I am an avid eclectic reader.
One of the people I follow recommended this book so decided to give it a try. I remember the big chess match from Iceland and was one of those people who was inspired to attempt to learn chess. The story spends the first half of the book on Fischer youth and his interest and rise in chess. I wish a bit more time was spent on the chess games played during the world chess match in Iceland. The author spent more time writing about Fischer's tantrums and demands in place of the chess. The last part of the book covers Fischer's life after the Iceland match and his decline into mental illness. I found it interesting that he died in Iceland after spending his life moving from county to county. The author frequently mention Paul Morphy the American Chess champion of the 1800's. I remember reading about him years ago in "The Chess Players" by Frances Parkinson Keyes. The narrator Ray Porter did an excellent job.
I had no background on Bobby Fischer before listening to this book. I was hooked from the start. One moment I would be rooting for him and the next I would be screaming at him. Its the type of story that is impossible to put down and leaves with questions of what could have been.
I'm a voracious reader who unfortunately spends a lot of time on the road. Audiobooks make my life a lot better.
Before I say my piece, I’ll state that the book was very well written and the reader was excellent (he had many different accents to perform, even Russian, German, Yiddish and a few others and did well with all of them, to my ear). This book is, of course, really a downer, but when you realize that Bobby Fisher’s entire life, except for a few chess highlights like winning the national championship at age 13 and the World Championship in 1972, was indeed a real downer.
I for one, being an eager chess player but a real potzer in terms of skill, learned a lot from this book – just to list a few: the fact that he was married, the fact that he was incarcerated in Japan for several months and lived for several years in Iceland when a was a fugitive, for tax evasion and some other alleged violation of sanctions against a foreign country The author made it interesting without a lot of specific move notation and no diagrams at all (at least none in the audio edition ) and I think this makes the book understandable to a much wider audience. The almost meteoric rise of Fisher to the stratosphere of the chess world was in such stark contrast to the end of his life that the book couldn’t help having not only a sad ending, but a continually depressing entire second half. I guess I always wondered what really happened to Bobby Fisher, and now I know, I’m wondering if I can ever forget it.
I certainly hope so.
I’m going to try “Searching for Bobby Fisher” next and am hoping it can be an upper.
The author gives a thourough account of Bobby Fischer's Life from childhood untill his death in Iceland in 2008. There are quite a few entertaining anecdotes spread throughout and the auther does an okay job of bringing Bobby's chess battles to life. However, the author never really goes into detail about any of the games. Chess players looking for actual strategy will find none. However, someone who is not familiar with chess on more than a basic level will have thrown thier way numerous lists of chess masters, grandmasters, chessbooks, internal politics of national and international chess organizations, etc. I personally found this mostly interesting, but I can see how someone outside of the chess world would not. Possibly the worst thing about this book is not really the author's fault, and that is that Bobby Fischer just isn't a likeable character. No doub't his radical personality is interesting, but mostly he's annoying and the reader doesn't really have anybody to root for. Overall the book is interesting and satisfying, if a bit tedious.
The narrator does a good job. his voice is pleasant and not distracting. However, rather amusingly, his accents all sound the same, no matter what nationality he's trying to depict. Still, he's on of the better narrator's I've listened to in a while.
I thouroughly enjoyed getting to know more about Fischer. Though any book about Fischer can only begin to scratch the surface of his complexity at least this book presents us with a thourough overview of just how complex he was. Fischer is far more bizarre than I could ever have imagined. He is so unique in the history of humans that I strongly recommend that the reader suspend their judgment of anything he said or did. Though he said some very dispicable things none of them make sense when you consider who he was. A Jew hating Jew???? A true American Hero of the Cold War who ends up hating America???? Someone who definitely challenged the boundaries of free speach. In fact, Fischer challenged authority in ways so few of us would every begin to consider. It is a wonder he didn't spend more time in prison or get shot. No wonder he was paranoid, is there any powerful group he didn't piss off. One of the most truly unique figures in history.
Well weaved story and outstanding narration
Of Course Fisher himself
Quality of narration is outstanding. I particularly liked how he played with different accents.
Fisher's behaviors prior to matches.
Definitely in the upper ranks. Very interesting topic/subject, and you do not need to be an expert at Chess to enjoy it.
There are parallels to "A Beautiful Mind" in that genius is no guarantee of rationality or mental health.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Potter's narration - he was very expressive without being over the top.
When Bobby asks near the end why one of his friends is so nice to him.
No. It was more detailed than expected. About the right length.
First Frank Brady book.
Realistic. Honest. Sincere.
No follow-up needed. This is all the Bobby Fisher anyone should need.
Interesting, surprising and sometimes sad, behind-the-scenes stories of a compelling personality who became a household name during the later years of the cold war, by battling (and beating) those"dastardly" Russians at one of their most sacred national pastimes.
Yes. Bobby Fischer's peculiar combination of genius and psychopathology is well worth knowing about, and the book is excellent.
Fischer forces us to reflect more deeply on the question of reality and perception, and on how the brain works. Chess requires uncompromising logic and the capacity to see relationships correctly, yet its supreme genius could persistently err in seeing things logically and correctly in life.
Brilliant. Compelling. Well-read.
Bobby Fischer who else?
Many of them including the great match between Fisher and Spassky. In the end, Spassky identified Fischer as his "brother." Also the Hungarian years were very interesting.
The death of Bobby Fischer--a tragic hero.
We see a man overreach, react inappropriately, yet carry on. This is tragedy. You must experience this story. And the setting for the final scene is Iceland--what more could you want?