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Froelich's Ladder

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Uncle Froelich nurses a decades-old family grudge from his perch atop a giant ladder. When he’s discovered missing, his nephew embarks on a rain-soaked trek across a nineteenth century Pacific Northwest landscape to find him, accompanied by an ornery girl with a most unfortunate name. In their encounters with Confederate assassins, European expatriates, and a general store ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published August 2016 by Forest Avenue Press
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  75 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Froelich's Ladder is a tall tale/fable/kindermärchen set in the Oregon Territory and featuring a large cast of eccentric characters. It's reminiscent of the works of Patrick deWitt, though entirely its own thing. A quirky, funny tale that I was sorry to come to the end of. ...more
Mareli Thalwitzer
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, kindle
Froelich's Ladder - Everyone's gotta live someplace

You can find the original review on

One of the similarities between fairy tales and folk tales is that living quarters are never questioned. Whether it's a beanstalk, a tower, a peach or a shoe - we accept it as appropriate living arrangements.

In this delightful tale, Froelich finds himself perch atop the fourth largest ladder in the world, built by himself and his brother, Harald. After a feud between th
Michael Ferro
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most delightfully odd and pleasantly surreal tales I've come across in a while. Jamie Duclos-Yourdon takes the age-old idea of magic and turns it on its head for modern readers. From its vivid descriptions of a lush world, to its personal and tender reflections on isolation, Froelich's Ladder is a novel I won't forget for some time, and I'm truly grateful for that. ...more
Susan DeFreitas
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Can a tall tale achieve real literary depth? Duclos-Yourdon proves that it can, and of all the marvels of this book, this is perhaps the most impressive of all: he makes it look easy.
Megan L (Iwanttoreadallthebooks)
Nope, this one didn't work for me at all. ...more
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: review
From the description Froelich’s ladder sounds like it’ll be a funny and heartwarming story about family. In a way, it was, just not as much as I hoped.

Straight away the writing style was more tell than show and I wasn’t particularly fond of it. The setting was hard to visualize and it was difficult to get a feel for the characters’ personalities. It was similar to Forrest Gump in the way that the story felt very detached. This did make it hard for me to get into the story, but once I did it was
Joy Clark
Froelich's Ladder brings to mind the "tall tells" we learned about in grade school - Johnny Appleseed (who gets a quick nod, by the way), Paul Bunyan, etc. The story of two brothers who build the 4th tallest ladder in the world, Froelich's Ladder reads like an 19th century folktale, complete with quirky characters, larger-than-life personalities, and enough realism to keep the fantastical elements from completely taking over. I likely would have rated it higher, but I honestly felt that the endi ...more
Angie Reisetter
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: firstreads
A charming fable, much sweeter and less crazy than I expected from the blurb and other reviews. It makes no sense, of course, and the narrator's voice is like that of a children's story, but this is no children's story. The array of characters is unexpected, and I found myself rooting for them (the good guys). It's a story of alienation and connection, of stubborn silence and sudden realizations. It's quite beautiful in a homespun kind of way.

I got a free copy to review from Net Galley.
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I found this an odd, entertaining romp with fascinating characters, sort of a cross between an amusing and troubling fairy tale and a Paul buyan like romp of Oregon early days. In places it got a little tangled in its own cleverness but was a bit like roller coaster hills of Oregon, slowing down and speeding up in various places.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was super weird. The guy lives for 20 year up a possibly kilometer long ladder and possibly gets taken away by a hungry cloud, all while his brother and then nephew holds the ladder because of a generations long fight.
Also some other folks get involved. I’m not sure what I think about this yet. Definitely strange, possibly I’d want a bit more about the other folks, but I’m not sure.
Jessika Grewe Glover
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Froelich's Ladder was a delightful tall tale which touches upon the weight of family expectations and obligations, guilt, and finding one's own-- sometimes off kilter-- way of maneuvering the world. I enjoyed it immensely. ...more
Crystal Calanca
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book is a good friend, I return to it again and again. A perfect departure from everyday life, it transports me outside of time with its fantastical tale of love and heights. Highly recommended.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of the unusual tale
A fun little tale of the early days of the Oregon wilderness. Who says it couldn't have happened exactly like this? ...more
Valerie Lawson
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A unique and wonderful, magical romp of a story. Thoroughly enjoyed this tale.
James Boyle
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not your usual novel. It is part fable, part tall tale, and part love story. This tale takes the mythical land of 19th Century Oregon and weaves a tale as fantastic as it is universal. Interesting read.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Two brothers fall in love with the same woman. Instead of settling it sensibly, or at least by dueling, one of them climbs up an enormous ladder they've been constructing, and refuses to come down for years. And rather than just letting the ladder fall, the other props it up till he dies and is replaced by his son.

