Carter Beats the Devil

Author: Glen David Gold

Type: Fiction, novel

Published: 2001

I read it: March 2011


Carter the Great is a likeable, interesting protagonist in this faux-historical take on the golden age of stage magic. The story is fun and the pages turn quickly (the 600 mark comes faster than you might think), although unevenness is bound to put off some readers. There is no truly slow section, although I would have liked to read more about Carter’s first love. Instead there’s a rather abrupt jump from young manhood to aged veteran. Perhaps a focus on just one area of Carter’s life would have made for a better novel. The mysteries are fun but not deep, and although the magic, if you will, stays active through the satisfying third act, I didn’t reflect on the performance much after the book was put down.

Warning: Do not buy the fifth pressing of the first paperback edition of Carter Beats the Devil. There is an egregious copyediting/typesetting error near the end of the book which completely throws off the tone of the concluding pages. Stick to the hardcover or ask your bookseller if they can assure that no errors have been found in your version.

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