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About Schmidt epub download

by Louis Begley


Louis Begley is the author of four novels. Wartime Lies, which was written when he was in his mid-fifties, was followed by The Man Who Was Late, As Max Saw It, and About Schmidt. He is currently finishing a fifth novel. Begley has another life, that of a lawyer

Louis Begley is the author of four novels. Begley has another life, that of a lawyer. He is a senior partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, one of America's most prestigious firms, and is the head of its international practice.

Louis Begley (born October 6, 1933) is a Polish-born Jewish American novelist. He is best known for writing the l Holocaust novel Wartime Lies (1991) and the Schmidt trilogy: About Schmidt (1996), Schmidt Delivered (2000) and Schmidt Steps Back (2012). Begley was born Ludwik Begleiter in Stryi, then part of the Polish Republic and now in Ukraine, the only child of a physician.

Begley's previous books gravitated rather anxiously toward Europe, which was seen as the source both of any . I read Louis Begley's novel "About Schmidt" several years after seeing Alexander Payne's 2002 movie version, a film which has been in my thoughts ever since.

Begley's previous books gravitated rather anxiously toward Europe, which was seen as the source both of any satisfactory culture and of appalling historical and personal tragedy. About Schmidt turns toward America and the present, exchanging an interest in suffering and failure, with its dangerous possibilities of self-magnification, for comic romance, with its emphasis not on finality but on life going on anyway.

The prickly beleaguered elderly WASP protagonist of About Schmidt and Schmidt Delivered scrambles for a last chance at love before the sun sets on the Hamptons

The prickly beleaguered elderly WASP protagonist of About Schmidt and Schmidt Delivered scrambles for a last chance at love before the sun sets on the Hamptons

Huge clumps of forsythia are in bloom across the lawn from Schmidt’s back porch. They seem to be a stronger color with each passing year. The crocuses and narcissi are out too.

Huge clumps of forsythia are in bloom across the lawn from Schmidt’s back porch. beyond Foster’s field. Every half hour or so, the great wings begin to clap, and a helter-skelter squadron takes flight toward the ocean, on the way sorting itself into an inverted V. It’s only an oafish joke, like the fat girls with chilblains who marched in the St. Patrick’s Day parade yesterday. These birds aren’t about to migrate anywhere. They’ll wheel in the sky and return.

I have heard Louis Begley compared favorably to Cheever, Updike, and Bellow. After reading this book, my first foray into the Begley canon, I understand those comparisons. I don't disagree; the pages brim with exceptional vocabulary and dialogue.

Louis Begley's fourth novel was originally published in the States in 1996. The novel itself is thoroughly rewarding.

Louis Begley’s hero emerges, in his 70s, for a third novel. John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom had all three acts and a book-length epilogue. Begley gets as close to Schmidt as a diarist, inhabiting this man who has been seasoned by a long life and yet somehow seems new this morning. He grew old and rolled up his trousers and still captained novels. Richard Ford’s Frank Bascombe played into his mid-50s in three novels. Continue reading the main story. One of the terrific problems writers face when dealing with well-to-do, mature characters is that necessity shifts a gear. No more concern about food, shelter, clothing.

Set in the Hamptons and Mahnattan, and laced with black humor, About Schmidt casts a cold, pitiless eye on the eastern seaboard upper class, the last vestiges of once-ascendant WASPs, and the newcomers whose fortunes are rising.

After years of careful management, the life of Albert Schmidt - proud, traditional gentleman and lawyer of the old school - lies about him in shambles. The wife he adored is recently dead. The clients he has served superbly and devotedly throughout his long career are turning to his firm's aggressive young comers as Schmidt stumbles into early retirement. And relations with his only child are going from bad to worse.

As he tries to make his life habitable again--after the devastating loss of his wife--retired lawyer Albert Schmidt finds the possibility of regeneration in a new love the old "Schmidtie" would never have dreamt of. Set in the Hamptons and Mahnattan, and laced with black humor, About Schmidt casts a cold, pitiless eye on the eastern seaboard upper class, the last vestiges of once-ascendant WASPs, and the newcomers whose fortunes are rising.

About Schmidt epub download

ISBN13: 978-0679450337

ISBN: 0679450335

Author: Louis Begley

Category: Literature and Fiction

Subcategory: Genre Fiction

Language: English

Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (September 3, 1996)

Pages: 273 pages

ePUB size: 1374 kb

FB2 size: 1589 kb

Rating: 4.3

Votes: 181

Other Formats: lrf rtf azw mobi

Related to About Schmidt ePub books

you secret
This book was great. It's one of those books that I enjoyed but am a little bit embarrassed to admit it. It's a kind of like a tawdry sexy romance novel, only written from the standpoint of a man, for men. If you didn't think there was such a thing and that it would be so much fun to read, now you know!

