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Download Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness Audiobook, by Frank Brady Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,185 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frank Brady Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2011 ISBN: 9781470801953
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From Frank Brady, who wrote one of the bestselling books on Bobby Fischer of all time and who was himself a friend of Fischer’s, comes an impressively researched biography that for the first time completely captures the remarkable arc of Bobby Fischer’s life. When Bobby Fischer passed away in January 2008, he left behind a confounding legacy. Everyone knew the basics of his life—he began as a brilliant youngster, then became the pride of American chess, then took a sharp turn, struggling with paranoia and mental illness. But nobody truly understood him.

What motivated Fischer from such a young age, and what was the source of his remarkable intellect? How could a man so ambivalent about money and fame be so driven to succeed? What drew this man of Jewish descent to fulminate against Jews, and how was it that a mind so famously disciplined could unravel so completely? From Fischer’s meteoric rise, to an utterly dominant prime unequaled by any American chess player, to his eventual descent into madness, the book draws upon hundreds of newly discovered documents and recordings and numerous firsthand interviews conducted with those who knew Fischer best. It paints, for the very first time, a complete picture of one of America’s most enigmatic icons. This is the definitive account of a fascinating man and an extraordinary life, one that at last reconciles Fischer’s deeply contradictory legacy and answers the question, who was Bobby Fischer?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I learned something new on nearly every page of this wonderful book. Frank Brady is the perfect biographer for Bobby Fischer, and Endgame tells the full and fair story of Fischer’s astonishing rise and heartbreaking fall.”

    Christopher Chabris, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Invisible Gorilla 

  • Endgame is rich in detail and insight. It is sympathetic and human, but not at all naive. I admire Brady’s resolve, and I consider this book essential reading in the effort to understand Bobby Fischer and his place in our world.”

    David Shenk, New York Times bestselling author of The Genius in All of Us and The Immortal Game

  • “You don’t have to know the game of chess to be mesmerized by the dizzying and ultimately dark journey of the world’s most heralded player.”

    Pat H. Broeske, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Howard Hughes: The Untold Story

  • “It’s no exaggeration to call Bobby Fischer both one of the most admired and one of the most reviled figures in American history…A man of such extremes is no easy subject for biographical study…But Frank Brady, who knew Fischer for many years…seems unusually well qualified to capture his many facets and contradictions…Endgame is a rapt, intimate book, greatly helped by its author’s long acquaintance with Fischer, who died in 2008, and his deep grounding in the world of chess…Mr. Brady needn’t get technical to convey the gist of Fischer’s overarching chess strategy. And he writes clearly and interestingly about the combination of hard work, practice, hot temper, and complete irrationality that contributed to Fischer’s fighting spirit…Fascinating.”

    New York Times

  • “The Mozart of the chessboard is inseparable from the monster of paranoid egotism in this fascinating biography…Brady gives us a vivid, tragic narrative of a life that became a chess game.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Ray Porter narrates with a strong and forceful voice. He uses short pauses between words to emphasize the author’s points. Pronouncing the abundant Russian and Hungarian names with comfort, he lends a welcome authenticity to an introspective biography.”


  • “Brady’s insightful biography of the legendary chess player focuses more on Fischer’s life as a chess champion than on his much-publicized legal troubles and alleged psychological breakdowns…Brady is uniquely qualified to write this book. Not only is he a seasoned biographer and someone who knew Fischer on a personal level; he’s also an accomplished chess player himself, able to convey the game’s intricacies to the reader in a clear, uncomplicated manner. The book should appeal to a broad audience, from hard-core chess fans to casual players to those who are simply interested in what is a compelling personal story.”


  • Chess Life founding publisher Brady, who knew his subject well—and wrote about him in Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy—is generous, but never to a fault…Informed, thorough, sympathetic, and surpassingly sad.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Fischer is America’s greatest antihero. This fascinating biography is filled with hope, Cold War intrigue, the fulfillment of genius, and an explosive fall from grace that is both deeply moving and, ultimately, profoundly sad.”

    Jeremy Silman, author of The Amateur’s Mind

  • “The definitive portrait of the greatest—and most disturbed—chess genius of all time.”

    Paul Hoffman, author of The Man Who Loved Only Numbers

  • “I’ve wondered about the weird and fascinating life of Bobby Fischer since I was a teenage New York Times copyboy sent out to the lobby to keep Fischer’s mother from pestering editors and reporters…After fifty years, I’ve finally gotten the weird and fascinating biography I’ve been waiting for. Bravo, Brady.”

    Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental Sportswriter 

  • One of Amazon Best Book of the Month in February 2011
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2011
  • Recipient of the 2011Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A Washington Post Notable Book of 2011

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mtujohn | 2/20/2014

    " how exciting can a book on chess matches be? Some interesting insight into Bobby and I recommend it if that interests you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 2/12/2014

    " Fascinating look into perhaps *the* iconic figure of the late 20th century. You don't have to be a chess player to enjoy this book - I sure am not and I found it very interesting. Fischer's life is almost biblical in his rise and downfall. All while paralleled with geopolitics, power figures, and current events. It is said that there is a fine line between genius and insanity - Fischer is an example how one could be both. I highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 2/8/2014

