About Schmidt

About Schmidt

3.17 (643 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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Proud, conservative and emotionally uptight, Albert Schmidt is a lawyer of the old school. Now, after years of careful management, his life is slowly unraveling. His beloved wife has recently died. He stumbles-?or was he pushed?into early retirement. And his daughter, his only child, is planning to marry a man Schmidt cannot approve of, for reasons he cannot admit. His feeling that there must be more to life than the accumulation of money is brought sharply into focus by a passionate, erotic encounter with a local waitress. Set in Manhattan and Long Island, About Schmidt is a dark satire on the power of wealth to suffocate human creativity and the emotions.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 22mm | 199.58g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • Serpent's Tail
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Main
  • 1852428430
  • 9781852428433
  • 2,583,190

Review quote

?A fine new novel?The great pleasure of reading Louis Begley (is) his exceptional literary intelligence is always in control, making me wonder if more novelists shouldn?t develop the virtues of lawyers as writers: accuracy, economy, abjuring the language of emotion? The New York Times Book Review ?Begley is a high-class gambler: smooth and dissembling. His game of chance here is to present a disagreeable protagonist--Schmidt, the self-described "last of the WASPs"?then, slowly and adeptly, win us over, offering scintillating perspectives on prejudice, sexuality, and wealth along the way.? Booklist ?An elegant, precise, droll novel about a lawyer?s startling transformation?But it is one of the pleasures of Begley?s increasingly dark narrative that he both reveals Schmidt?s self-satisfied shortcomings and makes him nonetheless a fascinating character. A sly, sharp portrait of an amoral but appealing figure, and of the declining world of privilege that has shaped him? Kirkus Review ?In the end, Begley has created a terribly funny, touching, infuriating and complex character in Schmidt, whose funny self-deceptions and imprisonment by his own world- view stand not only as a devastating portrait of a disappearing world but also sound a strangely evocative cautionary tale. Stunning? Los Angeles Times Book Review ?Begley again demonstrates that he can reveal the complexities of society and personality with a clear eye and graceful style? Time ?What emerges?is a poignant study of ageing centred on a man whose flaws become both sinister and sympathetic. In an era of encroaching coarseness, where civility dissolves?Schmidt summons in us remembrance of elegance past?Is he cultured patrician, a supercilious snob or both? Whichever he is, Begley succeeds in making us care? San Francisco Chronicle ?Consistently subtle and intelligent, this novel ends by getting under your skin despite the unlikeability of its protagonist. You are left with the feeling of having found out the complex truth behind the impeccable fa?ade of someone you might never notice if you met him at a party? The New York Times Book Reviewshow more

About Louis Begley

Begley is a senior partner at Debevoise & Plimpton,a prestigious US law firm. Wartime Lies was the winner of the PEN Hemingway Award, The 1991 Irish Times Aer Lingus International Prize, and the Prix Medicis Etranger, France's most coveted prize for fiction in translation. It was a National Book Award, Los Angeles Times Book Award, and National Book Critics' Circle Award finalist. About Schmidt was likewise a National Book Critics' Circle Award and Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist. Begley has received the American Academy of Letters prize for literature.show more

Rating details

643 ratings
3.17 out of 5 stars
5 11% (71)
4 27% (176)
3 36% (234)
2 19% (121)
1 6% (41)
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