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About Schmidt (Schmidt)

3.17  ·  Rating Details ·  587 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
"A fine new novel... The great pleasure of reading Louis Begley [is] his exceptional literary intelligence."
The New York Times Book Review

"Begley again demonstrates that he can reveal the complexities of society and personality with a clear eye and graceful style... Morethan meets the requirements of graceful fiction."

Proud, traditional, and impeccably organized, Al
Paperback, 275 pages
Published September 8th 1997 by Ballantine Books (first published 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,171)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 29, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-to-film
"Relatively soon, I will die. Maybe in 20 years, maybe tomorrow, it doesn't matter. Once I am dead and everyone who knew me dies too, it will be as though I never existed. What difference has my life made to anyone. None that I can think of. None at all."

 photo LouisBegley_zps618d1066.jpg

Begley was born Ludwik Begleiter in a region that at that was part of the Polish Republic, but is now part of the Ukraine. On the run from the Germans, his mother and he used forged identity papers that enabled them to pretend to be Polish Cath
Clif Hostetler
May 20, 2015 Clif Hostetler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
A grumpy old white male, that's one way to describe Schmidt. He seems to hate everybody and everything, including himself. But maybe his behavior can be explained by the fact that what he thought was a successful life and career has disappeared after his retirement and death of his wife.

His wife had been the facilitator of his social life outside of work, and his career as a corporate lawyer with a major New York City law firm was ended with gentle push into early retirement because his area of
Mar 23, 2010 Kandice rated it it was ok
I'm not going to rehash the plot, because it's right there by the book. Honestly, the plot isn't worth mentioning as there just didn't seem to be one. Yes, Schmidt is a recent widow with depression to deal with, but the guy is a walking pity party start to finish. I could not stand him. I had to force myself to finish reading because I was waiting for the emotional growth I felt had to be coming after all that build up and pointing out his character flaws. I thought there would be some revelatio ...more
Dec 01, 2011 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Except for dealing with a retired and recently widowed man named Schmidt with a daughter who is getting married, this book is nothing like the movie. This is a smartly written character study about a successful and affluent man in his sixties living in the Hamptons who is equal parts honest and self-deluded, cruel and kind. I think you need to be over fifty to appreciate many of the issues the book addresses: aging, loneliness after the loss of a spouse, coping with adult children, the dispositi ...more
May 24, 2012 Constandinos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-i-ve-read
I am rating this as one of my best for some quotes that i loved in it. I didn't expect to like this book very much but i was amazed at how Louis Begley could help the reader understand what goes on in the mind of a man who has retired from work and life.
I have to note here that the book has nothing to do with the movie starring Jack Nickolson. Well the movie is based on this novel but there are very different to the point that I would not connect them in any way. If anyone avoided this book beca
Sep 29, 2014 Robert rated it it was ok
Louis Begley’s novel, About Schmidt, tells the story of Albert Schmidt after his wife Mary died and before his daughter, Charlotte, goes through with her plan to marry a former colleague of Schmidt in a prestigious NY law firm . . . and a Jew, imagine that. Schmidt is lonely, rich, and lost. He and Mary were a good pair although he fooled around on most business trips. They had a large income, a large NY apartment, and a large house on Long Island. None of this means much to him with her passin ...more
Jun 19, 2011 William1 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, us, 20-ce
The setting here is very, one might say supremely, bourgeois. Albert Schmidt, newly widowed, recently retired from a cutthroat Manhattan law firm, is fully fitted out with all the appurtenances of great material success. The circles in which he moves are peopled by the very rich and often famous. Six months after his wife's death his daughter, Charlotte, announces her engagement to Jon Riker. Riker, a former mentee, is disliked by Schmidt for numerous reasons. One reason being that he's a Jew. M ...more
Jul 05, 2010 Deana rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, read-library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2010 Kristy rated it really liked it
This review contains a bit of a spoiler, so read at your own risk. I can say unabashedly that the writing is really structurally lovely. I haven't read sentences like his in a long time, and I really loved the really high-blown aristocratic stuff that is used mainly in the beginning of the story, it's perfect. Plot-wise, however, I really wanted something else to happen... there were so many times where it was implied that we were actually watching a man unravel (instead of metamorphose), that I ...more
Brent Legault
Jan 27, 2009 Brent Legault rated it liked it
Had I quit reading two-thirds of the way through, I might have left off feeling better about About Schmidt. Instead, I read on and I feel a little sourer for it.

The denouement was too pat for my taste and for that I'm a bit resentful.

