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Book Report: The Cardturner

Your Humble Blogger isn’t what you would really call a Louis Sachar fan, exactly. My Perfect Non-Reader was absolutely nutso for the Wayside School books, a few years ago, and I think they are pretty good. I liked Holes, and thought Small Steps was interesting, if not (by me) totally successful. So when I saw The Cardturner on the library shelf, I judged it by its cover, and decided that I really didn’t need to read a story about bridge.

My Best Reader thought she’d give it a try, though, and she seemed to like it, even though she shares my attitude about bridge. So I gave it a try, and I enjoyed it a lot. So that’s good.

I have the sense, though, that Mr. Sachar really wanted people to enjoy the book and want to take up the game. My reaction to the depiction of the game in the book was much the same as my reaction to it every time I’ve come across it in real life: aversion.

I like card games. I have played a million billion hours of card games of various kinds. I love to play hearts; I happily play Oh Hell, I like Fan Tan, I play Casino and Gin when I get a chance, and although I haven’t played poker regularly since the Hold ‘Em craze of a few years ago started, for years and years I was in a regular game that was a highlight of my social life. But I don’t play partner games.

My MFQ is high for social games or cutthroat games played individually (depending on the players, of course), but when I have a partner who is depending on my play, and when I am depending on my partner’s play, that quotient goes down into the negatives. I would much rather be crushed in ignominious defeat all by myself than cruise to victory with a partner, and furthermore I would much much much rather cruise to victory all by myself than get crushed in ignominious defeat with a partner. And ignominy is part of the game, isn’t it? So I don’t play Bridge, I don’t play Spades, I don’t play Whist, I don’t play Euchre, I don’t play Clabber, I don’t play Pinochle, and I don’t play Kaiser. And I don’t play Canasta with partners. Actually, I don’t play Canasta at all, but I wouldn’t object to playing Canasta, unless it’s with partners.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Do you consider The Name Game to be a game played with partners?

No, although an argument could be madeā€¦


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