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The King Is Dead

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781399601160

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 15th August 2024

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Fiction: Special Features / Short Stories

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Walter Tevis is widely regarded as a master for both his gritty poolhall novels and his brilliant rendering of the world of competitive chess. This long overdue collection establishes Tevis’s rightful place as a maestro of the short form, as well. Including previously unpublished stories from journals and magazines, this entertaining collection showcases Tevis’s characteristic perceptiveness, empathy, and range.

In one story, a man receives a phone call from his future self and follows their instructions to unpredictable, calamitous results. In another, a famous actor and a young actress showcase their talent for acting both on and off the stage. There are five short stories set in poolhalls, including one that features Fast Eddie Felson and another that was the basis for the novel The Hustler. Here also is his first fictional foray into chess, with a ranked chess player finding fellowship in the prison yard with another player.

In all of them, Tevis reminds us again and again why his writing has long been revered for its roving curiosity and innate humanity.

A W&N Essential


Tevis writes about pool with power and poetry and tension . . . Grabs the reader and doesn't let go. You don't have to appreciate pool to like this book, to appreciate its sense of living on the edge
Washington Post on THE COLOR OF MONEY
Sheer entertainment. It is a book I reread every few years - for the pure pleasure and skill of it
Michael Ondaatje on THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT
Compelling. . . . A magnificent obsession
Los Angeles Times on THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT
Tevis traps us in the breathless drama of the moment and makes us feel the same intense involvement his characters feel
The Plain Dealer
If Hemingway had the passion for pool that he had for bullfighting, his hero might have been Eddie Felson
A fine, swift, wanton, offbeat novel
The New York Times on THE HUSTLER