Title: The Cardturner
Author: Louis Sachar
Release Date: Available
Alton Richards has not had the best of summers. His girlfriend just left him in order to hook up with his best friend, and now he’s being forced to spend his now incredibly free weekends with his aging uncle, Lester Trapp. His mother assigned him to be his cardturner for bridge every Sunday, as his uncle is now blind, ill, and above all, very very rich. Forming a bond with Lester seems to be the only thing his parents want for him, willing to go to any length to have their names in that man’s will. Alton reluctantly takes the job, verbalizing the game of bridge for him, due to his condition. Alton is surprised, though, to find that he isn’t the only family member working to worm his way into his uncle’s will — he’s in competition with the young and supposedly insane Toni Casteneda. But as the summer stretches on, and his strange bridge-related endeavors start to make sense, Alton finds himself surprisingly pleased with the card game, his uncle, and even Toni.
Sachar has managed to make one of the most boring and seemingly uneventful plots into an incredible contemporary novel. I can’t imagine why you would feel the urge to read this book after that plot, I mean, bridge? Really? But I promise you this book is worth the initial uncertainty. Sachar keeps his usual comedic and sarcastic style, and even has the courtesy to add in a small graphic (a whale, actually) above the text whenever he goes into too much detail about the card game, so it’s easy to skip what confuses most uninterested teenagers. This was actually his first time (that I’ve seen) using the first person, and he absolutely nailed it. This book, despite it’s mundane frame, was actually a bit of a nailbiter, having me, a human with less initiative than your average tortoise, incredibly interested in a card game I had always assigned to a demographic far past mine. It had some phenomenally unexpected cliffhangers, and I cannot stress enough how much every person needs to read it.
Review by Alex
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