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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  2,849 ratings  ·  556 reviews
Attending summer camp as a boy, Erik Schroder -- a first generation East German immigrant -- adopts the name of Eric Kennedy, a decision that will set him on an improbable and transformative journey, SCHRODER relates the story of how years later, Erik finds himself on an urgent escape to Lake Champlain, Vermont with his daughter, hiding from authorities amidst a heated cus...more
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Twelve (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"

Not bad.
But nothing to call home about.
Or make foam about.
Or write a poem about.
Which I just did.
But not really.
Because it wrote itself.

This was an interesting concept for a novel, but it never achieved lift-off for me. I kept waiting for some revelations that would have made it worth my effort, but I never got to find out what I wanted to know. The narrator remains cagey right through to the end.

SCHRODER is a road novel in the form of a confessional apology, with scattered bits of per...more
Karina Gaige
I am reading the galley of my sister's new novel! I predict that it's going to be huge and Brad Pitt is going to produce and star in the movie version.
Sally Drake
I thought this was brilliant. Such a strange story but it is so well written and the complicated characters so fully developed I found myself simultaneously sympathetic and horrified by Erik. And heartbroken for Meadow. Although the plot is bizarre, the story is ultimately about marriage and parenthood and how sometimes it can go so wrong, especially when you are pretending it is not. A great read.
Amy Bratcher
I normally do not take the time to comment on the books I read because others express my thoughts much more eloquently than I might do them justice. However, given my 1 star rating, I felt it necessary in this instance.

I stumbled across the intriguing synopsis for Schroder on Amazon, so I ordered it and immediately started reading upon its arrival. A week later, I was only through 1/3 of the book, which is unusual for me. I usually read books in one sitting or, at the most, 2-3 days. I found it...more
Holly Weiss
Schroder: A Novel is both heartrending and magnificent. The book is a discerning reflection on fatherhood with contemporary issues that will appeal to men and women alike. Eric Kennedy narrates his confession to his estranged wife, explaining the circumstances of kidnapping their daughter for six days.

By falsifying an application to a New Hampshire summer camp, fourteen-year-old Schroder not only rewrites his childhood, but also changes his name to something more New England acceptable—Eric Kenn...more
Dale Harcombe
three and a half stars
I’ve been thinking about this for a while before rating it and writing the review. I found this book a bit of an enigma. In the way it is written it is more like a memoir than a novel. However that is appropriate as Eric is explaining or trying to explain why he took off with his daughter Meadow. While I found the story interesting, given all the background of Eric, a first generation immigrant and his assumed identity as Eric Kennedy, I lost sympathy for him very quickly w...more
Eric Kennedy – nee Erik Schroder – needs a life he can revise. In ways, he embodies The American Tragedy written by Dreiser over a century ago; he has come to the land of opportunity and reinvention to find a new self.

In so many ways, Erik is a product of wherever he is in time. Born in divided East Berlin, he experienced first-hand the desperation that comes from a physical division. Now, years later, he finds himself in the midst of an acrimonious custody battle for the one person he truly lov...more
Christina Josling
Schroder. Ohhhhhhhh this book! It’s so so so incredible! It is a newly published book and I guarantee it will be making many appearances on Best of 2013 book lists.

