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Schmidt Delivered (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – 31 Oct 2001

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Product Description


"--The New Yorker
"A LITERARY TRIUMPH . . . Begley has done the most amazing thing. . . . He's given us a character who is heroic, villainous, intelligent . . . You want to punch him or hug him until he cries--or both. He's human, masterfully drawn. . . . I loved this book."
The Washington Post Book World

From the Inside Flap

Recently widowed, Albert Schmidt has triumphantly rediscovered domestic bliss in the Hamptons with Carrie, the Puerto Rican waitress who is younger than his daughter. Schmidt is content with keeping his own hours and steering his own course, even as he becomes entertained--and increasingly ensnared-- by the odd billionaire Michael Mansour. Among Schmidt's other heartbreaks and delights is the scandal engulfing his detested son-in-law. Where will it all lead? Is Mansour a true friend or just a big cat playing with a WASP mouse? Can May and December remain on the same calendar as the sun sets? Through it all, one thing is clear: Schmidt has found a new life far beyond the deck chair.
With the elegance and mordant wit readers have come to expect of him, Louis Begley has created a magnificent story of how virtue may be rewarded.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Begley at His Best 28 Nov. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Many readers of Begley's stunning first novel, the semi-autobiographical "Wartimes Lies", have been disappointed by his later work. It has been my impression that he has taken a while to find his voice, but each of his later novels has been better than the last. "Schmidt Delivered" is the best to date. It is both comical and poignant. Begley writes from the point of view of his protagonists, and his earlier novels were often solipsistic, with too little sense of interaction and at times limited sensitivity to secondary characters. "Schmidt Delivered" has a satisfying richness of portraiture and of interaction. It is also a sunnier novel than any of his earlier works, with a complex but happy ending. I recommend it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel to About Schmidt 10 July 2001
By ReggieRoy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
After thoroughly enjoying "About Schmidt" I found the first 200 pages of this 300 page book quite dark. Most of the characters were none too likable, including Schmidtie. But I am soooo glad I finished the book. It was an excellent character study and very well written. My only gripe -- why did the publisher/editor leave out the quotation marks around all of the conversation? Is that just an affectation, or is it supposed to have some significance?
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars those pesky quotation marks 19 April 2003
By Bryan L. Jones - Published on
Format: Paperback
Begley claims quotation marks make his pages unsightly. He can use them or not, it's a free country, but there's a reason most of the civilized world uses the darn things. It's called clarity. Having dug my way through both Schmidt books without the benefit of adequate puncutation I'd highly recommend Begley give it up and bow to convention. However neat the pages appear, it just ain't worth it. And since when did anyone care about neat-looking pages? That said, Schmidt Delivered was a satisfying experience, mostly due to Begley's memorable characters. Hope the little guy has at least one more Schmidt book in his quiver and that he relents and uses those darn quotation marks to help us keep the musings and the speeches separate.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring sequel 1 Jan. 2004
By Ka - Published on
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading "About Schmidt". Of course I had to read the sequel... and was utterly disappointed. Begley had nothing left to write about. Many times he keeps repeating dialogues. I wonder who made the decision to write another book about Schmidt. Maybe the reason was the success of the first book. Well, it was a mistake. It leaves a sour taste. Many times I was thinking: "Ok, now that is the fantasy of an old man, who would like it to be that way." There just was not much story to tell anymore, because everything was said in the first book.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Schmidtie Finds Himself 14 July 2001
By Jill Clardy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
What an odd little book! I never really connected with the characters, and the peculiar writing style and use of punctuation (or rather lack thereof) makes it difficult to discern whether a character is thinking or speaking out loud. For instance, here’s a passage that leaves you puzzled as to who is saying or thinking what:
Jesus, Schmidtie, said Carrie, after he had given her, all during lunch, and even before, while they putting the cold chicken and the tomato salad on the table, the polite silent treatment that had been, while Mary lived, part of his ingrained behavior. What’s the matter with you? I get up early to be out here in time so we can eat and then take a nap, and you treat me like a piece of .... I don’t have to take this.
He wasn’t only sulking. He felt dead inside.
You’re right. You don’t. I don’t suppose you will.
Thanks a lot. I want to shower You can do the dishes by yourself. You’re so good at it.
Schmidt is a recently widowed, successful lawyer who was forced to retire early when the firm no longer needed his specialty. He has taken up with a Puerto Rican former waitress 40 years younger than him who has moved into his home. He is paying her way through college. Although he thinks he is in love with her and asks her to marry him repeatedly, she refuses and actually starts seeing another man while still living with Schmidtie. His friend also tries to hit on her (some friend!). Schmidtie has a placid, rather empty and lonely existence with few friends, no productive work and no hobbies other than gardening.

Schmidtie also has a strained relationship with his daughter, Charlotte, who seems to only want his money and is critical of everything he does. Schmidtie finally sorts it out end as this peculiar, boring book grinds to an end. While I often regret that a good book has come to an end, I wasn’t sorry to turn the last page of this one, so I could pick up another book and look for something more interesting and engaging.
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