Friday, September 4, 2015
Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall-from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady
Book 45 about Bobby Fischer I read more quickly than the last two biographies, but that's because it was shorter rather than better.
In fact it was quite a disappointing book because you get the feeling the author didn't know Bobby Fischer at all well. Nearly all the periods of his life which are covered to any degree are those for which Fischer was in the public eye. There are long periods when Fischer disappeared from the public daze and these are sketched over in the main in Endgame. The truth I suppose is that there is nobody who could produce such a book as Fischer was such a loner, so we have to make do with this which is mainly a biography about Fischer's chess games with the odd bit of personal stuff.
I have to say some books inspire you especially when they are about the lives of the greats but Bobby Fischer was a massive underachiever and he could have been a far greater individual than he was, in my view. The reason he wasn't "greater" is down to him. He was obviously suffering from mental illness and was paranoid about being persecuted to such a degree that it took over his life and stopped him playing chess. Although he was undoubtedly a genius lesser people have achieved more in life then he did. I award Endgame as a book 5 out of 10; I award Fischer as a person 2 out of 10, and 0 out of 10 for anything he did after the age of 30.
Next up for book 46 is a memoir about Incarceration.
Jaycee Dugard was taken aged 11 and kept away from her family in a similar case to Natascha Kampusch in Austria, whose book I have also read. I'd put this book in the True Crime section rather than Biography, but maybe when I've read it I'll see why it's been put in this category.