The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker
How are we supposed to be partners? He can’t see the cards and I don’t know the rules!
The summer after junior year of high school looks bleak for Alton Richards. His girlfriend has dumped him to ho...more
Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Well.... that was a book about Bridge.
So, I feel like I need to explain my low point already and you’ve not even read it because it does eventually lead into a high point. Even though the Bridge thing completely went over my head, I absolutely love that Mr Sachar wrote this book knowing full well that a lot of his readers will be like… um, WHAT?
I had no idea what was happening for the majority of this...more
To be honest, I have no desire to be a good card player, and even after reading this book I'll probably never attempt a game of Bridge. I can barely play a decent hand of war or slam, but I gave this book a try and found that I really enjoyed the story. Despite my lack of skill with cards, I learned a few things, such as pulling a trump, redoubling, following suite, and taking a finesse. I also picked up that there are 13 cards in a Bridge hand and north, south, eas...more
Alton is seventeen and heading into the summer before his senior year and hasn't made any many plans. Things are shaken up a bit when Uncle Lester (aka Trapp who is filthy rich) ask Alton to be his cardturner for the summer. Apparently his other cardturner Toni (gir...more
It is quite difficult to rate this book. On one hand, some aspects of the book were poorly done - such as the ending, and the romance. Other parts were great though - I actually found myself enjoying the sections...more
Some things I particularly liked:
*The quirky (and personable) intrusive narration--very fu...more
What made me love this book most was one reoccurring thought I had: The author really had fun writing this. I could feel it! I could feel that he wrote this book kore for himself than for anyone else and I loved that! This book goes into some pretty heavy discussion about Bridge, and honestly I didn't get most of it, but through the authors excitement and enjoyment I had fun too! I actually started to understand some of the rules of Bridge and was able to get m...more
The Cardturner is a beautifully written and tightly plotted novel about one young man and his relationship with his “favorite uncle” Trapp, and how that relationship changes because of the relatively prosaic game of bridge. Maybe it takes someone like Sachar to make bridge, now the province of the old and uncool, interesting to an audience of young people, but make it interesting he does, and I’m incredibly impressed by th...more
Alton Richards is a typical seventeen year old: he's lazy, he loves his little sister, and feels really conflicted about his best friend Cliff datin...more
Alton is looking forward to a bleak summer. His girlfriend dumped him for his best friend. He doesn’t have any money, so he will have to get a crummy job. And now his aging blind uncle has asked him to be his cardturner in bridge. With pressure from his parents, who are focused on the potential inheritance from his uncle, Alton takes the job. As he s...more
Well, maybe it would've won me (and prospective students) over, but for some indefensible reason, the editors let Louis Sachar read the story on the compact disc. Yup, the story of 17 year old wise guy Alton was told in first person by probably-at-l...more
In bridge-speak, a Yarborough is a hand with no card higher than a nine – that is, the prospects do not look too good. But to the credit of American author Louis Sachar, who penned the award-winning 1998 novel Holes, this book centred around an old-fashioned card game comes up aces.
Aware that his young audience might not share his passion for this quaint form of entertainment, he...more
It's about normal people. People you recognize. People who might be your friends or neighbors or work acquaintances. People who make decisions you can understand, decisions that don't merely serve to advance the plot. There are no...more
I, like many teens, I imagine, don't give a fig about bridge. I could care less. That said, I still give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I'm not a fan of sports movies, but Sachar did what good sports screenwriters have done for movies - make the sport the vehicle for a sweeping, exciting, and intense experience for the viewer/reader.
I appreciated the use of the white whale technique, where Sachar would alert t...more
Alton: he is just one of those characters you fall in love with in the very beginning of the book. What I really liked about this book was that almost all the characters went through considerable changes since we first met them and I really think that must happen for a book to be good. Go Alton!
I never thought I would read a book about bridge, but THE CARDTURNER proved me wrong. I found myself thinking about this book when I should have been thinking about my Anthropology midterm, and believe me, after I finished my midterm, I picked up this book and finished it as quickly as I could.
Admittedly, I only picked the book up because it was by Louis Sachar, beloved by anyone who has ever read HOLES or his WAYSIDE SCHOOL series. But the description on the book jacket was so intriguing, that...more
If you're expecting Wayside School or Holes from this book, stop expecting -- I admit I was initially bemused by the introductory note that was like, 'My agent and editor told me I was insane to write a book about bridge for teenagers. But hey, I'm Louis Sachar! And I really really really really like bridge.'
At the end of this book? I have no more understanding of how bridge works than I did in the first place (there was a valiant effort on the part of...more
Of course there could've been a bit less talk about bridge, but I still don't think it bothered me so much I wanted to put down the book whilst reading it. All the bridge gibberish kind of made the story complete.
Besides the fact that the book was about bridge, I liked the story. There was quite a unique tone...more
I thought the balance of Bridge and narrative was well done; it's obvious that the game is a complicated, intensive beast but Sacher did an amazing job of simplifying it enough that I'm half-tempted to give it a try because it sounds li...more
I laughed a few times, I smiled more than a handful of times and got lost in a complicated world I know nothing about. At times of heavy explanation the author even offered an escape route, which seemed a funny little joke in itself, evening out any yawns I felt coming on.
I would say the only downfall was that I hated some of the characters and...more
This is probably the most unusual YA book I've ever read. It's a book about the card game Bridge. Alton helps his great-uncle, who's gone blind, by turning his cards in bridge tournaments. Along the way, Alton learns the game and a lot more about his uncle. I listened to the audio for a trip with my sons & toward the end, my oldest asked me to teach him how to play bridge. I still do not understand, despite the very thorough way the author explained. My one real complaint about the book w...more
Alton, the main character, is a fairly normal 17-year-old boy, with pretty conniving and pessimistic parents and a strong relationship with his smart 11-year-old sister. This bond is actually one of my favourite aspects of the book. There isn't th...more
I’ll be honest, before I read this book (the first time) I’d never even heard of a game called Bridge, and I wasn’t sure how Sachar was going make a book with a card game being one of the prim...more
Sachar's attention to detail with Character and voice is brilliant. There's one line I love love love about 2/3 of the way through the book. Alton, the main character and narrator is shy and often pushed around by his family and friends, but he's never whiny. In fact, he's polite and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, which made...more
What I learned about bridge after reading this book: it involves cards, and Louis Sachar possesses a fierce, enthusiastic love for it.
The Cardturner discusses bridge, a game my brain fails to understand. I do not do well in comprehending sports, and I say “sports,” because bridge — as Alton (the main character) describes (and as capable I am of understanding) — is a mental sport. Bridge is a mindspin of how cards are played,...more
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"You won't," said Trapp. "That's how you learn. But after you make the same mistake one, or two, or five times, you'll eventually get it. And then you'll make new mistakes.”