Thus begins the premise to "Froelich's Ladder," which occupies a space somewhere between magic realism and the American tall tale. It's set in 19th-century Oregon, but a 19th-century O
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Neil Gaiman, Fans of Rick Riordan
Recommended to Grace by: NetGalley
First of all, I had no idea what to expect with Froelich’s Ladder. A modern story? A fairy tale or folk tale? Set on the Western Front? With no expectations, i was sucked in from the very first page. This fast-paced, clever novel is ripe with quirky characters, assassins, the wild West, and magic.

Set around the premise of a deep-seated family feud, one brother is cursed to sit on the top of the fourth tallest ladder, until he goes missing. When he disappears into thin air (think clouds), his ne
Alice Meloy
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Pure silly fun as all tall tales are, this is a captivating story, full of strange and wonderful people who are trying to make a living in the wet Oregon Territory of the late 19th century. For longer than Gordy can remember, his Uncle Froehlich has lived atop a ladder of mythic height. When Froehlich disappears one day, "eaten" by a cloud, Gordy decides to go looking for him. Along the way he meets characters who would be at home in a Dickens novel or in Wonderland or, more recently, in the nov ...more
Margaret Pinard
Talk, talk, talk, talk, bicker, bicker, bicker! I'm reminded of this line from The Music Man when I think of Froelich's Ladder. It has a cast of curmudgeons, all with quirks of personality that don't necessarily endear them to the reader--unless you want to rescue them from themselves--but as an ensemble, they make up their own working world.
I enjoyed the early Pacific Northwest history woven in. I loved the cloud that took up Froelich and tried to digest him! I'm not as sure of the male-female
Froelich's Ladder by Jamie Duclos-Yourdon is a modern fairy tale set during the pioneering days of Oregon. Modern and pioneering? Yes, just go with it; you won't be disappointed. Brothers Froelich and Harald have a fight that lasts decades and sends Froelich up the 4th tallest ladder in the history of the world. There he stays and stays, until one day he is missing. An unbelievably charming story with the quirkiest of characters, Froelich's Ladder is required reading for Pacific Northwest lovers ...more
Art Edwards
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the way Duclos-Yourdon suggests something ridiculous for his characters, and we just follow along like it's no big deal. Guy lives at the top of a ladder? Sure. How does he eat? Has a garden up there, of course. How does the ladder--which is not leaning against anything--stay up? His brother holds it every minute of every day. You will be mystified by the imagination on display in this fabulist tale that is still very much grounded in realism. ...more
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Duclos-Yourdon has written a whimsical and imaginative book set in 19th-century Oregon. It's reminiscent of Mark Twain's Roughing It in its picaresque structure, as it quietly reveals the early settlers of the mud-laden land as crude, dimwitted, and bigoted. Of Oregon, "If it doesn't exist we shall create it; if it isn't real we will pretend." It's an entertaining yarn with quiet undertones that speak to culture and place. ...more
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jamie Duclos-Yourdon’s new novel, Froelich’s Ladder, is the perfect tall tale for our time. Funny and smart, Duclos-Yourdon takes us back to just settled Oregon. With logging camps, confederate spies, and industrious builders, this book is at once a lesson in Oregon history and a lesson in the unexpected. Overall, it’s a joy to read; it’s evocative of a different time, and a tale that’s taller than the ladder Froelich builds.
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
::I received a copy of this book from Forest Avenue Press in exchange for an honest review::

Wow this was a different book but it was really good. I really enjoyed the magical elements that were included in the story. I feel like it's one of those books you just have to go with and enjoy the ride. I felt like the ending was a little abrupt and would have loved if it was a little longer. Highly recommend to people who like odd ball books and books with some magical elements in them.
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Ultimately quite disappointed by this book. Great concept and pretty good writing, but the characters were poorly drawn and inconsistent. Enjoyed some random shout-outs to parts of Oregon I'm familiar with. ...more
Mary Dean
rated it it was amazing
Nov 04, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2018
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Dec 07, 2017
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