Infinitely readable and completely entertaining, Carter Beats the Devil is Kavalier & Clay with a good editor. This is actually the third book in a row I’ve read by an author I discovered in the McSweeney’s compilation. Gold’s short story in that book had a magical quality (no pun intended) that certainly continued in this novel. Partially based on historical figures (including Warren G. Harding, Philo Farnsworth and Charles Carter himself), the novel mixes the famous, the infamous and the fictional together with entertaining results. I couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning and go to work, just to have twenty minutes to read this thing on the way there. Okay, it wasn’t good enough to make me want to get up for a day of torture, but I certainly had a hard time putting it down. It was different than a lot of the stuff I normally read (it had a plot and stuff), but everyone needs a bit of a rest every now and then. There was something for everyone: romance, action, humor, magic… Now I know magic is geeky (despite it being the theme of my bar mitzvah), but this book makes it seem okay to wear a turban with your tuxedo. Go, pick it up and don’t write me mean e-mails if it isn’t everything I promise. You will laugh. You will cry. Sorry, just trying out a little power of persuasion.