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Carter Beats the Devil por Glen David Gold
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Carter Beats the Devil (original 2001; edição 2003)

por Glen David Gold

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,463514,541 (4.06)61
The mysterious death of President Harding in 1923 is only the curtain raiser to this extraordinary novel of magic and science. Charles Carter is Carter the Great, a name given to him by the supreme showman, Harry Houdini. Carter was born into privilege but became a magician out of need. Only at the moment of the performance, when an audience is brought together by a single experience, can Carter defeat his crippling fear of loneliness. But with every step into the twentieth Century, the stakes are growing higher. Science and the cinema are fast out-stripping even the master magician and instead of that single magic moment, there is only a headlong rush into an uncertain future.… (mais)
Membro:sipthereader
Título:Carter Beats the Devil
Autores:Glen David Gold
Informação:Hodder & Stoughton Audio Books (2003), Audio CD
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:***1/2
Etiquetas:novel, historical fiction, california

Pormenores da obra

Carter Beats the Devil por Glen David Gold (2001)

  1. 50
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay por Michael Chabon (tmspinks)
  2. 10
    World of Wonders por Robertson Davies (shanerichmond)
    shanerichmond: The lives of two magicians, and a slightly old- fashioned mode of storytelling seem to connect these books in my mind. Perhaps they are not that similar under the surface but they are both excellent.
  3. 00
    The Deptford Trilogy por Robertson Davies (JoLynnsbooks)
  4. 00
    Niagara Falls All Over Again por Elizabeth McCracken (sanddancer)
  5. 00
    by George por Wesley Stace (retropelocin)
  6. 01
    Angelmaker por Nick Harkaway (kitzyl)
    kitzyl: Commonalities include: nostalgia for the golden (criminal/magic) days gone by, details of an old and mysterious craft (horology/sleight of hand), flashbacks to character's childhood which explains their nowadays persona, mystery-thriller involving technological machines (truth-automata-bees/television).… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 51 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The "mysterious death of Warren Harding" plot is a bit boring, but this is supremely entertaining otherwise, a broad, big-hearted book. Probably closer to 4.5 stars. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
I've got to give Glen David Gold credit for looking for -- and finding -- a good story in some unexpected places. It's one thing to write a book of historical fiction that's set during the French Revolution, or the First World War, or some other well-publicized historical epoch. It's quite another to build your story about Warren G. Harding, fill it with vaudeville-era magicians not named "Harry Houdini" and Secret Service agents, and set it in Oakland, California. You can't accuse this author of choosing a well-trodden path, that's for sure. And he certainly knows his material: you'll learn a lot about the mechanics and theories of stage magic, the star-crossed twenty-ninth president, and the history of Northern California's second- (or maybe third-) most famous city.

And, at a sentence level, you can't call him a bad writer, either. His prose is fluid and flexible, and he imbues his subjects with a lively -- dare I say slightly magical? -- touch that keeps you turning the pages without flirting with pulp theatrics or cheap atmosphere. Gold does a more-than-creditable job of bringing his subjects to life, and, better yet, he skillfully evoking a time in which California still felt very much like a frontier of some sort. The Northern California described in this novel is still somewhat unformed, a place where eccentrics who'd struck it rich still had some room to spread their wings. But I felt that this book's eccentricity was, in a sense, both its strongest and weakest suit. "Carter Beats the Devil" features pirates, smugglers, an enchanting blind woman, a trained lion, a traveling magic show and much more. Its characters experience love and revenge and loss and betrayal and outrageous good fortune. Because Charles Carter, the book's namesake, still experiences a good deal of genuine sadness in his his life, you can't call "Carter Beats the Devil" camp, but some readers will find it a touch too whimsical. It might be no accident that it did quite well on the sales charts just a year before the tragedy that defined the first decades of the new century occurred: I'm not sure it would have fit the national mood after the towers fell. But this you might as well chalk up this criticism to personal preference: this one is, if not the most profound novel I've ever read, a ripping yarn by any reasonable definition. Be warned, though: at well over five hundred pages, it takes a while to get where it's going. Recommended if you suspect that the right author could combine all of the disparate plot elements above into a into one really good read. ( )
1 vote TheAmpersand | Dec 22, 2020 |
Excellent scenes, hit and miss dialogue (patter), really fun ending. ( )
  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
An interesting combination of characters from history. I like finding out that more and more of the characters are at least somewhat reality based. ( )
  ISCCSandy | Apr 9, 2019 |
An interesting combination of characters from history. I like finding out that more and more of the characters are at least somewhat reality based. ( )
  ISCCSandy | Apr 9, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 51 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Here is a book - a first novel, no less - to blow you away. It seeks to stun and amaze and deceive and, always, to entertain; and it seldom misses a trick in 600 pulsating pages. The style may be School of Doctorow, with florid flushes of John Irving, but the essential conceit is wholly original
adicionada por simon_carr | editarThe Guardian, Peter Preston (Sep 1, 2001)
 
This novel casts a spell that is sly, intoxicating, deceitful and enduring. Savour its every page, and don't believe a word.
adicionada por simon_carr | editarThe Independent, Graham Caveney (Aug 18, 2001)
 

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The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.

- Albert Einstein (Overture)
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For my assistant
the mysterious Miss Alice
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On Friday, August third, 1923, the morning after President Harding's death, reporters followed the widow, the Vice President, and Charles Carter, the magician.
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The mysterious death of President Harding in 1923 is only the curtain raiser to this extraordinary novel of magic and science. Charles Carter is Carter the Great, a name given to him by the supreme showman, Harry Houdini. Carter was born into privilege but became a magician out of need. Only at the moment of the performance, when an audience is brought together by a single experience, can Carter defeat his crippling fear of loneliness. But with every step into the twentieth Century, the stakes are growing higher. Science and the cinema are fast out-stripping even the master magician and instead of that single magic moment, there is only a headlong rush into an uncertain future.

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