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If you like Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold: "Set against the backdrop of early 20th-century San Francisco during the heyday of such legendary illusionists and escape artists as Harry Houdini, this thoroughly entertaining debut by an amateur magician with an M.F.A. in creative writing is a fanciful pastiche of history, fantasy and romance." (Publisher's Weekly).

If you liked this book's use of historical setting, humor, and interconnected plots, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
It's 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat, smuggling himself out of Hitler's Prague. He's looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a partner in creating the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book.  (worldcat.org)

 

 

 


 

The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
Their friendship compromised by the belief systems of the racially charged 1970s, Dylan Ebdus and Mungus Rude share a series of misadventures based on their mutual obsession with comic book heroes. (worldcat.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
Reluctantly investigating a kidnapping threat against his ex-girlfriend's billionaire beau, Doc Sportello tackles a bizarre tangle of nefarious characters before stumbling on a mysterious entity that may actually be a tax shelter for a dental group. (worldcat.org)

 

 

 

 


 

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark
In nineteenth-century England, all is going well for rich, reclusive Mr Norell, who has regained some of the power of England's magicians from the past, until a rival magician, Jonathan Strange, appears and becomes Mr Norrell's pupil. (worldcat.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
As a senior in high school Quentin Coldwater became preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. After graduating from college and being admitted into a highly exclusive, secret society of magic in upstate New York, he makes a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin's fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined for his childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart. (worldcat.org)


 

 

 

 

The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum
The untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City. A pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler investigate a family mysteriously stricken bald, factory workers with crumbling bones, a diner serving poisoned pies, and many others. Each case presents a deadly new puzzle and Norris and Gettler create revolutionary experiments to tease out even the wiliest compounds from human tissue. From the vantage of their laboratory it also becomes clear that murderers aren't the only toxic threat--modern life has created a kind of poison playground, and danger lurks around every corner. (worldcat.org)

 

 

 

The Prestige by Christopher Priest
A 19th Century feud between two English stage magicians. Their rivalry centers over instant displacement by electricity from one end of a stage to the other, the contest degenerating into dirty tricks. Told from the perspective of their descendants, a man and a woman. (worldcat.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wrestler's Cruel Study by Stephen Dobyns
It's after midnight. Two gorillas are descending the side of a New York high-rise. Can that be? But this is only the beginning of Stephen Dobyns's dazzling new novel. Part quest (in pattern), part comic book (in tone), and chiefly an exploration of a young man's search for his missing fiancee, it deals with such matters as heroes, good and evil, wrestling, kidnapping, and subplots from the Brothers Grimm - all as regarded by an omniscient "camera eye". Come see Michael Marmaduke as he progresses from confused innocence to darker self-knowledge; meet Rose White and her sister Violet, along with Deep Rat, cops Brodsky and Gapski, and Primus Muldoon, manipulator of men, who calls on Nietzsche to draw aside the veil of illusion we hide behind. Stephen Dobyns has invented a compelling world where fun and puns mingle with daring make-believe, and larger-than-life characters play out the crucial human questions: How do we live? How do we handle our demons? (worldcat.org)