Beth Harmon becomes an orphan when her parents are killed in an automobile accident. At eight years old, she is placed in an orphanage in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, where the children are given a tranquillizer twice a day. Plain and shy, she learns to play chess from the janitor in the basement and discovers that she is a chess genius. She is ...
Beth Harmon becomes an orphan when her parents are killed in an automobile accident. At eight years old, she is placed in an orphanage in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, where the children are given a tranquillizer twice a day. Plain and shy, she learns to play chess from the janitor in the basement and discovers that she is a chess genius. She is adopted by Alma and Allston Wheatley and goes to a local school, but remains an outsider. Desperate to study chess and having no money, she steals a chess magazine from a newspaper store and then some money from Alma Wheatley and a girl at school, so that she can enter a tournament. She also steals some of the tranquillizers to which she is becoming addicted. At thirteen she wins the tournament, and by sixteen she is competing in the US Open Championship. Like Fast Eddie (in "The Hustler"), she hates to lose.
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This book, about a young orphan who becomes a chess prodigy, is absolutely fascinating. For any chess lover it is really compelling, but even for someone only familiar with the game there is real character development, excitement, and a great story.
Feb 4, 2010
lonely child learns chess- becomes obsessed and br
Kind of a rough beginning with a rape, but this is a wonderful read- a real page turner- and I don't even play chess. Good characters and story line.
Apr 24, 2007
Excellent novel even if you know little about chess, even better for young chess enthusiests. (but not too young, has some sex , not graphic). I read and enjaoyed it very much, and gave it to my grandson, a ranked highschool player. It is mainly about a shy girl from an orphanage who overcomes great obsticles to become a national chess champion
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