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Searching for Bobby Fischer

Narrated by: Lloyd James
Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Fred Waitzkin was smitten by chess during the historic Fischer-Spassky championship in 1972. When Fischer disappeared from public view, Waitzkin’s interest waned—until his own son, Josh, emerged as a chess prodigy.

Searching for Bobby Fischer is the story of Fred Waitzkin and his son, from the moment six-year-old Josh first sits down at a chessboard until he competes for the national championship. Drawn into the insular, international network of chess, they must also navigate the difficult waters of their own relationship. All the while, Waitzkin searches for the elusive Bobby Fischer, whose myth still dominates the chess world and profoundly affects Waitzkin’s dreams for his son.

©1988 Fred Waitzkin (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Superb....narrator Lloyd James...so fully inhabits the first-person narrative that he turns the book into a disturbing and fascinating character study." (AudioFile)

What members say

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Phil
  • WILLIAMSBURG, KY, United States
  • 06-29-11

Good book, I just wish I could hear it all.

The book is incomplete, and I tried downloading it in different formats with consistent results. The first five chapters are fine. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 are each truncated. I haven't checked the remaining chapters to see if the problem is present in the rest of the book; with that much material missing, there's really no point, since I have no more intention of listening to half a book than I would of trying to read a book which had several gaps of missing pages. This is completely unacceptable, and I'll certainly think twice before buying from Audible.com again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Fathers and sons

This is a good book which served as the basis of a very good film. The story of chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin and his father is a natural for anyone interested in chess and is a must read for anyone involved with children's competitive sports. See the movie as well. Lloyd James does a good enough job, but the editing is a bit spotty, some sentences unfinished and others repeated. Not a serious distraction, though

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What Good Books Do

Like many people, I had seen the film based on this book years ago. The book is different, truer to life, but the film captures the spirit of the book, even while bringing forward more minor characters, combining some others, and eliminating still more in the interest of time and comprehension. Still, the film took some great scenes directly from the text.

The book, like the film, takes a game that most people have only a passing knowledge of, and makes it exciting. Fred’s son, Josh, is as compassionate in this telling, and Fred’s criticism of himself is introspective and revealing.

I’ve rarely read a non-fiction book this gripping, and now want to watch the film again with this expanded view of the story in my head.

The reader was conversational and matter-of-fact, while still showing excitement and intensity at appropriate moments.

Well done.