Review – The Cardturner – Louis Sachar

The Cardturner

Hello Internet. Welcome back for Review #21. This time I turn over a new leaf, and read something which is not any form of science-fiction, fantasy or even crime. Nope, I’m finally growing up. But not really. I’m still reading all of those other genres.

This book is a change from my normal reading diet. It’s in first-person, which is thankfully still a good way to make me enjoy a nice change of pace. It’s also not a sci-fi (thank the entire freaking pantheon of ancient omnipotent beings), fantasy, crime thriller or actually anything fancy at all. It’s a nice, slow fiction novel about, funnily enough, bridge. And since both the main character and I have no idea how to play bridge, it’s a good starting point to learn. And there’s Sachar’s famous servings of plot, which can be found in his other novel Holes, which I have also read. And I sit down, slowly enjoying a book which doesn’t have to involve me yelling about a magical ass-pull or incredible misuse of applied phlebotinum.

And Tiny Gods, it’s boring like putting a hole through wood. I’m almost sorry, but I’m not the target audience for this book, and I’m telling you it’s boring as that’s how I see it. I read Holes, and liked it enough to think of it highly and pass it on to the next reader who comes asking for something a little different. And Sachar is a good writer. He ties together plot lines like I would tie my shoelaces. So tight that not even fingernails and a good 15 minutes could get them undone. It’s just that I don’t care.

No matter how involving the main character is, or how much the author wants me to get to like the old blind guy who is apparently Mr Miyagi of bridge and is actually a complete dick to his relatives. No matter that the main characters own parents are selfish eejits concerned about nothing but money. I just don’t care. Nothing blows up. Nothing tries to kill anyone. Nobody gets put into a world which they know isn’t theirs. There’s no pirates, aliens, ninjas or serial killers. And while you may tell me I’m immature and without patience, just let me remind you that out of the few largest grossing books out there which are aimed at adults and teens, one contains graphic and engrossing sex scenes, and the other is 50 Shades of Grey.

So no. At least Holes had some form of supernatural or semi-mystical fate BS going on with it. And the main character was a criminal. The Cardturner has none of this. It’s a book about relationships. And maybe this is the real reason I am so bored of it. I enjoy the fact that there’s a writing style as unique as Sachar’s. I envy the fact that he can think out a book as complicated as this one. I even admire that he can play bridge.

But really, just think for a second about the lack of anything distinctly out of place in this book. This could have happened. It really could have. In fact, I’m sure the author took a lot of inspiration from real life people for his characters. But that’s not what I read a book for! At its core, I read a book to experience escapism. To have a power fantasy, or when reading fanfiction, one of a more intimate kind. But this? I just get bored with how small it thinks. So no, not for me.

The Cardturner was published in 2010 by Dell Publishing and can be found on Amazon here.

Yours: J.M. Pear

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Review – The Cardturner – Louis Sachar