So I read this book (no shit Fang you’ve been doing so non-stop lately), and it’s really rather good. Good enough for me to share it with you.
If you want a full summary right off the bat, I suggest you go here, because I ain’t giving you one. I’m giving you a short idea of what the story is about.
English name of the book is The Royal Game, by the way.
The story is set on some cruise ship of sorts. On board, the world champion chess player. Some people want to get through his thick autistic-ass skull to get him to talk, so they play chess with each other. They’re nothing special, so he just ignores them. McDude confronts him and challenges the champion to a game of chess. He has to pay the champion 250 bucks up front.
So they’re playing his chess game, McDude is obviously losing. Mysterious guy gives him very specific pointers (“b3 to c4”), and McDude wins the game. Champion notices and wants to challenge mystery guy to a game. No can do.
Dr. B., previously knows as mystery guy, talks to the protagonist and reveals he was kept as prisoner of war during WWII, in a hotel room from which he could not exit, for months, maybe even more than a year, on end. He managed to steal a book containing popular chess-matches step by step during one of the interrogations, and then proceeded to spend his time playing chess with bread crumbs, and eventually in his head, against himself.
In his brain, chess got linked to the traumatic situation he was and, and thus his doctor recommend he shouldn’t play chess anymore. Will he go for one single game? Find out by reading the book.
Psychologically focussed novella. Psychology is pretty darn awesome, so of course this attracted me. Besides, it’s a novella, so nothing relentlessly long and tiring. Mostly to-the-point storytelling, really good read.
If you ever get the chance, check it out. It must be pretty damn sweet if it got me to like it, right?