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Summary

Engaging and fast-paced, this gripping coming-of-age novel of chess, feminism, and addiction speeds to a conclusion as elegant and satisfying as a mate in four.

Eight-year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is, until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels herself fully in control. 

By the age of 16, she's competing for the US Open championship. But as Beth hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting.

©2018 Walter Tevis (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Queen's Gambit

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Computer voice.

The book is great. The narrator sounds like Siri or even worse a computer voice. Truly awful.

8 people found this helpful

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Like listening to Siri

Without a doubt the worst narrator I’ve have the displeasure of listening to. Like listening to a cross between Siri and a sat nav. Got through about 30 minutes, returned and credit restored.

4 people found this helpful

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A lot better than I expected.

I always wanted to read this story as the title and chess interest me somewhat. I didn't expected that much from it. I was delightfully surprised. The story is a lot deeper than I first imagined it would be and the characters were alright. The main character was really good and I found her story enjoyable and believable. The chess was very interesting and Tevis kept it dramatic and never boring. Great book. I thought the narrator added greatly to the feeling of the story and she added a richness to it. I was impressed and would listen to more read by Amy.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Amazing book spoiled by an awful reading

This is an amazing book. It has always been. Unfortunately the voice is horrendous. The reader must have some issues with male characters. Why the need of using these mocking grunts when male characters speak is beyond human conception. Can't she just use a normal voice? Not all men speak like dehumanised zombie.

2 people found this helpful

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Lovely book, horrible listen

Really enjoyed the book, but the woman performing it bugged me to the point where I could hardly finish it.

2 people found this helpful

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Good story, not so good narrator.

I really liked this audiobook, because of the story. I have, however, to agree with other reviewers in saying that the narrator sounded a bit computer-ish, an odd mixture between Siri and Alexa. I only kept listening because I the story kept me there, would it have been for the narrator alone, I would have dropped it after a chapter.

1 person found this helpful

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Hugely enjoyable

After watching the Netflix series. I was nervous, but definitely not disappointed. Was totally engrossed

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Hi Siri can you read The Queen’s Gambit?

At first I thought it was a joke... turns out it was not. The book was narrated by Siri (ft. Alexa& Google Translate). Let’s be clear... I don’t listen to audiobooks and pay a premium price for them to have someone read the words out for me. I listen to them as it gives the story an extra layer, with all the emotions, voices and different tones of voice. This reader has managed to take all of this away from me. Otherwise, I liked the book! I watched the series first and can say I liked it better - unsurprising as it was rewritten 9 times before being made into a series... But the book helps me understand a lot more about Beth and also adds to the overall story. But I truly prefer the series, which is not very common in my case.

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The netflix show is better

I would advise not reading the book if you love the TV show. Frankly the book did nothing new and only served to poke holes in the TV show.

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An excellent story, well told.

Some reviewers have complained about the narration of the audio book. I had no problem with it, but I did listen at 1.3x normal speed, which may have helped. The story is great. If you have seen the excellent Netflix series, that is a very accurate adaptation.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 26-10-20

I can't listen to it.

I can't get through it. I can't listen to a breathy reader. too many drawn-out last words on every sentence.

189 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-10-20

Great book/ horrible narrator

Great book and story. However the narration is terrible. Very hard to listen to. Super slow speech with some characters and seems like shes mocking men and people from Kentucky. Very strange inflections and accents when the men speak. Plus all the accents are the same even tho they are suppose to be russian and mexican. I would reccomend reading it yourself and save your ears from the narrators terrible reading and voices.

151 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-10-20

Awful Narrator

I cannot get passed how monotone the narrator is! I tried to listen on but could not.

113 people found this helpful

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  • Debi Larson
  • 31-10-20

Narrator ruins great story

Walter Tevis writes a great narrative but “readers” should stick to the written word. Amy Landon is a mediocre narrator but when attempting to do male voice it becomes comical and distracting.

58 people found this helpful

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  • Aimee
  • 31-10-20

Hard pass.

The narrator was breathy and flat. I had to increase the speed to 1.25 to make it bearable. The characters were poorly developed and none were likable. The story was plodding and pointless. The dialogue made me cringe and laugh out loud from its absurdity. I kept listening hoping there would be something redeemable based on all the good reviews. There wasn't.

47 people found this helpful

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  • knvmxi
  • 06-10-20

What a look into the game of chess!

Wow, this was like reading a thriller. I was on the edge of my seat when the main character was playing her games. I felt her triumphs and her pain through the games she played, the author was able to provide the a clear idea of the tactics and strategy, enough so that a non-chess expert could participate in the emotional tension he creates. The characters are complex and rich, the plot is remarkably well paced using chess games-not an easy feat.The activity and turmoil of the mind and the glimpse of the fugue state that Beth experiences create excitement and anticipation. The only other novel that I’ve enjoyed this much based on the game of chess is The Luhzin Defense-which again, recreates the drama of the mind pushed to its very limits and potential. Ultimately, through chess in these two novels, i am immersed in the drama of human experience from the particular lens that the game of chess gives. Loved this novel, it’s so good!!

45 people found this helpful

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  • thawstone
  • 30-06-19

Don't Need to be a Chess Fan

Walter Tevis' Mockingbird is one of my all time favorite books. Though I listened to it many years ago, it haunts me to this day. This book was a leap of faith. I have no particular interest in chess, however I opted to trust reviewers who claimed it didn't matter. The reviewers were right. Somehow Tevis manages to make the matches riveting without the need to know exactly what's happening on the chess board. The tension is palpable throughout. Perhaps this is partly because the matches are largely about the clash of the personalities involved. Add to this the fascinating story of the protagonist's upbringing and the ever lurking shadow of the orphanage's method to maintain tranquility. I didn't notice any reviews by a chess enthusiast who might verify one way or the other: are the moves described the actual ones prescribed by the named techniques, i.e. the Queen's Gambit? Not that it mattered to me, I'm just curious.

40 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bryan dwyre
  • 28-10-20

Kinda rough

Narrator has the incorrect inflection. Sounds like they are fighting the natural pace of sentence ms.

39 people found this helpful

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  • JAM
  • 28-10-20

The Netflix Series is good

But I think I enjoyed listening to the novel more. Sparked me to get out our chess set and play during the pandemic, too.

33 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrea R. Greenwood
  • 10-11-20

Just one complaint.

I loved the story but this readers makes all the male characters sound like Barney the Dinosaur.

32 people found this helpful