- Grossmith, George & Weedon — The Diary of a Nobody (166 pages)
- McCarthy, Cormac — Blood Meridian (334 pages)
- Moore, Alan & Dave Gibbons — Watchmen (399 pages)
- Moore, Christopher — Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (507 pages)
- Murger, Henri — The Bohemians of the Latin Quarter (381 pages)
- Walk with Me: A Lenten Journey of Prayer for 2009 (98 pages)
- Douglas, Lloyd C. — The Robe (438 pages)
- Robinson, Marilynne — Gilead (281 pages)
- Jerome, Jerome K. — Three Men in a Boat (182 pages)
- Satrapi, Marjane — Persepolis (343 pages)
- Dodge, Jim — Fup (121 pages)
- Bauby, Jean-Dominique — The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly (114 pages)
- Fleming, Ian — Casino Royale (219 pages)
- Blake, Quentin — Clown (30 pages)
- Weigel, George — The Courage To Be Catholic (249 pages)
- Ishiguro, Kazuo — The Remains of the Day (255 pages)
- Orwell, George — Animal Farm (125 pages)
- Garner, James Finn — Politically Correct Bedtime Stories (81 pages)
- Robinson, Marilynne — Home (339 pages)
- Opera Magazine — Basses in Opera: Profiles of thirteen great basses (96 pages)
- Beaumarchais, Pierre-Augustin Caron de — The Figaro Trilogy (David Coward, transl.) (335 pages)
- Keyes, Daniel — Flowers for Algernon (217 pages)
- Bök, Christian — Eunoia (94 pages)
- Zweig, Stefan — Chess (76 pages)
Page count: 5480.
This posthumously-published novella is also known as The Royal Game or Chess Story (Schachnovelle in German). Whatever you choose to call it, I never thought I'd find an account of chess matches so engrossing. This is a fascinating little book!
The premise is simple. The narrator finds himself on a ship from New York to Buenos Aires with the enigmatic reigning World Champion of chess. The champ consents to a couple of games of chess, himself against the collection of spectators. The games are, shockingly, closer than expected, thanks to the help of a mysterious stranger.
As taut and exciting as the description of the chess matches are, they encompass only a few pages of the novella. It's the backstory that is so fascinating. Zweig delves into the history and psychology of the chess champ and the unlikely challenger, where we discover a couple of unusual and disturbing stories.
There's not much more I can say about a book as short as Chess without including spoilers. It's a compelling read, a pleasant discovery.