    " Apparently,having an IQ over 180 doesn't bring you happiness. Instead, what Frank Brady describes is a life that has elements of a Greek tragedy--without the nobility. In this biography, Bobby Fischer burst on the chess scene becoming a master at 13 and a grand master at age 15. He rose like a rocket to become the American champion several years in a row, and then became world champion in 1972 in Reykjavik, Iceland after beating Russian Grand Master Boris Spassky. But then the darker side of Bobby Fischer seemed to take hold. He returned to a hero's welcome in the United States and over the next 20 years turned down millions of dollars for chess tournaments because the organizers either couldn't or wouldn't agree to all of his, often petty, demands. He was reduced to living for years in poverty in Los Angeles--subsisting primarily on his mother's Social Security checks--and his political views became more extreme. He was increasingly paranoid, rabidly anti-Semitic (although he was Jewish), and a Holocaust denier. He saw conspiracy everywhere and believed that he was the target of multiple death threats. Because of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, the United States placed travel restrictions on U.S. citizens wanting to travel to that area. Then Bobby Fischer announced in 1992 that he would play a rematch with Boris Spassky in Montenegro. Although warned by the State Department not to travel to the area, Fischer decided to play the match with Spassky. He also announced that he had not paid taxes in the U.S. for the past 20 years. Following his second victory over Spassky, Fischer became a celebrity fugitive trying to avoid arrest and deportation to the United States for tax evasion. He also did not want to pay any taxes on the $5 million that he won in the second Spassky match, which he had deposited in a bank in Switzerland. By the time of his death, Fischer had publicly celebrated the 9/11 attack on the United States, tried to renounce his U.S. citizenship, been arrested and held in a Japanese prison for months, became a citizen of Iceland, and spent the last few years of his life living in Iceland as a virtual recluse. Brady delivers a fascinating book about a deeply disturbed and unhappy man--who, coincidentally, was a chess genius. Luckily, the reader has to have no prior knowledge of chess history, the rules of chess, or the strategies that are involved in international level play in order to enjoy this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miriam Wilcox | 1/14/2014

    " I didn't know anything about Bobby Fisher before reading this book. I knew he was some kind of a chess protege, but I didn't know about all the controversy he caused. This was a very engaging biography that covered the entire span of Bobby's life. It certainly never presented him as a likeable character or someone who can be redeemed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie D | 1/8/2014

    " A great look into a chess genius' mind, and his eventual self-inflicted societal decay "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 1/6/2014

    " Too much chess, too little madness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Benjamin | 1/2/2014

    " Disturbed, but arguably the best that ever was. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 12/31/2013

    " You should probably already have an interest in Bobby Fischer and/or chess before reading this book, otherwise you may keep wondering, as I did, "what is the point of this book?" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt Sarro | 10/4/2013

    " Bobby - total berserker... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alexis Goebel | 6/22/2013

    " gave up after 100 pages "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 12/30/2012

    " I have read contemporary articles (Rolling Stone article by Thomas Powers in July 20, 1972)that were more compelling than the writing in this book. I did enjoy the book, however, as I am new to what Fischer was all about and Brady served as a springboard to learn more about Fischer and chess. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gregory | 3/2/2012

    " Great story. Poor writing. Brady doesn't know the meaning of "ironically." Every few pages he drops a real prose clinker. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becca | 1/17/2012

    " I don't know why this author can't see that Bobby Fisher was always a little mad. No one noticed when he was in a socially acceptable cult and winning chest games. It only "manifested itself" when he started becoming politically incorrect with antisemitism and anti-American. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicky McHugh | 12/27/2011

    " Wow. What a terrific book. Remarkable story, well-told. Loved the sweeping arch of Bobby's career, insights into the chess world and the slow disintegration to the inevitable end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 9/18/2011

    " A riveting account of a name that became a household word. I would recommend this title for a book club since it is so introspective and he was such a troubled soul, especially if the members lived through the 1960s and remember the effect his brilliance had on the entire world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 7/13/2011

    " Got a little monotonous. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sean | 7/6/2011

    " An interesting look at an amazing talent, who was hampered throughout his life by his petulance, racism/anti-semitism, jealousy, and greed. A well written book on what could have been a very dry topic for someone with little to know history with Chess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 5/21/2011

    " Totally fascinating. Who knew chess could be so interesting? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael McLean | 5/16/2011

    " Just finished reading it. I'm no chess fan but have always been intrigued by the enigmatic Fischer. The book didn't disappoint. Fascinating to learn just how hateful and paranoid the man became later in life. Wow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronald | 5/9/2011

    " Fascinating study of America's greatest chess master. It was great reading in finding out what happened to Fischer in the years after his famous match with Spassky all the way to his death in Iceland. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gregory | 4/30/2011

    " Great story. Poor writing. Brady doesn't know the meaning of "ironically." Every few pages he drops a real prose clinker. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leo | 4/10/2011

    " Good book, but hard to give it 5 stars because the subject, while brilliant and pitiable, is so unlikable. "

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About the Author

Frank Brady is chairman of the Department of Mass Communications, Journalism, Television, and Film at St. John’s University and the founding editor of Chess Life magazine. He served as arbiter of international chess tournaments in 2001 and 2004 and wrote one of the bestselling chess books in history, Profile of a Prodigy, the biography of Bobby Fischer.

About the Narrator

Ray Porter has garnered fourteen Earphones Awards, two Audie nominations, and a multitude of enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. He has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Frasier, ER, Will & Grace, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Almost Famous. He has most recently received Audible’s Narrator of the Year Award. He is a fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.