Schmidt Delivered (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – 31 Oct 2001
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"A COMEDY OF MANNERS SO DRY IT CRACKLES."
"--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 Amazon.com (beta)
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.