Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady



5/4/11

A Social Problem

I feel like such a nag but someone ought to be able to point out a 300 lb gorilla in the room when it knuckle walks, glowers and pounds the walls. I will be that very nag and shortly name the ape accordingly.

***

Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady. Crown, 416 pages, $25.99.

It was already obvious when he was a very young boy that he suffered from a "social problem". He "couldn’t relate to other children" — to the tune, for example, of getting kicked out of kindergarten. His biographer, as is his wont, puts the matter more softly, writing that Regina, the boy's mother, "was compelled to withdraw him". He adds that the kid "invariably separated himself from other children [and that] by the time he reached the fourth grade, he'd been in and out of six schools—almost two a year—leaving each time because he couldn't abide his teachers, classmates, or even the school's location."