The hero is a grumpy old man. If you're grumpy and old at heart like I am, then you will relate. He smokes and drinks, all the time, with no repercussions. He says what he wants. He does what he wants. He's single, and best of all, all women everywhere - young and old - find him irresistible and want to sleep with him. It's a fantasy such that even while you enjoy reading, you realize it is laughably unrealistic. The words "unintentionally funny" come to mind. Schmidt is a bit like you would imagine a retired James Bond to be. And who wouldn't want to be James Bond?

One thing that shocked me was how different from the movie the novel is. Except for the title and a few plot points, the stories have nothing in common whatsoever! This would have to be incredibly irksome for the author. I enjoyed the movie but I feel like whoever made it didn't even read this book. How disappointing, because it is a great book!

I will be reading the sequels. Recommended.
you secret
This book was great. It's one of those books that I enjoyed but am a little bit embarrassed to admit it. It's a kind of like a tawdry sexy romance novel, only written from the standpoint of a man, for men. If you didn't think there was such a thing and that it would be so much fun to read, now you know!

The hero is a grumpy old man. If you're grumpy and old at heart like I am, then you will relate. He smokes and drinks, all the time, with no repercussions. He says what he wants. He does what he wants. He's single, and best of all, all women everywhere - young and old - find him irresistible and want to sleep with him. It's a fantasy such that even while you enjoy reading, you realize it is laughably unrealistic. The words "unintentionally funny" come to mind. Schmidt is a bit like you would imagine a retired James Bond to be. And who wouldn't want to be James Bond?

One thing that shocked me was how different from the movie the novel is. Except for the title and a few plot points, the stories have nothing in common whatsoever! This would have to be incredibly irksome for the author. I enjoyed the movie but I feel like whoever made it didn't even read this book. How disappointing, because it is a great book!

I will be reading the sequels. Recommended.
Rko
I read Louis Begley's novel "About Schmidt" several years after seeing Alexander Payne's 2002 movie version, a film which has been in my thoughts ever since. I normally find movie adaptations of novels to be unsatisfactory but my general reaction in this case is different: Payne has refined and distilled Begley's vision to transform it into a truly memorable work of art. That said, after a pedestrian initial 200 pages or so, Begley's "About Schmidt" develops real power in its final third. Once again, this story of old age and loss altered me.

Since other reviewers have made general comments with which I generally agree, I want to focus on some specifics in both the novel and the movie (SPOILER ALERT for the rest of the review):

Anti-semitism/fight with the daughter: In Begley's novel, Schmidt's saddening parting from his daughter is interlaced with accusations of anti-semitism, that come to the fore because of her engagement to a Jewish attorney (whose career Schmidt had advanced before he retired). The movie instead bases the conflict over Schmidt's unhappiness with her fiancee's, let's say, mental ability. It is characteristic of Begley's complex approach that there is both a suspicion that Schmidt has been more openly anti-semitic than he lets on and also that his daughter, Charlotte, and her fiancee's family have departed from the realm of reason in addressing the problem. A case in point is how Charlotte tape records the conversation with Schmidt that precipitates the crisis. The conversation is unscheduled. What's the purpose of taping such a phone call? Or: if Charlotte et al have a plan in doing so, have Schmidt's clear past anti-semitic comments made it so likely that he will say something like that in discussing an inter-religious wedding ceremony? This is set-off against the fact that Schmidt's only close his friend his age is Jewish and also against his record of advancing younger lawyers who are. It's an unclear situation - no objective verdict is provided by Begley. Payne, a gentile Midwesterner, apparently did not find this topic as intriguing as Begley and simplified the conflict, making it only about Charlotte's fiancée.

