AJ Conroy's Reviews > Carter Beats the Devil

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
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's review
Dec 03, 2009

bookshelves: to-read

From Onion's Top books of the Decade

Popcorn fiction and historical fiction were both sneered at more often than not in the ’00s, as poorly written tales of the secret history of everything overwhelmed the bestseller charts. Enter Gold’s debut novel, a romp through early 20th-century San Francisco and the world of vaudevillian magic that makes few claims to historical veracity, and rockets along like the best page-turners. But Gold’s novel is about more than how a sad magician finds love and constructs the ultimate illusion while avoiding assassins and those who suspect him of killing the president. It’s also about moving on past crippling loss, overcoming depression, and learning how to feel again. Gold’s pacing makes Carter easy to read, but his sense of emotion makes it take up space in the heart.

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