Cara's Reviews > The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
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's review
Jul 15, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 2010, male-protagonist, realistic-fiction
Recommended for: Bridge addicts
Read from July 13 to 14, 2010

Ok so this is definitely your book if you want to OD on bridge. Seriously, there is so much bridge talk in here (probably half of the book and I'm not exaggerating), but despite that there is a touching story here among all the cards.

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 (girl from a supposed crazy family) is fired when she questioned Trapp if he was sure he wanted to play a certain card. Trapp is blind and has to have someone tell him his cards and place them down. Easy enough for Alton, but just imagine having to memorize all those cards? It makes my head dizzy just thinking about it. This all comes at a time when Alton is still healing from his breakup with Katie and dealing that she is going out with his best friend Cliff. Then other family issue arise that make Alton's situation even more sticky. It will be a summer that Alton will not soon forget.

Sachar has a distinct writing voice. He acknowledges that you are in fact reading the story and always give sidenotes like his talking to the reader. I loved the style and plan on reading Holes.I actually laughed a good deal throughout the book, but I think the ongoing explanations of bridge it what kind of killed the story for me. He does warn you ahead of time that he will be giving explanations and even puts a little picture of a whale to warn you, but being curious I would read through it anyway. He did give good explanations and it would be hard to read a story where you don't get what was going on. In reality I don't think he could of written the book any other way, but it really hindered character development. I did get a good sense of the characters, but they seemed to be just out of grasp to be fully realized characters. I didn't like how we don't see how the relationship between Alton and his friend Cliff turned out. I would have dropped Cliff like a hot potatoe, but I'm me and Alton I guess has a more forgiving nature.

Overall I did learn a lot of bridge terms and the basic concept. It reminded me of spades but WAY more complicated. You could tell the author wrote the story to enlighten younger readers about this dying sport and hope to maybe hook a couple of people to this game. Hopefully he does because it does seem like a cool community to be a part of, too bad I wouldn't be too into it. Suggested to readers who really love bridge, card games or chess.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Hailz Agree with you on the "very touching" but I think even if you don't know anything about Bridge it is still easy to understand. And there's no harm of learning something new (well trying at least.)

Cara You are right there is no harm in learning something new;) It just depends, you might end up liking it or then again maybe not *shrugs*

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