Lori Summers's Reviews > Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness

Endgame by Frank Brady
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's review
Apr 06, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 100-books-in-2011, nonfiction, biography

I find myself in the frustrating position of having to review a book that I did not particularly enjoy but having absolutely no clue how to explain what I didn't like about it. I can't think of a single thing that the author could have done differently that would have improved the book for me. Except written about something else, perhaps.

It isn't that I don't know much about chess. The book isn't particularly chess-intensive. It isn't that it's badly written, although Brady's objectivity is a tad suspect. It isn't that the subject matter isn't interesting. Bobby Fischer's wack-ass life is certainly fodder enough for a good read. I just didn't enjoy reading about it. It was boring. It was frustrating. It was increasingly off-putting.

The fact that Fischer was not a particularly likable person, ever, doesn't help, and by the end of his life he'd become an extremely UNlikable person. While Brady attempts to explain his behavior and give rationales for why Bobby was the way he was, it's hard not to just view him as a total bastard, a diva, and a demanding egotist. Not that the biographies of such people can't be interesting, in fact I'd venture to theorize that difficult people make for more interesting copy, it's just that I didn't find this biography interesting. I couldn't tell you why it didn't work for me. I can only tell you that it didn't.

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Reading Progress

April 6, 2011 – Shelved
April 30, 2011 – Started Reading
May 2, 2011 –
page 50
May 3, 2011 –
page 67
16.67% "So far this is pretty dry."
May 5, 2011 –
page 102
25.37% "It's official - this is pretty darned dry. So far."
May 10, 2011 –
page 170
42.29% "Just getting through this one, pretty much."
May 10, 2011 – Shelved as: 100-books-in-2011
May 10, 2011 – Shelved as: nonfiction
May 10, 2011 – Shelved as: biography
May 10, 2011 – Finished Reading

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