The language throughout was a little dull, despite its adding a new word (esurient) to my vocabulary. It's tone and timbre appealed to me, however, at least, as I said, until somewhere around chapter XIV (which I read outloud to my wife) where the dialogue began to
Max Karpovets
May 02, 2011 Max Karpovets rated it liked it
принаймні цей текст більш-менш реабілітував в моїх очах Луїса Беглі, який наче представляє останнє покоління "нью-йоркської прози". абсолютно бездарний Mistler's Exit програє About Schmidt стилістично і сюжетно. величезний плюс поки кращого роману Біглі - детальновиписаний і міцнозаварений характер, якого майстерно екранізував Джек Ніколсон (хто дивився фільм перед книжкою - асоціації із актором будуть неминучими). хоча треба визнати, що в останнього теж чимало недоліків. наприклад, часто сюжет ...more
Sr. Lado Brillante
Sep 28, 2012 Sr. Lado Brillante rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
No es que este libro sea malo, es peor que eso, es aburrido.
No me cansaré de decir que 50 páginas para salir de su casa es algo exagerado. Le concedo a Begley que eso da una idea muy clara de como es la vida de alguien retirado y viudo, pero no hace que el libro se disfrute mas por eso.
Si hay cosas divertidas, las conversaciones entre Schmidt y su hija lo son, y la mayoría de sus monólogos internos también, pero fuera de eso no hay muchas cosas que cautiven de la historia.
Las cosas se aceleran
Jan 17, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it
ABOUT SCHMIDT is a very well-written and intriguing novel which relates the actions and observations of a deeply flawed, and ethically challenged individual. Albert Schmidt is one of the most well-defined fictional characters that I have read in a long time, and reminded me of John Updike's captivating portrait of Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom from many years ago. Both novelists examine White Upper Middle Class Males who are forced to evolve, and try to find their proper place in a world that seems qu ...more
Mar 20, 2013 Adam rated it it was ok
For once the film adaptation was much, much better than the book. If I had read the book before the adaptation with Jack Nicholson came out, I would never have gone to see it. Having seen the movie and loved it, I was excited to read the book.... How disappointing. The film took the nugget of this book, some of the character, and made a film that is warm, quirky, sad, intelligent, and very moving. The book, however, was technically well written (though a little too rambling and introspective for ...more
Nov 16, 2007 Craig rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book came recommended, but didn't live up to it. It is well-written, certainly and the main character, Schmidt, was interesting enough-- though not terribly sympathetic-- but his love interest, Carrie, the waitress was not. Not well drawn, not believable, not interesting, not sympathetic, not unsympathetic. Not anything. Given my own predilections, a better executed book about a lonely, morally ambiguous middle aged man infatuated with a waitress-- who after all is required by the terms of ...more
Aug 21, 2016 Halalilodri rated it it was ok
Shelves: gehoert
Diese Geschichte kann ich nicht beenden. Typisch amerikanische oberflächliche Erzählung. Das Ende erspare ich mir.
Jul 21, 2016 Evelyn rated it liked it
As I started to read, something about this title was niggling at me, but I could not figure out what. I stopped and read a few reviews and several of the readers mentioned the novel had been made into a movie, and one even posted a picture of the movie poster with a very disheveled Jack Nicholson. Of course! A rumpled Jack Nicholson, a beach house, a daughter - but he dates the daughter, she can't be his daughter??? And what about Diane Keaton, how does she figure in? Nope, that was Something's ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Nov 22, 2014 Kris - My Novelesque Life rated it did not like it

"Albert Schmidt is a retired lawyer who misses his recently deceased wife, has an unhealthy diet, is a mild anti-Semite and owns a nice home in the Hamptons he feels compelled to offer to his daughter as a wedding present. Said daughter, Charlotte, is a yuppie in all the worst ways. She handles public relations for tobacco companies, doesn't want the house in the Hamptons, and is about to marry a buttoned-up Jewish lawyer. The conflict takes off from there in this finely told tale of r
Dec 23, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-for-guys
The book was very well done, alternating between third and first person narrative effortlessly. Schmidt reminded me of all of the older male relatives that I knew as a kid growing up -- bigoted, stubborn, horndogs, but still with a heart, somewhere, of gold. Not that I want to be that way, but I am getting old... The movie is simply horrible. It doesn't at all follow the book! Arrgh!
Linda Bouley
I had difficulty choosing category shelves for this book on Goodreads. I still don't know what I read and what to draw from it. Albert Schmidt is in his early sixties, newly, widowed, newly retired from a prestigious NYC law firm and his daughter, Charlotte, has just announced that she and long-time boyfried, Jon Riker, are going to be married. Jon is a decent guy...a Jr partner in Albert's former firm and for a variety of reasons Schmidtie doesn't like him. But, being an uptight, conservative, ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it
A good read. Nothing like the movie that supposedly was based on this novel. Some overly-detailed sex descriptions, but a good story. Now on to the next in this series. The author, by the way, and his wife, are very interesting people apparently.
Claudia Piña
Aunque hay varios puntos graciosos en la historia, en general no me pareció que los personajes fueran realmente interesantes y el final no me gustó.

No recuerdo mucho de la película pero creo que no se parecen mucho.
Deborah Noel
Sep 11, 2009 Deborah Noel rated it really liked it
This book has little resemblance to the movie (Thank God). I loved it so much, I read just about everything available by Begley at my local library. Begley is a master.
Oct 11, 2011 Marion rated it really liked it
Dry humor that delivers a thought provoking story about aging, letting go, and opening up. There is a subplot that addresses anti-Semitism.
Oct 09, 2009 Christi rated it really liked it
Sooo much better than the movie! Nothing like the movie.
Lois Begley is a cool, calm elegant writer.
Readin him is like drinking a dry martini!
Saman Kashi
Apr 29, 2008 Saman Kashi added it
Shelves: screenplay

در صورت تمایل، جهت مشخصات فیلمی که بر اساس این کتاب ساخته شده است؛ میتوانید از لینک زیر استفاده بفرمایید
Apr 09, 2007 Carol rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although everyone seemed to like the movie, all of my fellow book club members (including me) HATED the book!
Feb 18, 2011 Bobby rated it it was ok
Enjoyed the movie, so tried the book. Not as impressed. It was just "OK"
Apr 08, 2011 Brittany rated it it was amazing
Awesome story about what happens when you're old and you've been left behind.
Feb 05, 2010 Wolfgang rated it really liked it
I am looking forward to getting old.
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Louis Begley is an American novelist.

Begley was born Ludwik Begleiter in Stryi at the time part of Poland and now in Ukraine, as the only child of a physician. He is a survivor of the Holocaust due to the multiple purchases of Aryan papers by his mother and constant evasion of the Nazis. They survived by pretending to be Polish Catholic. The family left Poland in the fall of 1946 and settled in N
More about Louis Begley...

Other Books in the Series

Schmidt (3 books)
  • Schmidt Delivered (Schmidt, #2)
  • Schmidt Steps Back: A Novel

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