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Carter Beats the Devil

Carter Beats the Devil Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Carter the Great was a prominent stage magician during the final decades of vaudeville, an era now known as the Golden Age of Magic. In the early part of the twentieth century, Carter, along with such prominent magicians as Houdini and Thurston, enjoyed a level of fame that would later be reserved for the stars of film and television. Glen David Gold's debut novel, Carter Beats the Devil, is a fictional account of Carter's colorful life and a reverent, well-researched portrait of vaudeville in the Jazz Age. It's also a marvelous story, complete with suspense, romance, tragedy, and one of the most memorable supporting casts in recent years. There's Mysterioso, Carter's wicked arch nemesis whose murder weapon of choice is a razor-sharp deck of cards; Annabelle, the winsome pugilist who would just as soon give a man a black eye as the time of day; Griffin, the bumbling Secret Service agent who has already failed to prevent the deaths of two presidents; and timid Philo Farnsworth, who invented the greatest magical device of the twentieth century: the television. Perhaps the most fascinating character of all, though, is Gold, who leaves his spellbound audience muttering the simple question, How did he do that? Farley, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

America in the 1920s was a nation obsessed with magic. Not just the kind performed in theaters and on stages across the country, but the magic of technology, science, and prosperity. Enter Charles Carter — a.k.a. Carter the Great — a young master performer whose skill as an illusionist exceeds even that of the great Houdini. Fueled by a passion for magic born of desperation and loneliness, Carter has become a legend in his own time.

Carter the Great's thrilling act involves outrageous stunts carried out on elaborate sets before the most demanding audiences. Night after night, in towns across the nation, he performs these masterful feats, bringing his unique brand of magic to those starved for wonder. But nothing in his career has prepared carter for his most outrageous stunt of all, which stars none other than President Warren G. Harding and which could end up costing Carter the reputation he has worked so hard to create.

Filled with historical references that evoke the excesses and exuberance of Roaring Twenties, pre-Depression America, Carter Beats the Devil is a complex and illuminating story of one man?s journey through a magical — and sometimes dangerous — world, where illusion is everything.

Review:

"Audacious debut novel." Elle Magazine

Review:

"In his first novel, Glen David Gold gives a top-hat-and-tails performance worthy of a veteran trouper. Carter Beats the Devil is a novel-novel, the way The Thief of Baghdad, say, is a movie-movie. It is all the things a good novel has always been expected to be: suspenseful, compendious, moving, and persuasive. It transports you to another world, and the returns you to this one with a new way of looking at familiar things. I began it with a sense of regret that the faster I turned the pages the sooner I would be obliged to exit the enchanting world that Mr. Gold has devised for us." Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Review:

"Here's excellent magic: the hours vanish, the pages turn themselves." Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections

Review:

"Carter Beats the Devil is an absorbing mystery, full of magic, romance, and history and populated with fascinating characters, both real and imagined, from the great Houdini, to a doomed President Harding, to the villainous Mysterioso. Glen David Gold is a first-rate storyteller, with his own hoard of magician's tricks." Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland

Review:

"Gold has conjured one dead president, one blood-sucking dog, a ship full of pirates, and a cabal of Secret Service agents. it all makes for a wild and heartstopping show. Beautifully written, packed with fun, scares, and surprises. And magic in every word." Karen Joy Fowler, author of Sarah Canary and Sister Noon

Review:

"Settle into your chair, get comfortable and prepare for an absolutely marvelous journey into magic and illusion. You hold in your hands the thick velvet curtains and the stage is waiting: open up! What a lucky reader you are, with all of Gold?s world of wonder waiting right here in your fingertips..." Aimee Bender, author of An Invisible Sign of My Own

Review:

"I've been a practicing magician for over forty years and Glen Gold has completely baffled me. His historically based novel, Carter Beats the Devil, is layered with accurate descriptions of strange-looking apparatuses, the distinct language used by magicians, and with eccentric personalities that existed only during the heyday of vaudeville. It was a secret world that, by necessity, was closed to outsiders, and yet Gold's relentless research has allowed him to slowly untangle his tale of murder and intrigue in an environment that so accurately re-creates the Golden Age of Magic that one sometimes forgets that this story is simply a product of Glen Gold's devious mind." Mike Caveney, biographer of Carter the Great

Review:

"Like the best magicians, Gold puts on an amazing show, distracting his readers at critical moments and delighting them when surprises are revealed. A brilliant first novel from a promising new author." Gavin Quinn, Booklist (starred review)

Review:

"An enormously assured first novel." The New York Times

Review:

"Gold's novel defies the reader to perform the trick of putting the book down." BookPage

Synopsis:

Glen David Gold's literary debut dazzled critics and fans from coast to coast. Now Carter's center stage for a spectacular paperback . . .

