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Schroder Hardcover – 7 Mar 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (7 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057129670X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571296705
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 667,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'In Schroder, Amity Gaige explores the rich, murky realm where parental devotion edges into mania, and logic crabwalks into crime. This offbeat, exquisitely written novel showcases a fresh, forceful young voice in American letters.' --Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

'The measure of Gaige's great gifts as a storyteller is that she persuades you to believe in a situation that shouldn't be believable, and to love a narrator who shouldn't be lovable. Seldom has such a daring concept for a novel been grounded in such an appealing character.' --Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom and The Corrections

'You will not want to put this book down. You will want to read it in one big gulp. This is a bullet of a novel, aimed at our pieties about parenthood and familial love. You won't soon forget Schroder or his daughter or the sentences that bring them to life. To those who know Gaige's first two novels, it's no surprise she s produced another stunner. To those who don't, you're in for a treat.' -- --Adam Haslett, author of the novel Union Atlantic

Book Description

Schroder by Amity Gaige is a lyrical and deeply affecting novel recounting the seven days a father spends on the road with his daughter after kidnapping her during a parental visit.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
From the moment I picked up this book I knew I was delving into something special. Amity Gaige has a gift with words and with characterisation. How do you make someone who is so irresponsible sympathetic? But that is exactly what Eric Kennedy aka Erik Schroder is. A complex character who loves his daughter so much he risks everything to go on a 'road trip' with her. When we meet him, he is in custody writing an explanation to his former wife in an attempt to put a rational explanation to his reckless action. The document, which he hopes will ease his punishment, becomes an account of his missing days with his daughter and (counter intuitively) they are days that every child should have. We witness the love and quirkiness of their relationship where adult is childlike and the child is more adult. I wanted to slap him every time he did something selfish and crazy and cheer him on every time he did something wonderful. Eric is the reason why his daughter is such a confident original. Old before her time but forgiving in the way only a child can be. Amity Gaige has brought us an amazing tale of love gone wrong. I so want Eric to triumph although I'll never know. But no matter what happens to him, the triumph is Amity's.
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Format: Hardcover
The fashion these days for multi-stranded stories and complex narratives makes this intentionally one-sided and comparatively straightforward novel come across as something quite extraordinary. As indeed it is. Likewise, the trend for novels with big dark secrets buried in the past works slightly differently here; Schroder reveals from the outset what he has been hiding for years.

"It turns out I'm not very good at being silent. There are castles of things I want to tell you." Amity Gaige had me at "castles" and she never loosened her grip once.

Schroder is writing an account of the events that have led him into custody awaiting trial. The account is an explanation to his estranged wife of why he absconded for seven days with their 6-year old daughter, the fiercely intelligent Meadow. This account might also be used in mitigation so just how reliable a narrator this makes him is clearly open to question. In fact, everything about Schroder is open to question - most especially, his identity.

The author's occasional use of footnotes is deft, the narrative structure of the book is perfect and Ms Gaige has a masterful turn-of-phrase: "I was thirty-four - not an old man, but old enough to spy the burnt edges on the scroll of my life." Her description of rain which "grows hard and bitter, as if it is not rain but liquid redistribution of collective conflict". And in a hospital where "the squeegee of officious shoes awakened me". Can't you just hear them?

By the masterstroke of leaving the wife's side of the story untold, Amity Gaige has delivered a wholly brilliant read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading Mags' review above, I can add little to that concise and beautifully put paragraph. This book is a jewel - special in every sentence and idea.
I started to read it when a bit tired and when it quickly dawned on me how capable Gaige's writing is, I started again from the beginning but only reading it when fresh and able to fully appreciate it's subtlety.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. I felt sympathy and frustration with the narrator and main character Schroder. He behaves like an irresponsible idiot but I couldn't help liking him . Beautiful characterization and a plot that kept me reading. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this over the summer and didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I didn't find the characters all that convincing, and I felt less and less inclined to follow the main character through his (bad) choices, as the narrative progressed. Wasn't sure in the end what the writer intended; who was I meant to connect with, if anyone?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose this book because it made a change to read about a dad's relationship with his daughter and to some extent it didn't disappoint in this respect. The book is written in the first person by Eric Schroder/Kennedy and the characterisation of Eric is such that you forget that the book is written by a female author. The book raises a lot of interesting ideas about lies; whether solicitors ever actually help in a custody battle; the beauty of silences; what constitutes kidnapping (Eric suggests he didn't kidnap his daughter he just took her on an "adventure". Eric doesn't come across as a great parent (or even a good one) and perhaps that is why I struggled with him. Give it a go and see what you think - its an easy read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The heartbreaking story of a marriage gone wrong and a terrible warning for the absent parent not to take matters into their own hands. The protagonist has made some serious mistakes and part of me wanted to shake him for his lack of foresight but nevertheless he is an engaging character and the love that exists between him and his daughter shines out.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In order to like this book, you probably have to have some sympathy with Schroder, the man who abducts his child, and I had none. I think the author intends him to be in some way appealing, but she did not succeed in making me feel anything for him except annoyance. Amity Gaige did not convince me of his affection for the child whose life he endangered and did not paint a believable portrait of a man with mental health issues. I'm unclear about her intentions; the book does highlight the vulnerability of children at the hands of adults, but I didn't find that her use of Schroder's viewpoint opened up any new understandings.
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