Schroder is the story of a desperate man who kidnaps his daughter amid an acrimonious separation from his wife who has left him. The story is written in the first person by Eric Kennedy, in the form of a letter to his estranged wife, as he sits in jail for the kidnapping of their daughter Meadow.
This is also the...more
Schroder tells the story of Erik Schroder, who as a young boy, along with his father, fled East Germany when Germany was then a divided country. Upon arrival in America, at a summer camp, Eric decides to change his name and identity to the more affluent ‘Kennedy’. Subsequently, as a result of the breakdown of his marriage to his wife Laura, Eric ends up kidnapping his own daughter, Meadow. Schroder is the story of Eric’s apology from a correctional facility to his wife Laura. In this document he...more
It must be impossible to love thyself, when uncomfortable in your own skin. As a child, when life is intolerable, how many have pretended for better things? To be a better person and the bad feeling you hold for yourself, the memories, the disconnection, eventually leaves, as you no longer acknowledge the person you know. This is purely a safety mechanism to save the self. A reinvention for a better brighter future. Makes perfect sense. It wasn't his fault to delude a future of happiness and pos...more
Diane S.
Although this sounds like a simple tale, a father kidnapping his eight yr. old daughter, (not a spoiler as it clearly states this in the book description0, this novel is anything but simple. When we hear on the news that a father has kidnapped one of his children, our first thought is to automatically condemn the father, feel sympathy with the mother. The main character in this book is compelling, his young daughter advanced for her age and absolutely charming. The plot unfolds in multiple layer...more
ai, wat een mooi boek. Schroder maakt een tocht met zijn dochter en brengt haar niet op tijd weer terug. maar het is gecompliceerder dan dat. het gaat ook over identiteit, over gekozen identiteit. over de grenzen van de realiteit. en over zijn vreemde relatie, obsessie, met stilte.
maar eigenlijk maakt het niet uit waar dit boek over gaat: het is uniek, zowel in de schrijfstijl als de gekozen vorm. en de hoofdpersoon zal bij blijven, denk ik.

boordevol sterke, mooie, heldere zinnen. aanrader!

Bonnie Brody
Who is Schroder? Is he Erik Schroder, his given name, or is he Eric Kennedy, his self-proclaimed name that he took at the age of 14? Schroder was born in East Germany when the wall was still up. A political refugee, he ended up in Dorchester, Massachusetts with his father when a boy. At fourteen his goal was to go to a camp in New Hampshire and he applied to it under the name ‘Eric Kennedy’. He won a scholarship to the camp and at that time there were so data bases, social security cards were vo...more
I write this with tears in my eyes, I just closed the book. I read this almost in one sitting and oh my god. I was intrigued by the story, but the words made it perfect. I was too lazy to pick up my blue marker but I would have almost colored it all blue.
I have no more words.
I read this book in a day. I really enjoy Gaige's writing style and loved The Folded World so I was anxious to read Schroder. It is a beautifully written letter/admission/confession written by a father who is going through a divorce and custody battle for his daughter. But it is also about identity. As you find out in the first few pages, Erik Schroder chooses at an early age to become Eric Kennedy, and pretty much erases his past. Of course this comes up when he decides to take his daughter on...more
Lorri Steinbacher
Excellent. What impressed me most about the book was that Gaige made Eric so real, so human. He was obviously a mess, you would certainly regret fathering a child with him, and yet--maybe not. Eric's s "confession" is simultaneously honest and dishonest, just when you find yourself having some sympathy for him--bam!--he does something utterly selfish and ridiculous that you hope he gets caught and soon. You ever really understand Eric's motivations, he hints at them, but you're never quite sure....more
I am giving this book three stars because the writing is quite good and the language is musical, but maybe a little noisy.

The story is just kinda okay, though. I had to push myself to continue reading and finish the book. If it had been longer by another 100 pages I would have never made it.

There are some interesting bits. I liked the examination of silence that the main character, Erik Schroder (aka Eric Kennedy), makes a dissertation of in the book. Is silence more powerful than sound? There s...more
Becca (Pretty Little Memoirs)
When I first began reading Schroder, it was clear that the main character, Erik, had wanted to and had erased his whole backstory and created a new life for himself under the name Erik Kennedy. Though his story was intriguing and beautifully written, someone who kidnapped their daughter would seem to be unlikeable. Still, I found myself not disliking him for those things because of sympathy. Schroder was moving and made for a page-turner, and I definitely found myself wondering why I hadn’t read...more
Dan Fuchs
If you're planning on reading this book, this is where I guess I'm supposed to write the words "spoiler alert," because I plan on discussing how the story plays itself out. So if you care one way or the other about knowing the resolution of this novel, stop reading my humble review now.

This story of the American Dream gone bad does hold the reader's interest, for the most part. I did find myself wanting to know what was going to happen to Meadow Kennedy and her fatuous father, Eric. I'm not sure...more
Schroeder is a quirky story that takes place in Albany, NY. It's loosely based on Clark Rockefeller, the eccentric child abductor/murder/sociopathic liar. It's part confessional, travel journal, love story, overindulgent introspection, action thriller, among others. The prose is a bit too poetic at times, but on the whole, it’s worthwhile reading.

