Charles Carter, dubbed Carter the Great by Houdini himself, was born into privilege but became a magician out of need: only when dazzling an audience can he defeat his fear of loneliness. But in 1920s America the stakes are growing higher, as technology and the cinema challenge the allure of magic and Carter's stunts become increasingly audacious. Until the night President Harding takes part in Carter's act only to die two hours later, and Carter finds himself pursued not only by the Secret Service but by a host of others ...
Charles Carter, dubbed Carter the Great by Houdini himself, was born into privilege but became a magician out of need: only when dazzling an audience can he defeat his fear of loneliness. But in 1920s America the stakes are growing higher, as technology and the cinema challenge the allure of magic and Carter's stunts become increasingly audacious. Until the night President Harding takes part in Carter's act only to die two hours later, and Carter finds himself pursued not only by the Secret Service but by a host of others desperate to discover the terrible secret they believe Harding confided in him. Seamlessly blending reality and fiction, Gold lays before us a glittering and romantic panorama of our modern world at a point of irrevocable change.
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This book was strongly recommended by a reviewer on a book website. This is the first book I've read about magicians and it was certainly entertaining! It was set in the age when magicians were akin to the major celebrites of super athletes of today. After a little bit of a slow start the book had much to offer: history, hints at the secrets of magic, adventure, romance (but oddly enough, no sex--a rarity these days). I had loaned it to a friend before I read it and he really enjoyed it and an e-mail buddy of mine is currently reading it (she is enjoying it too). I feel men may enjoy it more than women but I could be mistaken.
Sep 4, 2007
A magical story
"Carter Beats the Devil" , is, quite simply, fantastic. Combining elements of science fiction, mystery, horror, classic literature, historical figures and plain old good story telling this book had me enthralled till the end. Mr. Gold has crafted a wonderful tale that takes the reader around the world without making him dizzy. The historical accuracy puts you smack in the middle of the time period. Mr. Golds' research was obviously extensive and the reader is blessed by the his ability to keep it relevant. You know that the real people of the story didn't do quite what Mr. Gold writes and his judicious use of literary license keeps you wondering nonetheless. You will be unable to put it down because you need to know what happens next. And when you finish the final paragraphs and the light bulb in your head goes on you will murmur to yourself, "So that's how he did it". Mr. Gold has set a new standard in historical novels. You will be happy to say,"It was magic".
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