Miracles of Card Play by Terence Reese & David Bird

This is the first of the series of books about the Bridge playing Monks of the St.Titus monastery.

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JPOC Rating

This book gets ten out of ten easily. This series is my favourite Bridge humour.

My Review

The book is a collection of humourous articles that appeared in various Bridge magazines. The original articles were the sole work of David Bird. Terence Reese, a much more famous author, collaborated on updating them for publication in book format. The emphasis is on card play and so it does not really matter what bidding style you are used to.

First of all, this book is very funny indeed. The authors do a better job even than Victor Mollo in their development of the characters. The hands are presented as narrative and not as puzzles for the reader to solve. Of course though, there is plenty of opportunity to consider that hands before reading on. The thoughts of the players are also depicted as they try to analyse the hands. This is great as it means that the book can be read with or without attempting to solve the hands yourself. Accordingly, the bridge content is accessible to players of many levels.

As well as following the adventures of the monks on the domestic scene, the book includes a section covering two monks on missionary work in tribal Africa. Some people may be offended at the lack of political correctness in this part of the book. Personally, I find that a shame as the stories are just as interesting and the wit as fine.