It was exciting reading a novel that takes place in my hometown. Amity Gaige describes Albany and the Capital District early on: "In order to answer th...more
Nicholas Gresens
I heard about this book on NPR and was intrigued. The story is certainly compelling, and the main character is sympathetic, at least to an extent. He is sympathetic to the extent that we have all been, or have imagined having been, in a situation where we have been forced to perpetuate what at first seemed an entirely benign lie. What's more, we have all been in a situation where we have wished we could recreate our identity to fit a more perfect vision of whom we imagine ourselves to be. This b...more
I read advance praise for this book and picked up the day it was released in my city. It did not disappoint. It is an extremely well-written account of a man's 6-day "kidnapping excursion" with his daughter. That last sentence doesn't begin to do this book justice. It is an account of love, loss, and identity and how a person can react when they feel their options are being taken away, even if they are ultimately responsible for those dwindling options. The main character, in spite of his action...more
Amity Gaige is an amazing, philosophical writer--she proved that a few years ago with The Folded World. Now that her protagonist is a self-absorbed, put-upon man, it seems the male literary establishment is willing to give her some credit. It's deserved and long overdue. But just for the record, there were people who noticed before the "important" people noticed. Highly recommended, a master class in character. Schroder is NOT a good guy, but you still feel really bad for him.
I read a galley of this book from work. I'm still not sure what exactly I thought about it. The writing is gorgeous, and somehow the author manages to make a character that SHOULD be extremely unlikable into a somewhat sympathetic person, which I give her great credit for. There are questions of love and family and self and how the past defines us and whether you can make your own destiny. In the midst of a horrible tale there are lots of moments that open up for discussion.

But at the same time,...more
Totally enjoyed Schroder. The relationship between Eric and Meadow is beautiful and believable, Meadow is a great character, the situation is riveting. Many of the scenes are inspired and electric, especially from departure/Albany --> arrival/Boston. Herein lies perhaps my one complaint, which is that I would have liked MORE of that journey. I seldom advocate a writer put more in when less will serve, but in this case, that material is so fecund, so alive, I would have liked to linger there a...more
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Rich Stoehr
Ask me what I thought of Schroder and I can tell you without hesitation, it hooked me from the first pages. Ask me why, and I may have to stop to think for a moment.

Was it the confessional style of the book that grabbed me initially? Written as a long letter from a husband to his estranged wife, detailing not only the events of the stolen days he spent with their daughter but what led him to take her away. Told in heartfelt bursts and easy wanderings, in footnotes and asides and unexpected detou...more
Reading one of the author blurbs on the back of this book, Gaige is praised for her originality. The plot of this book is not an original idea. It is a blatant ripoff of the true story involving Clark Rockefeller. This is a fictionalized version of that very public case and since I had previously read The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor this book rang as untrue for me throughout (yeah, yeah I know it is fiction but still). It was not so...more
I believe the author was inspired(or ripped off the idea) by the notorious Boston case of the guy who called himself Rockefeller, who married a woman in which they had a daughter, she divorces him, and he kidnaps the daughter. Once Rockefeller is found with the daughter, it is learned that he had created identity fraud. His name is legally a German name. The only difference between the Boston case and this novel is the Nonfiction Boston guy chose a wealthy banking family name to create his fraud...more
I was intrigued when I heard about this novel, because I recognized the main character immediately as being inspired by Clark Rockefeller, the man who created a new identity with himself, aligning himself with a well known and wealthy American family, and who also kidnapped his own child. But that seems t be where the similarities end. "Clark" (aka Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, his real name) is currently on trial for murder as well. Ms. Gaige seems to have taken a seed of an idea and has grown...more
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Amity Gaige is the author of the acclaimed novel, O My Darling, for which she was chosen by the National Book Foundation for its “5 under 35” recognition. She teaches at the University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein Providence Campus and at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
More about Amity Gaige...
The Folded World O My Darling We Are a Thunderstorm

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“Be happy. Decide to be happy. If you want to be happy, be happy! No one cares if you're happy or not, so why wait for permission? And did it really matter if you had been deeply unhappy in your past? Who but you remembered that?” 5 likes
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