The Queen’s Gambit (Walter Trevis)

The Queen’s Gambit is a gripping novel that follows the remarkable journey of Beth Harmon, a young chess prodigy. As she navigates the male-dominated world of competitive chess, she battles personal demons while striving to become the world’s greatest chess player.

Author: Walter Trevis
Year of publication: 1983
Pages: 256





Plot Complexity: moderate
Language Complexity: moderate
Ideas Complexity: moderate

The Queen’s Gambit is a novel that exhibits a moderate level of complexity in terms of language, ideas, and plot. The language used strikes a balance between simplicity and intricacy, employing advanced vocabulary and sentence structures to engage the reader. The ideas explored delve into deeper themes without becoming overwhelmingly complex, offering thought-provoking elements that require contemplation. The plot features multiple story lines and subplots revolving around Beth, incorporating twists and turns that maintain reader interest while remaining accessible and comprehensible.


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 sixteen, she’s competing for the U.S. 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.


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