The Cardturner

Louis Sachar

The Cardturner
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The Cardturner

Louis Sachar

When Alton’s ageing, blind uncle asks him to attend bridge games with him, he agrees. After all, it’s better than a crappy summer job in the local shopping mall, and Alton’s mother thinks it might secure their way to a good inheritance sometime in the future. But, like all apparently casual choices in any of Louis Sachar’s wonderful books, this choice soon turns out to be a lot more complex than Alton could ever have imagined. As his relationship with his uncle develops, and he meets the very attractive Toni, deeply buried secrets are uncovered and a romance that spans decades is finally brought to conclusion. Alton’s mother is in for a surprise!

Review

Louis Sachar’s publisher, agent and wife all tried to dissuade him from writing a book for young readers about playing bridge. But he loves the game, his pleasure is infectious, and he is a master storyteller who made digging holes in the desert fascinating (Holes).

Seventeen-year-old Alton becomes a cardturner for his rich Uncle Lester, a brilliant player who has gone blind. With an eye on inheritance, Alton’s mother is embarrassing in her encouragement. Despite himself, Alton becomes fascinated by both his uncle’s life and the competitive world. Together with his attractive cousin Toni, a former cardturner, he begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding their families. This mixes a coming of age story and a romance in a surprisingly rich setting.

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