took the Brooklyn-raised chess champion from an impoverished childhood to the covers of Time, Life, and Newsweek to recognition as "the most famous man in the world" to notorious recluse.
Posessing a 181 IQ and remarkable powers of concentration, Bobby was only thirteen when he became the youngest chess master in US history. But his strange behavior nearly halted his Cold War championship match with Soviet star Boris Spassky, he turned down millions of dollars in sponsorship offers, and by 1992 he was an international fugitive, wanted by American law enfocrcement for having violated US sanctions.
Woven into Fischer's late-life odysset are bizarre flirtations with apocalyptic religions, Nazis, and mafiosi, and bouts of paranoia that had him traveling with gun-toting bodyguards and railing against perceived conspiracies.
Who was Bobby Fischer, and what does his life say about the flowering of genius and the distorting effects of fame? In Endgame, Frank Brady gives us the fascinating answer.

my review:
this biography was incredibly interesting to me. i am too young to know anything about bobby fischer from when the main events of the book were taking place, but reading them in this book made them real to me. the author really got inside information and explained the world of competitive chess in a way that made sense to even someone who doesnt know how to play chess (which i do, thanks to my dad and his interest in bobby fischer back in the day) without seeming condescending. if this subject appeals to you in the least i think you will enjoy this book.

No comments: