Player On the Other Side (1963)
The essence of the game of chess lies in the ability of the player to foresee which move the player on the other side will make. That in itself is difficult enough. Not knowing the identity of your advisory only adds to the problem put before you. The four inhabitants of the 'castles' around York Square are made part of an unpleasant and dangerous chess game. One question almost immediately springs to mind if in fact one of the pawns isn't a player also? Are Robert, Emily, Myra and Percival York: " players or being played? (cover)
The murders began with a note:
This was the overture to the murders. The note came to Walt, for many years handyman for the four miniature castles that made up York Square.
|Above left to right: dust and 2 hardcovers for Random House; dustcovers for Gollancz (1963) and Gollancz (1976). (Click on the covers to see the differences) *|
|The series was supposed to end with The Finishing Stroke but Frederic Dannay had further ideas, so in 1963 The Player on the Other Side appeared. This book was written from a Dannay 42-page outline by science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon and then extensively revised by Manfred B. Lee to which Dannay added some revisions. Controversy has led some to believe this novel should not be placed "squarely in the Queen canon". There can be no discussion that this book is a real Queen as both writers had a "'big" hand in the writing of the story as such.|
Several references to other writers.
Borges' "Death and the Compass", Bernard
Shaw and Huxley.
That would be Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)
a British biologist and defender of the theories of Darwin.
In the essay "A Liberal Education and Where to Find It" (1868)
the actual (slightly larger)
quote is even more intriguing:
The book received an Edgar nomination for the best novel in 1964.
|Above: The Player on The Other Side was published in Toronto Star Weekly, December 14 and 21, 1953.|
Other articles on this book
(1) Reading Ellery Queen - The Player On The Other Side Jon Mathewson (Feb 2016)
(2) A Chess Problem at The Passing Tramp (Nov 10. 2015)
(3) The Grandest Game In The World Ho-Ling (April 30. 2015)
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