The Luzhin Defense

The Luzhin Defense

3.95 (7,139 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Vladimir Nabokov's early novel is the dazzling story of the coarse, strange yet oddly endearing chess-playing genius Luzhin. Discovering his prodigious gift in boyhood and rising to the rank of international Grandmaster, Luzhin develops a lyrical passion for chess that renders the real world a phantom. As he confronts the fiery, swift-swooping Italian Grandmaster, Turati, he brings into play his carefully devised defence. Making masterly play of metaphor and imagery, The Luzhin Defense is the book that, of his early works, Nabokov felt 'contains and diffuses the greatest warmth'.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 118 x 194 x 30mm | 399.16g
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141196939
  • 9780141196930
  • 365,461

Flap copy

Nabokov's third novel, The Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive, distracted, withdrawn, sullen--an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life. His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster--but at a cost: in Luzhin' s obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants the world of reality. His own world falls apart during a crucial championship match, when the intricate defense he has devised withers under his opponent's unexpected and unpredictabke lines of assault.
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Review quote

He did us all an honour by electing to use, and transform, our language. * Anthony Burgess * Nabokov can move you to laughter in the way that masters can - to laughter that is near to tears. * The Guardian *
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About Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was one of the great writers of the twentieth century, as well as a translator and lepidopterist. His works include, from the Russian novels, The Luzhin Defense and The Gift; from the English novels, Lolita, Pnin, Pale Fire and Ada; the autobiographical Speak, Memory; translations of Alice in Wonderland into Russian and Eugene Onegin into English; and lectures on literature. All of the fiction and Speak, Memory are published in Penguin.
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Rating details

7,139 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 31% (2,214)
4 40% (2,887)
3 23% (1,637)
2 5% (328)
1 1% (73)
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