Monday, December 7, 2009

Top 60 Novels of 2000-2009 Countdown No. 24

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold

This novel straddles genres -- part history novel, part "secret history" (see Tim Powers), part "magical" realism, because the main character is a magician. Like "Chinatown Death Cloud Peril" and "Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay: and the films "The Illusionist" and "The Prestige," "Carter" takes a look at magic as it's performed by an obsessed expert; magic becomes a metaphor for life -- the impossibility of transcendence paired with the yearnings of man who seeks to change the rules. This novel is a sweeping look at the world, particularly San Francisco and Oakland, at a time when new possibilities were emerging, yet the world hungered for magic. It also involves a host of historical characters, not the least of which is Warren G. Harding. From the remnants of the San Francisco earthquake to the dawn of television, this novel is like a joy ride for history buffs and enthusiasts for novels with plot. And I will read Sunnyside in 2010; promise. 

1 comment:

Glen David Gold said...

I'm keeping you to that promise, dude.