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The story is about a chess genius who finds the chess figures overrunning his real life just when it started to mean so much to him. The protagonist, Luhzin’s adorable, but afflictive clumsiness seems to vanish as he soars over the chessboard, but his exalted concentration there makes it ever heavier to return to.
What makes this book stand out?
The cornerstone theme of the novel is one Nabokov's hallmark character themes: the social castaway. It's undoubtedly one of Vladimir Nabokov best sellers.
Read it for
It's pretty difficult for a writer to get hold of a game he is writing about, but Nabokov has very well done that by understanding the shades of chess.
Don't read it for
The title is baffling as it only comes around when it is all but overcome. Overall, this is a fine novel.