Crows & Cards

by | Read by MacLeod Andrews

Published by Brilliance Audio

Three warnings for listeners who hate surprises: 1. Beware of slivers, 2. and gamblers, 3. and aces. Zebulon Crabtree found all that out the hard way back in 1849 when his mother and father shipped him off to St. Louis to apprentice with a tanner. Too bad he had serious allergies to fur and advice from his parents. Hearing the beat of a different drummer, Zeb takes up with a riverboat gambler who has some special plans for him, crosses paths with a slave who turns out to be a better friend than cook, and learns that some Indian medicine men can see even though blind. And then there’s the Brotherhood — the one that Zeb can’t seem to get out of...

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AudioFile Review

Crows & Cards

Helgerson's novel is reminiscent of Mark Twain's Mississippi adventure stories. In 1849, Zebulon Crabtree is 12 years old when his parents send him by riverboat to St. Louis to begin a dreary life as a tanner under his uncle's tutelage. On the boat he meets Chilly Larpentaur, a river gambler who promises to teach him the fine art of cardsharping and shady deals. They’ll teach rich cheaters a lesson by beating them at their own game and giving the money to poor orphans. MacLeod Andrews gives Zeb the voice of a 12-year-old who puts considerable energies into work avoidance. Andrews’s light, folksy tone will have listeners chuckling through Zeb's misadventures and eventual redemption. And the glossary at the end will clarify the “blimblam” of this tale. N.E.M. SYNC 2015 © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

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