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Un colpo di pistola chiude la vita di un ricco imprenditore tedesco. Un suicidio? Un omicidio? E per quale colpa? Dietro quel gesto si spalanca un inferno che ha la forma di una scacchiera. Risalendo indietro, mossa per mossa, troveremo due maestri del gioco, opposti in tutto Un colpo di pistola chiude la vita di un ricco imprenditore tedesco.
Risalendo indietro, mossa per mossa, troveremo due maestri del gioco, opposti in tutto, e animati da un odio inesauribile, che attraversano gli anni e i cataclismi politici pensando soprattutto ad affilare le proprie armi per sopraffarsi. Asciutto, lucido, teso, questo romanzo lo conferma con una storia che procede essa stessa come una efferata partita di scacchi — e insieme ci rivela uno scrittore.
Get A Copy. Paperback , Fabula , pages. Published May 19th by Adelphi first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters.
Sort order. Eons ago, when I was in my late teens ands early twenties, I was quite an avid chess player. A group of us used to go To North Ave. Three of four nights a week, we would go to each others houses and play against each other for quite a few hours. I was of course never as obsessed as are the participants in this novel.
Written by the author, his first book mind you, at the age of fifty-four, this i Eons ago, when I was in my late teens ands early twenties, I was quite an avid chess player. Written by the author, his first book mind you, at the age of fifty-four, this is novel of obsession, of patience, and the long reach of the past.
It opens with an apparent suicide, and then traces the victim into his past. A train ride that turns into something more, when a young man comes into the car usually only occupied by our victim and his friend, who play chess until they arrive at their prospective stations. Our victim you see is a chess critic. This is a tightly constructed novel, not a word is wasted, they all have meaning and one must pay attention.
The past is never past and the Holocaust and its memories never lose their impact, not when lives are at stake. Unfortunately although this author has written others, I can only find one other novel translated into English.
When a successful businessman who's also a powerful figure in the chess world is found dead by gunshot wound on his estate near Vienna, no one's really certain if it's a matter of accident, suicide or murder -- no one, that is, except the initially anonymous narrator of this short novel, and possibly one other. The only clue the cops have is that, on the rich man's desk, there's a crudely made cloth chessboard with appropriately scratched buttons for the pieces.
Through two extended flashbacks, When a successful businessman who's also a powerful figure in the chess world is found dead by gunshot wound on his estate near Vienna, no one's really certain if it's a matter of accident, suicide or murder -- no one, that is, except the initially anonymous narrator of this short novel, and possibly one other.
Through two extended flashbacks, we're given the explanation of why the death happened. I was absolutely gripped by this, and read it in an evening. To be fair, it's a very short novel. Even so. The end came as something of a startlement, because I was expecting to find a final chapter spelling out exactly what went on on that fateful night; but then within moments I realized I didn't need that final explanation: the novel had succeeded in playing the trick of turning the "murder mystery" element into something secondary, and besides I knew enough that I could create in my own imagination any of two or three perfectly satisfactory endings.
It's as if I'd reached that point in a chess game where the result has become obvious, even if various possible sequences of moves might be used to reach that result -- and I'm sure this effect was Maurensig's intent.
The novel's infused with chess, of course. I haven't played chess more than a handful of times since my late teens or so, but I found this to be no disadvantage. The idea of using a particular chess gambit -- the Luneburg Variation of the title -- as a means of drawing a criminal out of the shadows seems to me quite enchanting. I should add that this is the best, most naturalistic piece of translation I've read in a goodly while: it's quite beautifully done, a literary achievement in its own right.
All credit to Jon Rothschild. View 2 comments. A masterpiece. I came across this book by chance, and I'm so glad I did. Maurensig's debut is otherworldly. The complex story reads like a game of chess. Each movement on the board has consequences, sometimes understood only long after the move has been made.
A masterfully woven story about chess, human nature and obsession. By its very first sentence you already know that the book is a masterpiece.
It reads: "They say that chess was born in bloodshed. A real chess aficionado, he had vast collections of excellent chess sets and chess books but when his body was found a chess board made of coarse rags sewn together, with buttons used as crude chess pieces, were found on his desk, set up in a complic By its very first sentence you already know that the book is a masterpiece.
A real chess aficionado, he had vast collections of excellent chess sets and chess books but when his body was found a chess board made of coarse rags sewn together, with buttons used as crude chess pieces, were found on his desk, set up in a complicated middle game position.
The clue to solving the mystery of his death and this bizarre chess set is in his past where chess had been both a horror and a salvation.
This is the past from where came the other avid chessplayer who had not forgotten; the one who, in their life-and-death struggle over the chess board had realized and said this: "I learned two things from that conflict. First, that within our minds is a kind of limit beyond which anything is possible, though we always lack the stimulus required to reach it in everyday life.
Once I crossed that threshold I became invincible. Nothing could have happened to me. My mind was in the embrace of the Great Adviser, and I ranged over the board as a hawk soars above a field, not the slightest trembling of the smallest leaf escaping his gaze. My opponent was repeatedly subjected to combinations more intricate than any he'd ever seen. However good a player he was, however cold and clever, he groped like a blind man in a bog when faced with my resolve, for he was moving inanimate pieces of wood, while I commanded an array of fearsome golems.
I felt as omnipotent as Steinitz when he claimed he could play against God Himself, conceding his opponent a pawn. That one, he fully realized, only after the passage of years and was tied up with defeat.
It explains the pictures he keeps of persons long dead. Don't worry if you can't understand this review. Maybe you don't play the game at all. Or that your game is not as good as mine. Or maybe I'm just teasing you so you'll read the book yourself. Paolo Maurensig's first novel comes so close it could probably smell the fetid, decaying breath of greatness on its shoulder, then turned away at the last minute.
Maurensig sets things up beautifully, opening with the discovery of the body of a chess magazine editor in his garden. When the police can't decide if it were murder or suicide, the death is labelled "mysterious circumstances" and filed away. We then travel back in time to a few hours before the man's death and are given the circumstances surrounding it. This happens in two extended flashbacks, the first of the victim's long train ride to his country estate, the second the story of a legendary chess player during world war II.
There is much more to these, but to reveal more details of them would set off a chain of unforgivable spoilers. All works quite nicely, and everything is going along swimmingly, until you get to the book's last page and wonder where the final present-day scene, the one the whole book begs for, went. It's certainly not in the book. It's possible the author left it out in order to preserve the "mysterious circumstances" surrounding the editor's death, but in that case, why write the rest of the book?
Maurensig has been compared to Friedrich Durrenmatt on a number of occasions. From the perspective of writing style, the comparison may well be justified; both seem fond of brief, straightforward novels with mysteries at their center about which the greatest question is "why" rather than "who?
However, Durrenmatt is capable of handing the reader all the clues and letting him work things out; Maurensig left out a few pieces of this puzzle, and it makes the book, ultimately, a frustrating exercise. On a Sunday morning, the body of Dieter Frisch, 68, was found dead, "the result of a pistol shot fired at very close range, the bullet piercing the palate and exiting through the occipital lobe.
La variante di Lüneburg
Paolo Maurensig born is an Italian novelist , best known for the book Canone inverso , a complex tale of a violin and its owners. Maurensig was born in Gorizia , northern Italy. Before becoming a novelist, he worked in a variety of occupations, including as a restorer of antique musical instruments. His second book was Canone inverso.
La variante di Luneburg