By Louis Begley
As he attempts to make his existence liveable again--after the devastating lack of his wife--retired attorney Albert Schmidt unearths the potential for regeneration in a brand new love the previous "Schmidtie" may by no means have dreamt of. Set within the Hamptons and Mahnattan, and laced with black humor, approximately Schmidt casts a chilly, pitiless eye at the japanese seaboard top classification, the final vestiges of once-ascendant WASPs, and the newbies whose fortunes are rising.
BONUS: This variation contains an excerpt from Louis Begley's Memories of a Marriage.
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Extra resources for About Schmidt (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
After his clerkship, should Jon have taken a job with a firm that paid associates more than Wood & King did? How should he evaluate the loss of income resulting from his choice, if there had been one, against the possibly lower probability of partnership at some other more lucrative place—but had he “made partner” there, what a bonanza! Now that he was a Wood & King partner, was his generation’s share of income sufficient (here the pocket calculator might come out of the neatly organized attaché case, Charlotte’s lavish offering), or was too much going to older types (like Schmidt, but that was left unsaid), who had not had the decency to get out when their productivity declined?
They had all been scripted with Jack DeForrest in mind or, even more likely, the ubiquitous Lew Brenner, W & K’s own Jewish Al Pacino, stiletto or charm ready for whomever it might concern, and other imperturbably self-assured and yet esurient men just like them, partners in a posse of firms, each of which claimed primacy in the profession, the right to be the first to go through every door. Schmidt too had been at the top of the profession, but the peak he had scaled—representing two of the largest American insurance companies in their most complex private loans—had been eroded over the course of twenty years until it took on the gentle look of an ancient hillock comfortably lost in a verdant landscape.
You’ll hurt their feelings. They said my grandparents are even coming to New York instead of the usual family gathering in Washington. My brother will be there too. Schmidt had forgotten to put the brother in the family album. This would be the boy who jumped ship from Wharton and was working for a trade association—also in Washington. Was he married? Might he be gay; was that what Mary had told him? Let’s not decide today. This is only the third week of October. We have lots of time before us.
About Schmidt (Ballantine Reader's Circle) by Louis Begley