Saturday, January 01, 2011

Carter Beats the Devil

Carter Beats the Devil
I'm really enjoying Carter Beats the Devil. This is an historical novel featuring as its main character a vaudeville magician named Charles Carter. Carter and many other characters in this book really lived, so this is one of those historical novels that weaves the fiction with the history, and it's hard to know where the seams are. Not that it matter, I suppose.

The thing is, this is an engaging read. I'm really enjoying it. The scene where Carter is cuffed hand and foot, locked in a mail sack, and stashed in a big wooden shipping crate, which is then tossed into San Francisco Bay by stupidly evil secret service goons . . . that scene . . . is amazing! I was reading it while waiting in line at a blood drive. My number was 151. This lady came over to where I was sitting with a few other people and began shouting my number. "Number 151? Number 151?" Louder each time. She was maybe six or eight feet away from me, but I didn't hear her at first, until maybe the third time (I'n not sure), when her voice startled me out of my book. It was just like being shaken awake in the middle of an especially vivid dream. The lady said, "That must be a really good book!"

And it is.

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