131. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
Publication: Hyperion (September 18, 2002), Paperback, 480pp / ISBN 0786886323
Genre: Historical Fiction
Read: July 14-15, 2012 (reread)
I don’t know what it is about this book that makes me fall in love with it every time I read it. Is it a perfect book? No. I hate the ending, for example, because I think it’s too over-the-top, the villain character verges on the absurd and it’s weirdly sympathetic to [President whatsit], who sucked. But still! I love this book.
It’s got magic and vaudeville and lots of early 20th century pop culture references! The invention of the television! Circuses! Disapproving Victorian parents! A tamed lion named Baby! And, of course, there’s romance and death and depression and redemption. Maybe it lags in pacing in a few places, but the rest of it is actually pretty exciting. If you like anything to do stage magic or the early 20th century, or if you like fictional books based on real people’s lives, you’d probably like this book.
I loved it!