From Frank Brady, who wrote one of the best-selling books on Bobby Fischer of all time and who was himself a friend of Fischer’s, comes an impressively researched biography that for the first time completely captures the remarkable arc of Bobby Fischer’s life. When Bobby Fischer passed away in January 2008, he left behind a confounding legacy. Everyone knew the basics of his life—he began as a brilliant youngster, then became the pride of American chess, then took a sharp turn, struggling with paranoia and mental illness. But nobody truly understood him.
What motivated Fischer from such a young age, and what was the source of his remarkable intellect? How could a man so ambivalent about money and fame be so driven to succeed? What drew this man of Jewish descent to fulminate against Jews, and how was it that a mind so famously disciplined could unravel so completely? From Fischer’s meteoric rise, to an utterly dominant prime unequaled by any American chess player, to his eventual descent into madness, the book draws upon hundreds of newly discovered documents and recordings and numerous firsthand interviews conducted with those who knew Fischer best. It paints, for the very first time, a complete picture of one of America’s most enigmatic icons. This is the definitive account of a fascinating man and an extraordinary life, one that at last reconciles Fischer’s deeply contradictory legacy and answers the question, who was Bobby Fischer?
©2011 Frank Brady (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“The Mozart of the chessboard is inseparable from the monster of paranoid egotism in this fascinating biography. Brady, founding publisher of Chess Life magazine and a friend of Fischer, gives a richly detailed account of the impoverished Brooklyn wunderkind’s sensational opening…Brady gives us a vivid, tragic narrative of a life that became a chess game.” (Publishers Weekly)
“I learned something new on nearly every page of this wonderful book. Frank Brady is the perfect biographer for Bobby Fischer, and Endgame tells the full and fair story of Fischer’s astonishing rise and heartbreaking fall." (Christopher Chabris, author of The Invisible Gorilla )
“Fischer is America’s greatest antihero. This fascinating biography is filled with hope, Cold War intrigue, the fulfillment of genius, and an explosive fall from grace that is both deeply moving and, ultimately, profoundly sad.” (Jeremy Silman, author of The Amateur’s Mind)
This is a stimulating biography of a tragic figure. If you came of age during the Fisher era, if you are a Chess player, or if you are just interested in getting into an interesting biography, this book is well worth our time. The book traces Fisher’s childhood including the influence of his mother who lived in Russia and was involved in leftist activity. It details how he became interested in Chess and his mothers influence on that career. The final years of Fisher’s life are related in a thoughtful manner. Every page shows a broken, delusional man seeking to find peace. A most interesting section include the final pages that detail the disposition of Fisher’s assets after his death. That is not to be missed. Frank Brady has done us a great service by bringing this man to life and by shedding light on the era in which he lived. The reading of Ray Porter is excellent.
I thought this book was compelling because of its subject, and it's well written, with logical, linear threads.
But I wanted to read more about Fischer's breakdown, and what led him to withdraw from conventional life. I wanted to see Fisher from the inside. I don't know if that's even possible, or if he ever sought counseling or even knew or cared that his life was in a "move" more baffling than his most challenging chess match.
I'd love to see another writer, or even this one, continue to plunder the depths where "Endgame" leaves off.
I was blissfully unaware of the life of Bobby Fischer. From my childhood, I was aware that he was one of the finest chess players in history and the greatest American chess master. I was drawn to this book because Fischer seemed like an interesting character. What I found as the narration unfolded was that Fischer was a man who was torn by his incredible genius and insight. His ability to make meaning on the chessboard was matched only by his ability to use that same insight and genius to craft thoughts and thought-schemas that bordered on the maniacal. Mr. Brady tells Fischer's story in a way that lays all of this out. Mr. Brady is not an apologist for Bobby, nor is he an attacker. He is a faithful biographer. As I arrive at the end of this production, I feel that I have come to know this wonderful and terrible man and Mr. Brady has accomplished this without burying me in chess jargon or algebraic notation.
Ray Porter's narration was first-rate. His speech is easy to follow and lacks idiosyncracy. The best word that I can think of to describe Mr. Porter's style is transparent.
In final reflection on the life of Bobby Fischer, I am reminded of a slim volume written by Owen Lee on Richard Wagner entitled, "Wagner: The Terrible Man and His Truthful Art." Sadly, this same title could apply to the tortured genius that was Robert James Fischer.
I strongly recommend this audiobook to anyone who is seeking to understand this enigmatic man.
There was much I didn't know about Bobby Fischer that Frank Brady brought out in the book. I enjoyed the reading/performance of Ray Porter. Ray sounded like you would think Bobby sounded.
This is a very enjoyable listen. I warn listeners that they are about to get very mad at Bobby for the bigot he became. A genius, yes.
The book makes you think about all that Bobby could have been had he not embarked on such a hateful course.
It appears that he couldn't help himself as he was self loathing.
I would have liked to have heard more about opinions of his "psychosis" from a psychological perspective. After hearing about this man, I am left with the conclusion that he was very lonely and sad.
I would highly recommend the book.
For somebody who only plays chess once in a blue moon I found this book very intriguing. Bobby really comes across as seriously tormented from a young age until his death. There is not too much technical language, but the author does jump time quite a bit which can make it difficult to follow.
As much as Frank Brady has done a first rate job of writing this book the real star is Ray Porter, the narrator. The brilliant attention to detail, given so many Eastern European names peppered throughout this book, is a hallmark of Porter's vocal delivery. Brady's detail is extraordinary and by the end I was left with a real sense of loss.
As much as Fisher achieved in the world of chess, which remains unsurpassed, there was so much more available to him had he been able to curb his self-destructive traits. It's unlikely Brady's account of Fischer's life will be seen as anything other than THE definitive biography of the chess legend.
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.
always looking for the next fabulous audiobook. I'm so glad to have found the audible website.
in spite of not being a chess player I chose to listen to this biography, and found it well worth my while.
The life and times of Bobby Fisher are brought to life in such a way that his complexities are
contained and explored in a very well researched and compassionate story.
Bobby's life after winning the 1972 match against Spassky became in itself a little like a game of chess
as he sought refuge in other countries, in response to his problems with the US authorities.
He was never able to outrun his own paranoia against certain races and organizations, and lived with
this until the end of his life. And it is no secret that he wasn't a great diplomatist. (a great pity because
he could have achieved much)
Somehow I felt that the real heroes in this story were the Icelandic
people who allowed him to live in their country until the end of his life, who accepted him, tolerated
his eccentricities and looked after him at his most frail. They have my admiration.
I am not a chess player, and barely know how to play the game, but this book was a home run! Perfectly written, with fantastic narration, and a
I grew up in the Bobby Fischer chess craze era and was really enamored by the persona of Bobby Fischer. But his descent into madness was completely unknown to me. This was an excellent biography of a truly unique individual. The first half of the book was stronger than the second half. The presentation of a waste of a great mind is always bittersweet.
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