The Queen's Gambit - Walter Tevis

The Queen's Gambit

By Walter Tevis

  • Release Date: 2014-09-29
  • Genre: Literary Fiction
Score: 4.5
From 815 Ratings


Netflix’s most watched limited series to date! The thrilling novel of one young woman’s journey through the worlds of chess and drug addiction.​

When eight-year-old Beth Harmon’s parents are killed in an automobile accident, she’s placed in an orphanage in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. Plain and shy, Beth learns to play chess from the janitor in the basement and discovers she is a prodigy. Though penniless, she is desperate to learn more—and steals a chess magazine and enough money to enter a tournament. Beth also steals some of her foster mother’s tranquilizers to which she is becoming addicted.

At thirteen, Beth wins the chess tournament. By the age of sixteen she is competing in the US Open Championship and, like Fast Eddie in The Hustler, she hates to lose. By eighteen she is the US champion—and Russia awaits . . .

Fast-paced and elegantly written, The Queen’s Gambit is a thriller masquerading as a chess novel—one that’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Queen’s Gambit is sheer entertainment. It is a book I reread every few years—for the pure pleasure and skill of it.” —Michael Ondaatje, Man Booker Prize–winning author of The English Patient


  • Great Read

    By nakoi001
    I enjoyed the show very much and wanted to read this after. It was a pleasurable read.
  • 💙💙💙

    By amandax345
    Dives deep into the world of chess but is not at all boring. Beth is very compelling and as we journey though her life we get to know her and how she handles her problems.
  • I was on the edge of my seat

    By nforaker
    This book was incredible. For context, I’m not really a reader (often leaving books unfinished). I couldn’t put this book down. The writing style had me interested from page 2 through the end. PLEASE read this before seeing the show. This book is worth every page
  • The Queens Gambit

    By wilhelminavd
    After seeing The Queens Gambit on Netflix, I really wanted to read the book. It started off slow because I had just loved the visual rendition of it...... but as time went on I could see the original book taking shape much more eloquently. Some things they changed in the series just made the book more classic to me. I’m glad I read it....A wonderful moral message given!
  • 👍👍

    By Toad$tool
    I read this book because of the Netflix special. I started to watch it but saw it was based on a book so switch to the book instead while my husband finished the series. We like to compare notes. I have never played chess and know nothing about the game, but this author made the game a thrilling spectator sport! Interesting look into the world of pro chess and addiction. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
  • A Terrific Story

    By Dan110
    The Netflix series was very well done. The book is even better. See the series first, then read the book.
  • Ahead of its time

    By FriskyJoy
    A wonderful read, engrossing book. I never thought I’d love a book based on chess, but this was great. The author creates a young woman protagonist I feel I now know. All the characters are interesting and complex.
  • “The Queen’s Gambit” has a powerful affect that will stay with your for a lifetime.

    By geekvsmachine
    This is my most favorite book since I was a young adult reader although it covers a very adult reality. It pulls you in through a young girls eyes. An inquisitive orphan girl finds respite in days spent staring at a chess board with the building’s janitor. He sees her gift. She knows her potential. Can she find it within herself to achieve it?