I wanted to finish this novel. The narrator, Amy Landon, has a soothing voice, and understood Beth's emotional remove from others and what that might sound like. The author, Walter Tevis, has given us other important American stories turned into landmark films such as The Hustler, The Color of Money, and The Man Who Fell to Earth.
I truly believe you need to understand chess to follow this novel's progression. Many of Beth's plays, and tournaments' rules and activities, are given without any explanation, which is frustrating. Plus, there is so much alcohol abuse, without it pressing forward the story. Both Beth and her mother drink beer like mother, often in physically impossible quantities and in a method of communication with each other and with other people. I am not sensitive to alcohol abuse or alcoholism per se, but even I became very uncomfortable with the frequency of it. I became so hyperaware of it that it took me out of the book.