MASTER PRIM by James Whitfield Ellison


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Master Prim, Grandmaster Prim, enfant terrible, boy wonder, is a frighteningly hostile chess prodigy (""I want to kill everyone"") just occasionally reminiscent of that sullen phenomenon Bobby Fischer. He's well on his way to becoming the World Chamption at nineteen when interviewed here by narrator Francis Rafael who had given up just this kind of potential satellite success as a young man to marry, and here and there he has a few retrospective regrets. Also qualms, when Rafael's daughter falls in love with Julian Prim, and when he leaves to defeat the U.S. title-holder, with one unexpected move in the novel's end game.... While comparisons in this case seem otiose (Nabokov's The Defense is still the novel to read about chess), this is an amiable, catchy one-shot entertainment, young in tone (as were his earlier books) and not very developed as a novel.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1967
Publisher: Little, Brown