Anti-bigotry combined with deep classism: One other prescient insight is suggested by Begley in the final conversation between Schmidt and his daughter, in his hospital bed. Charlotte complains that a woman (a young waitress named Carrie from a poorer Puerto Rican background) is living at the house, over which Charlotte has just renounced ownership rights. Charlotte says that the young woman looks like a gang member. Schmidt, who just before this complaint has been telling his daughter how wonderful she looks so Charlotte's comment is sudden and unrelated to the complaint, responds bitterly that her wedding will accept Jews and WASPs but no Puerto Ricans. The problem of course isn't that Carrie is Puerto Rican but that she doesn't have the rich, educated background which Charlotte is used to. The reason I say this is so insightful on Begley's part is the way it combines an almost unhinged anti-bigotry in Charlotte (she secretly tapes a conversation with her father to entrap him) with a total distaste for the lower classes. This novel was finished in 1996 but that mix of classism and anti-bigotry strikes me as a dead-on send-up of the northeastern upper/upper-middle classes.

The absorbing final section of Begley's "About Schmidt" is marred by some pedestrian plotting earlier on in the novel. Schmidt's wife has passed on during the process of retiring from law practice so much of the novel seems to involve him sleeping with women, including a 20-year-old Carrie, and planning his retirement finances. The power of Payne's coming-to-consciousness - in the film Schmidt gradually realizes he has been a disappointment to his wife and his daughter - is condensed by Begley into the concluding quarter of the novel and a bitter fight with his daughter, a fight who's motivations and realism remain obscure even after the novel is over. For that reason, I think Payne's re-telling of the story is more powerful and direct - but Begley thought of the idea and ends the story with power.
Rko
I read Louis Begley's novel "About Schmidt" several years after seeing Alexander Payne's 2002 movie version, a film which has been in my thoughts ever since. I normally find movie adaptations of novels to be unsatisfactory but my general reaction in this case is different: Payne has refined and distilled Begley's vision to transform it into a truly memorable work of art. That said, after a pedestrian initial 200 pages or so, Begley's "About Schmidt" develops real power in its final third. Once again, this story of old age and loss altered me.

Since other reviewers have made general comments with which I generally agree, I want to focus on some specifics in both the novel and the movie (SPOILER ALERT for the rest of the review):

Anti-semitism/fight with the daughter: In Begley's novel, Schmidt's saddening parting from his daughter is interlaced with accusations of anti-semitism, that come to the fore because of her engagement to a Jewish attorney (whose career Schmidt had advanced before he retired). The movie instead bases the conflict over Schmidt's unhappiness with her fiancee's, let's say, mental ability. It is characteristic of Begley's complex approach that there is both a suspicion that Schmidt has been more openly anti-semitic than he lets on and also that his daughter, Charlotte, and her fiancee's family have departed from the realm of reason in addressing the problem. A case in point is how Charlotte tape records the conversation with Schmidt that precipitates the crisis. The conversation is unscheduled. What's the purpose of taping such a phone call? Or: if Charlotte et al have a plan in doing so, have Schmidt's clear past anti-semitic comments made it so likely that he will say something like that in discussing an inter-religious wedding ceremony? This is set-off against the fact that Schmidt's only close his friend his age is Jewish and also against his record of advancing younger lawyers who are. It's an unclear situation - no objective verdict is provided by Begley. Payne, a gentile Midwesterner, apparently did not find this topic as intriguing as Begley and simplified the conflict, making it only about Charlotte's fiancée.

Anti-bigotry combined with deep classism: One other prescient insight is suggested by Begley in the final conversation between Schmidt and his daughter, in his hospital bed. Charlotte complains that a woman (a young waitress named Carrie from a poorer Puerto Rican background) is living at the house, over which Charlotte has just renounced ownership rights. Charlotte says that the young woman looks like a gang member. Schmidt, who just before this complaint has been telling his daughter how wonderful she looks so Charlotte's comment is sudden and unrelated to the complaint, responds bitterly that her wedding will accept Jews and WASPs but no Puerto Ricans. The problem of course isn't that Carrie is Puerto Rican but that she doesn't have the rich, educated background which Charlotte is used to. The reason I say this is so insightful on Begley's part is the way it combines an almost unhinged anti-bigotry in Charlotte (she secretly tapes a conversation with her father to entrap him) with a total distaste for the lower classes. This novel was finished in 1996 but that mix of classism and anti-bigotry strikes me as a dead-on send-up of the northeastern upper/upper-middle classes.

