"How are we supposed to be partners? He can’t see the cards and I don’t know the rules!"
The summer after junior year of high school looks bleak for Alton Richards. His girlfriend has dumped him to hook up with his best friend. He has no money and no job. His parents insist that he drive his great-uncle Lester to his bridge club four times a week and be his cardturner—whatever that means. Alton’s uncle is old, blind, very sick, and very rich.
But Alton’s parents aren’t the only ones trying to worm their way into Lester Trapp’s good graces. They’re in competition with his longtime housekeeper, his alluring young nurse, and the crazy Castaneda family, who seem to have a mysterious influence over him. Alton soon finds himself intrigued by his uncle, by the game of bridge, and especially by the pretty and shy Toni Castaneda. As the summer goes on, he struggles to figure out what it all means, and ultimately to figure out the meaning of his own life.
©2010 Louis Sachar (P)2010 Listening Library
Mommy of twins
This is one of those books that could easily be overlooked, passed by or even one a reader may be scared away by the first impression of a boring book about bridge players. But if given a chance, readers of all ages are sure to agree THE CARDTURNER is so much more.
An honest and touching read… THE CARDTURNER is not at all what you’d expected from what at first glance seems to be a book that revolves around the playing of Bridge. Fortunately, at least for me, who’s someone that doesn’t even know how to play poker; this novel goes way beyond a game of cards. Yes this book contains quite a bit of technical passages in regards to the rules and strategy of playing bridge, but the story truly is one of relationships and personal growth and those technical bits can be skimmed through without really damaging the story as a whole, if the reader chose to do so, although I felt, even those parts were easy enough to follow and worthy of my novice attention.
Louis Sachar takes readers into the world of bridge in first-person narrative through 17 year old Alton. Alton, as in title, becomes “a cardturner” for his rich, blind and unwell great uncle at the insistence of his mother, who hopes to up their place in Uncle Lester’s (aka Trapp’s) Will. Alton, a typical teenage guy with no previous knowledge of the game of bridge, takes the summer job of chauffeur and cardturner (not that he had a choice) and finds that there is a lot more to the old man than money and the questionable scandalize family stories he’d grown up hearing.
I’d highly recommend THE CARDTURNER to anyone who enjoys a good book, especially the audio version, which is narrated by the author.
I loved this book. I have not played bridge in years but I enjoyed this look into the world of contract bridge. More than that, the voice of the teenaged narrator was genuine and true. Also, an excellent reader and an engaging story.
An Irish Hoosier trying to make it in LA
Such a great story. I never thought a book about a card game could be this good.
I listened to this book traveling to a bridge tournament so it was appropriate.
The bridge hands were authentic and enjoyable. The fantasy part was a little - well, fantastic. The final tournament was not believable, it needed a better deception premise.
The performance was ok but had its share of mispronunciations and misplaced accents. The fog horn warnings of technical passages were annoying.
If you are a tournament bridge player give it a listen.
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