Saturday, April 04, 2009

Perhaps Not Rubbish

Cast your minds back first to Sunday 15th March.

I'll admit it ... I was judging a book by it's cover (well that and the claim that the author was Dan Brown two decades before Dan Brown was Dan Brown).

Yesterday evening I was flicking through a twenty year old chess magazine trying to find a theoretical article on the Slav I'd remembered that the Pein formerly known as Speedy Malc had written when I found this ...

"34. The Eight

A better bet
[ than Jeffrey Archer's chess short story from his 'A Twist in the Tale' collection - JMGB ] is The Eight, a blockbuster of a first novel by the American author Katherine Neville (Headline, £6.95). Our heroine, a female computer expert, is engaged on a quest to collect the pieces of Charlemagne's chess set, which when complete will reveal The Secret Of The Ages. (Yes, we know Charlemagne didn't really play chess, but why spoil a good story?) Intertwined with this is the story of a nun at the time of the French Revolution engaged on the same quest.

It's a heady combination of adventure story, political thriller and historical novel with elements of chess and mysticism: it's settings span three continents and nearly 200 years Maybe not great literature but certainly a gripping read."

Addicts' Corner, Mike Fox & Richard James
Chess Monthly October 1989, 54(7)

So perhaps I've dismissed the book too quickly. Anybody out there who's read it and willing to provide an independent opinion?

In a pleasing Plaskettesque coincidence RJ turned up in the comments box to yesterday's post.

1 comment:

Richard James said...

Hello again.

Yes, I recall rather enjoying The Eight many years ago. Tosh, perhaps, but enjoyable tosh and, as far as I remember, rather better written than The Da Vinci Code (not difficult). I haven't yet read The Fire (waiting for the paperback to come out in June) but the reviews on Amazon are rather mixed.

By the way, my thanks to Morgan for such an enjoyable puzzle yesterday. I haven't yet worked out the full code - my copy of the complete Sherlock Holmes is not within easy reach.