The absorbing final section of Begley's "About Schmidt" is marred by some pedestrian plotting earlier on in the novel. Schmidt's wife has passed on during the process of retiring from law practice so much of the novel seems to involve him sleeping with women, including a 20-year-old Carrie, and planning his retirement finances. The power of Payne's coming-to-consciousness - in the film Schmidt gradually realizes he has been a disappointment to his wife and his daughter - is condensed by Begley into the concluding quarter of the novel and a bitter fight with his daughter, a fight who's motivations and realism remain obscure even after the novel is over. For that reason, I think Payne's re-telling of the story is more powerful and direct - but Begley thought of the idea and ends the story with power.
Wnex
Although this first novel of a trilogy was highly recommended to me by a friend who shares my taste in books, I was surprised to find About Schmidt rather mundane. The characters didn't "spark," and the setting was uninteresting, lacking the kind of dramatic tension that drives me to read on. I was irritated by the lack of quotation marks and often had to reread a passage to figure out who,or if, anyone was speaking. If and when I run out of other things to read (which is unlikely) I will take a crack at the second book of the trilogy, since the plot in About Schmidt got a bit more interesting later on. Hard to believe they made a film of this novel.
Wnex
Although this first novel of a trilogy was highly recommended to me by a friend who shares my taste in books, I was surprised to find About Schmidt rather mundane. The characters didn't "spark," and the setting was uninteresting, lacking the kind of dramatic tension that drives me to read on. I was irritated by the lack of quotation marks and often had to reread a passage to figure out who,or if, anyone was speaking. If and when I run out of other things to read (which is unlikely) I will take a crack at the second book of the trilogy, since the plot in About Schmidt got a bit more interesting later on. Hard to believe they made a film of this novel.
Gadar
This is a book I really enjoyed, well written, characters well drawn, and a highly credible plot. It adresses with great sensitivity the problems faced by people who retire and have to reset their lives with everyone around them, family and friends expecting them to do so, when sometimes they'd rather not...So expect some unusual twists in the plot and have fun, all you Baby Boomers about to retire but not just you. This is a fun read also for all the people who, young and old, who have a Baby Boomer in the family.

This book is quintessentially what I would classify as an excellent BB novel (BB for Baby Boomer just like you have YA novels for Young Adults...)
Gadar
This is a book I really enjoyed, well written, characters well drawn, and a highly credible plot. It adresses with great sensitivity the problems faced by people who retire and have to reset their lives with everyone around them, family and friends expecting them to do so, when sometimes they'd rather not...So expect some unusual twists in the plot and have fun, all you Baby Boomers about to retire but not just you. This is a fun read also for all the people who, young and old, who have a Baby Boomer in the family.

This book is quintessentially what I would classify as an excellent BB novel (BB for Baby Boomer just like you have YA novels for Young Adults...)
Faell
"About Schmidt" is a fun and spellbinding book. I say fun because I truly enjoyed getting to know the terse and depressed Albert Schmidt, as Begley shows him coping with his wife's death, consenting to his greedy and insensitive daughter's engagement, and searching for a role after his premature retirement. And, I say spellbinding because I found the book's improbable but delightful ending plausible, at least when I was still under the spell of Begley's insightful writing. But, I know some of these Park Avenue/house-in-Bridgehampton lawyers, who are Schmidt's sort. And on reflection, I'd say, "Naahh, it would never happen." And, I'm not talking about the money.

Certainly, one of the greatest compliments a reader can render a novelist is to buy another of the novelist's books. I report that I just ordered "Mistler's Exit", which the reviews on Amazon.com describe as a worthy sequel.

Still, I have one question: What is the incident between Schmidt and his sleeping wife supposed to mean?
Faell
"About Schmidt" is a fun and spellbinding book. I say fun because I truly enjoyed getting to know the terse and depressed Albert Schmidt, as Begley shows him coping with his wife's death, consenting to his greedy and insensitive daughter's engagement, and searching for a role after his premature retirement. And, I say spellbinding because I found the book's improbable but delightful ending plausible, at least when I was still under the spell of Begley's insightful writing. But, I know some of these Park Avenue/house-in-Bridgehampton lawyers, who are Schmidt's sort. And on reflection, I'd say, "Naahh, it would never happen." And, I'm not talking about the money.

Certainly, one of the greatest compliments a reader can render a novelist is to buy another of the novelist's books. I report that I just ordered "Mistler's Exit", which the reviews on Amazon.com describe as a worthy sequel.

Still, I have one question: What is the incident between Schmidt and his sleeping wife supposed to mean?
Araath
And interesting book, and one with many accolades and awards, but not what I was expecting after seeing the movie based on it.

Sort of like Louis Auchincloss for the 20th Century.
Araath
And interesting book, and one with many accolades and awards, but not what I was expecting after seeing the movie based on it.

Sort of like Louis Auchincloss for the 20th Century.