Chess. It is a masterpiece. The emotions, the history, the narrative, are so gripping! I wish everyone would read this book! I wish it was an exam text! It is about chess, but the game is applied in a way, I had never imagined, as a coping mechanism in the time of World War Two, an avoidance to mental torture. It isn't an easy tale, but it is just so thought provoking, describing the power of the mind when dealing with dreadful circumstances. Not only the power of the mind, but the importance of books as a means of mental stimulation. Imagine being locked in a room, day in, day out, with no books, paper, or pens, no view, no conversation...nothing to stimulate the mind. This book makes you realise how terrible this really is, and how lucky we are.
Fascinating fact! Anthea Bell is the translator for Stefan Zweig's books and my beloved Asterix and Obelix comic book collection! What a discovery!!!