The response to Glen David Gold's debut novel, Carter Beats the Devil, was extraordinary. He hypnotized us with his portrait of a 1920s magic-obsessed America and of Charles Carter--a.k.a. Carter the Great--a young master performer whose skill as an illusionist exceeded even that of the great Houdini. Filled with historical references that evoke the excesses and exuberance of Roaring Twenties pre-Depression America, Carter Beats the Devil is a complex and illuminating story of one man's journey through a magical and sometimes dangerous world, where illusion is everything.

About the Author

Glen David Gold received his MFA for creative writing at the University of California at Irvine and has written for newspapers, film, and television. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Brett, September 29, 2013 (view all comments by Brett)
I read this book years ago, saw it and the Burnside store, which made me happy because I wanted to give it another read. I forgot how well written and entertaining it is. The author blends, history, hyperbole, mystery, and fiction into an entertaining story about a real magician who was around during the Golden Age of Magic. Lots of period detail, too. Some of the stuff about San Francisco and the Bay Area of my time I remember hearing from my family, so it was kind of like a time trip back to when they were young. Aspects of this novel read almost like a superhero story, but the good kind, where the fantastical almost seems plausible, because you are caught up in it all.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780786867349
Publisher:
Hyperion
Subject:
Literary
Author:
Gold, Glen David
Author:
Gold, Glen
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Historical
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Magicians
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction-Mystery & Detective - Historical
Subject:
Fiction-Literary
Subject:
Fiction : Literary
Subject:
Fiction : Mystery & Detective - Historical
Subject:
Fiction : Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Suspense
Publication Date:
20020918
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 8 up to 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 x 1.25 in 1.21 lb
Age Level:
from 13 up to 99

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Historical

Carter Beats the Devil
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 496 pages Hyperion - English 9780786867349 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Audacious debut novel."
"Review" by , "In his first novel, Glen David Gold gives a top-hat-and-tails performance worthy of a veteran trouper. Carter Beats the Devil is a novel-novel, the way The Thief of Baghdad, say, is a movie-movie. It is all the things a good novel has always been expected to be: suspenseful, compendious, moving, and persuasive. It transports you to another world, and the returns you to this one with a new way of looking at familiar things. I began it with a sense of regret that the faster I turned the pages the sooner I would be obliged to exit the enchanting world that Mr. Gold has devised for us."
"Review" by , "Here's excellent magic: the hours vanish, the pages turn themselves."
"Review" by , "Carter Beats the Devil is an absorbing mystery, full of magic, romance, and history and populated with fascinating characters, both real and imagined, from the great Houdini, to a doomed President Harding, to the villainous Mysterioso. Glen David Gold is a first-rate storyteller, with his own hoard of magician's tricks."
"Review" by , "Gold has conjured one dead president, one blood-sucking dog, a ship full of pirates, and a cabal of Secret Service agents. it all makes for a wild and heartstopping show. Beautifully written, packed with fun, scares, and surprises. And magic in every word."
"Review" by , "Settle into your chair, get comfortable and prepare for an absolutely marvelous journey into magic and illusion. You hold in your hands the thick velvet curtains and the stage is waiting: open up! What a lucky reader you are, with all of Gold?s world of wonder waiting right here in your fingertips..."
"Review" by , "I've been a practicing magician for over forty years and Glen Gold has completely baffled me. His historically based novel, Carter Beats the Devil, is layered with accurate descriptions of strange-looking apparatuses, the distinct language used by magicians, and with eccentric personalities that existed only during the heyday of vaudeville. It was a secret world that, by necessity, was closed to outsiders, and yet Gold's relentless research has allowed him to slowly untangle his tale of murder and intrigue in an environment that so accurately re-creates the Golden Age of Magic that one sometimes forgets that this story is simply a product of Glen Gold's devious mind."
"Review" by , "Like the best magicians, Gold puts on an amazing show, distracting his readers at critical moments and delighting them when surprises are revealed. A brilliant first novel from a promising new author."
"Review" by , "An enormously assured first novel."
"Review" by , "Gold's novel defies the reader to perform the trick of putting the book down."
"Synopsis" by , Glen David Gold's literary debut dazzled critics and fans from coast to coast. Now Carter's center stage for a spectacular paperback . . .

The response to Glen David Gold's debut novel, Carter Beats the Devil, was extraordinary. He hypnotized us with his portrait of a 1920s magic-obsessed America and of Charles Carter--a.k.a. Carter the Great--a young master performer whose skill as an illusionist exceeded even that of the great Houdini. Filled with historical references that evoke the excesses and exuberance of Roaring Twenties pre-Depression America, Carter Beats the Devil is a complex and illuminating story of one man's journey through a magical and sometimes dangerous world, where illusion is everything.
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