Best-selling author Louis Begley created a beguiling icon of middle age in About Schmidt. Recently widowed, pushed into retirement by his law firm, at odds with his family, Albert Schmidt captivated readers with his cautious courage. Now he is facing ever mounting challenges of life, love, and age. Schmidt is happy living with his affectionate young girlfriend, Carrie. His grumpy daughter, on the other hand, seems to want only money from him. What really disturbs Schmidt, however, is the growing attention of his neighbor, the exotic Michael Mansour. Wealthy and persistent, Mansour seems determined to draw Schmidt into his lavish personal and financial affairs. Louis Begley’s aim is perfect as he targets the joys and pitfalls facing our graying hero.
Would you listen to Schmidt Delivered again? Why?
I may. I really like the book and got a lot of it in the gym and the car, so I had distractions. I love the Schmidt series. I missed this one somehow and it was out of sync with the rest of the Schmidt books.
What other book might you compare Schmidt Delivered to and why?
Well, it was a continuation done beautifully of About Schmidt, which I loved and would read again and recommend to any man my age, or within ten years. (I'm 76)...I loved Schmidt Steps Back, as well and I could picture Jack Nicholson as Schmidt throughout all the book(s) and that really helps the character, although I thought the movie was boring and dragged; it needed the Schmidt narrative.
Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?
Carrie...but to tell you the truth about George Guidall, he brings women to life like no other reader, even Frank Muller (god bless) didn't compare and, of course, Schmidt.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It made me laugh, cry and curse (at the daughter), before she died. The flirting with anti-Semitism annoyed me, as a Jew. The in-laws were annoying, but then, what psychiatry's aren't annoying?
Any additional comments?
I totally identified with Schmidt and have gone down many of the same roads as he. So Lou, keep them coming! And use George Guidall for anything that you write in the future...please!
Excellent characterization and setting. Up until the end, the story was believable. The ending however was poorly constructed and hard to believe. Begley is less convincing when he tries to make nice.
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