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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
"Talk About Wow" is the title of one of the chapters in THE CARDTURNER by Louis Sachar. It is also the perfect way to describe this book. I was hooked on the very first page and read the thing in a single day. My recommendation is - Don't Miss It!

With that said, many readers could be scared away by THE CARDTURNER. The story revolves around the card game of...
Published on 16 July 2010 by TeensReadToo

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great in Parts
Louis Sachar is a talented writer of books for young children. This book, The Cardturner, is pitched at a slightly older, teenage audience. It's not that it has salacious details or violence, but that the sections on Bridge, which sandwich together the narrative, will probably be far too complex, even in the simple terms in which Sachar explains them, to appeal to the...
Published on 1 Feb 2011 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great in Parts, 1 Feb 2011
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cardturner (Hardcover)
Louis Sachar is a talented writer of books for young children. This book, The Cardturner, is pitched at a slightly older, teenage audience. It's not that it has salacious details or violence, but that the sections on Bridge, which sandwich together the narrative, will probably be far too complex, even in the simple terms in which Sachar explains them, to appeal to the patience of a younger audience.

I am not a bridge player, and I found it hard going at times. If you are a bridge player I would imagine you will find this fascinating.

The story focuses on Alton, a teenage boy whose parents encourage him to suck up to a rich uncle they expect to leave them a fortune in his will, by turning his cards for him during his weekly bridge games. Alton's uncle is rich, curmudgeonly and incredibly gifted at bridge.

What starts out as a grudging favour for his pushy parents, propels Alton into a new world that he finds fascinating and complex relationships which spell the start of a new existence for him.

I loved the story, struggled with the bridge, but thought it was well worth the read anyway.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 16 July 2010
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
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"Talk About Wow" is the title of one of the chapters in THE CARDTURNER by Louis Sachar. It is also the perfect way to describe this book. I was hooked on the very first page and read the thing in a single day. My recommendation is - Don't Miss It!

With that said, many readers could be scared away by THE CARDTURNER. The story revolves around the card game of bridge. The book is filled with in-depth information and detailed descriptions of the game. But don't let that frighten you off. There is soooo much more to enjoy.

Alton Richards isn't really looking forward to the summer between his junior and senior year. He knows he should look for a job but can't seem to get motivated. There won't be any swimming in the backyard pool because it's still just a hole in the ground awaiting the final outcome of some lawsuit between his parents and the pool company. Alton's dad has also just broken the news that the insulation company he works for is downsizing, which means he's out of a job. And don't forget, Alton's girlfriend just dumped him. Great way to kick off summer vacation.

Just when Alton thinks things can't get anymore dismal, he learns that his "favorite" uncle, Lester Trapp, has requested his presence. Alton has been to his uncle's hilltop home only once before. It was the elderly Trapp's birthday, and Alton was just five years old at the time. Since Alton knows his parents are hoping for a huge inheritance when the old guy's time comes, he knows he must answer the call and find out what the old man wants.

A cardturner? What is that? Lester Trapp, who is now blind due to complications from diabetes, wants Alton to help him play bridge. Trapp wants his young nephew to accompany him to his bridge club to read off the cards in his hand and play for him during the games. Alton knows nothing about bridge, but he is about to learn. He is also about to learn some of his family's darkest secrets.

Using first-person narrative, author Louis Sachar takes readers into the world of bridge. Alton is an incredibly likeable main character with a wonderful sense of humor even when thrown into the most challenging circumstances. As he explains his eccentric uncle and other crazy members of the cast, he also teaches the basics of bridge. Scattered throughout the story are informational sections about the game. I agree with a previous review of THE CARDTURNER, posted at Guys Lit Wire, that these sections can be skipped if readers desire, but I found that even though I was confused, I wanted to read them to gain knowledge of this mysterious game.

I'm not going to run out and start playing bridge, but thanks to Sachar, I can now appreciate the dedication and seriousness true players have for the game. Whatever you might feel about the game of bridge, THE CARDTURNER is a heartwarming and attention-grabbing novel. Even though this is billed as YA fiction, I'm passing it on to a bridge-playing friend of my mother's, and I know she's going to love it.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical Reviews - The Cardturner by Louis Sachar, 2 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Cardturner (Kindle Edition)
I once went to a bridge evening at a family friend's house without knowing the first thing about the game and spent the majority of the evening putting down any random card and hoping that I'd somehow get lucky with that strategy. Needless to say my partner and I came last. If only I had read this book before that evening. Not only would I completely understand how the game works but I would also understand that bridge is not a boring old game played by little old ladies, it is an epic trial of wit and strategy that inspires a great passion and obsession in its players. It's definitely one of those games that gets judged very harshly by those who don't know how to play it but in The Cardturner, Louis Sachar has taken this humble card game and given it the struggling-team-tentatively-enter-competition-then-go-on-to-win-the-nationals treatment with a wonderfully original twist that makes the game thoroughly relevant to a young adult (and adult!) audience.

The story is told through the eyes of 17 year old Alton who is at that point in his life where he doesn't commit fully to anything in particular. It is told as if Alton is telling the reader a story off the cuff which I think makes Alton even more vivid in your mind and makes him easy to like. There's a wonderful contrast between Alton and his money-centric parents who, throughout Alton's life, have been using him and his younger sister to suck up to rich Uncle Lester to ensure their place in his will without actually being good relations. The relationship, particularly between Alton's mother and Uncle Lester, is entirely material but as Alton gets to know his uncle it really feels like he genuinely cares. There's a real sense of growth in their relationship and although Uncle Lester continually tries to outsmart his nephew you can actually see that he cares enough to give Alton some valuable life lessons which he in turn pays attention to. This is what I really like about Louis Sachar's characters, they are so subtle and life-like, there are no sudden changes in attitude - one minute they hate each other the next they are best friends - he really concentrates on the way people gradually come to a mutual understanding.

Of course, this story is not just about bridge, there is a gripping intrigue that runs through the book of family secrets. As they are unlocked, Alton gradually sees through his parents' prejudices and finds the true nature of his uncle and understands why he is the way he is. There are also echoes of the Karate Kid about this story with Alton eager to learn but his uncle refusing to teach him, all the while teaching him indirectly - except wax on wax off has been replaced by turning cards.

The Cardturner is a truly heart-warming story about what it really means to be family and about triumph in the face of adversity. You'll be missing out if you are put off by the fact that the story revolves around bridge because it is anything but boring. I mean, this is Louis Sachar we're talking about here, that man could make the phone book gripping!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming, and thought provoking. louis Sacher ROCKS, 29 Aug 2011
By 
Britishwotsit (ENGLAND, SUSSEX) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cardturner (Paperback)
The first word that comes to mind when i think of this book is "charming".

Obviously i won't describe what happens in the book, like the typical review. I figured if you're reading this it's because you want to see others opinion of the book. You probably already have a fair idea of what this book is about. If you do want a summary, then i apologise. Meanwhile...

I have literally JUST put this book down, so i still have the awesome vibe you have when you have just finished a good book.
This book is slightly pointless, but undeniably brilliant. I loved Alton, Toni, and especially uncle lester, or "Trap" as he's also called. Some of the conversations had between alton and Uncle Lester were surprisingly enlightening. It was these little parts of the book that really made it glow. I loved the whole "dog listening to radio" concept.

The book does take a sudden turn to supernatural about a third of the way through, which is both unexpected, yet awesome. I mean the author could have shoved in a quick chapter about an alien attack, and i still would have thought it brilliant.

Every character was alive, and had this amazing presence on the page. And as Uncle Lester said, it is the "idea" of a person that exists after their death. It is the "idea" of the person that lives on, once the body has failed. Therefore, these characters could be seen as real as anyone, as long as people perceive the idea of them. As you may be able to tell, this book encourages diverse thinking...

Louis Sachar is a phenomenal storyteller. And whilst this may not be one of those really memorable stories, full of epic moments, and a sweeping romance, it is a story nonetheless. And it still earns a high ranking amongst my books.

4.2 stars. (the extra 0.2 just sounds right. shh). ;)(less) [edit]
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5.0 out of 5 stars funny, warm and intellectual, 26 Jun 2014
By 
Jeffrey D. Thomas (Davenport, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
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I loved this, not just because I play bridge, but the characters were quirky and human and fun. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Louis Sachar, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: The Cardturner (Kindle Edition)
Read this book. It will make your day. And you'll learn a bit about bridge without trying (I knew nothing). And then read the rest of Louis Sachar's books because they're all delightful, even if they don't all teach largely forgotten social skills.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: The Cardturner (Kindle Edition)
I am a twelve year old girl and I have read many books by Louis Sachs. it surprised me how good it was!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: The Cardturner (Kindle Edition)
I chose 5 out of 5 because it was a great book for my son to read whenever he wants.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 7 April 2014
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This review is from: The Cardturner (Kindle Edition)
It was brilliant I loved it it blew my mind it is a great book i highly recommend it .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the story and learn to play bridge!, 16 Feb 2014
By 
Judith Dubois (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cardturner (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed Holes by the same author and while The Cardturner is not the same page turner, it's a good read with a story that clicked for me. Since the hero knows nothing about bridge at the beginning, we follow him as he discovers the game and a neophyte could actually learn how to play by reading the book.
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The Cardturner
The Cardturner by Louis Sachar (Paperback - 9 Aug 2011)
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