3.32 (485 ratings by Goodreads)
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St Petersburg, 1914. Dr Otto Spethmann, a famous psychoanalyst, is implicated in a murder. But he is preoccupied with Avrom Rozental, the brilliant chess master who is due to play the most important competition of his life but is on the verge of a breakdown. With the city rife with speculation and alarm, Spethmann broods over his own chessboard, its pieces frozen mid-battle, and contemplates the forces - political, historical, sexual - that are holding him in their grasp.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 20mm | 181.44g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0747587299
  • 9780747587293
  • 480,168

Review quote

'A clever and exciting thriller ... a crime novel that's both literary and gripping, a rare treat' Daily Mail 'Brilliant ... atmospheric, ingenious and perfectly paced' Independent on Sunday 'Full of murder, political intrigue and moral dilemmas, and, everywhere, there are lies and betrayal ... Zugzwang is a thriller with ambitions. It has echoes of Graham Greene, Brian Moore and Alan Furst ... Zugzwang is an entertaining and serious work of fiction' TLS 'This classy, literate thriller is about chess, psychoanalysis, Russian skullduggery, history, mystery, romance - and more' The Times
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About Ronan Bennett

Ronan Bennett was brought up in Belfast. He is the author of four novels, including the hugely acclaimed The Catastrophist (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award) and Havoc, in Its Third Year (winner of the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year and longlisted for both the Booker Prize and the IMPAC award). He has also written screenplays for film and television. Zugzwang was serialised weekly in the Observer in 2006. Ronan Bennett lives in London with his family.
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Rating details

485 ratings
3.32 out of 5 stars
5 11% (51)
4 30% (146)
3 43% (209)
2 14% (70)
1 2% (9)
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