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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Fans of Seabiscuit, take note! What Laura Hillenbrand did so well for America in the 1930s, Glen David Gold now does for the country in the Roaring '20s -- albeit in fictionalized form. America circa 1923, a nation founded on Puritan codes of conduct and the Protestant work ethic, found itself reeling, having borne witness to the unprecedented horrors of WWI. Seeking to recapture a lost innocence, and to overcome a creeping fog of cynicism, the nation reinvented itself with a new fixation: magic, in its various guises, including the mysterious new advances taking place in science, industry, and technology.
When 57-year-old President Warren G. Harding dies suddenly in San Francisco during his "Voyage of Understanding" tour ("an effort to refocus his tired administration"), the coroner provides no answer as to the nature of his demise. But one thing is certain: At his last public appearance the previous evening, Harding had participated in the secretive final act of a magic show performed by Charles Carter, a.k.a. Carter the Great. And Carter, a world-famous magician who brought his singular brand of illusion to a nation starved for wonder, is left to guess whether his most outrageous stunt of all will cost him everything. Gold's dazzling first novel is a meticulously researched tour of a bygone era seen through the eyes of a master of illusion, and a vastly entertaining work of fiction. (Fall 2001 Selection)