The critically acclaimed novel from a master of contemporary American fiction - now available as an ebook.
A story of genius, performance, and the psychological forces that drive the competitive spirit.Brian Stoppard is blessed with prodigious natural talents. Howard Cohen, less so. Starting in middle school in New York, Howard watches Brian effortlessly win at everything he tries: He’s a natural chess champion, a perfect athlete, a brilliant student. As the two move through life as friends and competitors, Brian’s easy success is a constant source of envy, awe, and inspiration for the ambitious but less-gifted Howard.
Told with great humor and style, The Game Player is a story of those born to greatness and those who must strive for it.
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Excellent Friendship Story in NYC 1960's Suburbs
The Game Player is a feel good story about two young boys whose friendship over about a dozen years develops into brotherly love as they grow up into young adults. Written by Rafael Yglesias in 1978, the story starts with middle-schooler Howard Cohen moving from New York City into the suburbs with his parents. There, he observes that all the girls are blonde and all the boys are athletic. In other words, the students in his middle school are all perfect and very different from him.
Howard specifically observes Brian Stoppard who seems to win at everything he tries. To Howard, Brian appears to be a natural athlete, a straight-A student, and a perennial chess champion – all without exerting much effort. As the story develops, the focus is less on the competition between Howard and Brian and more on the friendship that develops between these two young boys as they get to know each other (and eventually respect each other) through high school, college and post-graduate work.
Paul Heitsch did an admirable job narrating. His voices “matured” as the boys grew up, which is particularly important when the characters start off young and end up as adults. His descriptive powers made the chess games come alive and exciting for me.
Simply put, this story should be made into a movie – it’s that good!