Once u-pawn a time

22 Apr

A book about chess might not sound interesting, especially if, like me, you don’t really play chess. But Grandmaster by David Klass  is a really good read.

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It centers around Daniel Pratzer, a high school freshman and new to his school’s chess club. In fact, he is new to chess. When two of the chess team’s top players invite he & his dad to a tournament because tell his father is a chess grandmaster, Daniel is incredulous. He has never seen his father play chess, or heard him talk about it. When Daniel and his father go to the tournament, the true story comes out. But it comes in small pieces, which is what makes this such a page turner.

Grandmaster  reminded me of another really good novel about a game that seems dull. The Cardturner: A Novel About a King, a Queen, and a Joker by Louis Sachar.

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Reading this one, I wanted to join a Bridge league. My parents played bridge and it looked weird and boring to me. but Sachar manages to teach you enough about bridge, without boring you, and tells a really good story along the way.

The summer after junior year of high school looks bleak for Alton Richards. His girlfriend has dumped him to hook up with his best friend. He has no money and no job. His parents insist that he drive his great-uncle Lester to his bridge club four times a week and be his cardturner—whatever that means. Alton’s uncle is old, blind, very sick, and very rich. Alton soon finds himself intrigued by his uncle, by the game of bridge, and especially by the pretty and shy Toni Castaneda. As the summer goes on, he struggles to figure out what it all means, and ultimately to figure out the meaning of his own life.

So two books in which a game sheds some light not he human condition.

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