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Publisher's Summary

A lyrical and deeply affecting novel recounting the seven days a father spends on the road with his daughter after kidnapping her during a parental visit. Attending a New England summer camp, young Eric Schroder - a first-generation East German immigrant - adopts the last name Kennedy to more easily fit in, a fateful white lie that will set him on an improbable and ultimately tragic course. 

Schroder relates the story of Eric's urgent escape years later to Lake Champlain, Vermont, with his 6-year-old daughter, Meadow, in an attempt to outrun the authorities amid a heated custody battle with his wife, who will soon discover that her husband is not who he says he is. From a correctional facility, Eric surveys the course of his life to understand - and maybe even explain - his behavior: the painful separation from his mother in childhood; a harrowing escape to America with his taciturn father; a romance that withered under a shadow of lies; and his proudest moments and greatest regrets as a flawed but loving father. 

Alternately lovesick and ecstatic, Amity Gaige's deftly imagined novel offers a profound meditation on history and fatherhood, and the many identities we take on in our lives - those we are born with and those we construct for ourselves. 

©2013 Amity Gaige (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Folded World will appeal to readers who like to dive into the muck of internal and interpersonal conflicts, and break the surface with breath born of insight and empathy. Amity Gaige's second novel lives up to the reputation she earned with her first one, as an original, compelling voice." (Chicago Tribune, Favorite Books of 2007)

"The bitterness and disillusion of marriage have been thoroughly plumbed in contemporary fiction; Gaige is one of the rare novelists who is more interested in its potential for happiness and grace. A-." (Entertainment Weekly on The Folded World

"In this tightly-written and emotionally satisfying novel, a young couple's marriage is thrown into jeopardy by the husband's workaholic tendencies... [Gaige] is extraordinarily adept at revealing her characters' personalities in just a few words...Stirring." (New York Times Book Review on The Folded World

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What listeners say about Schroder

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perfect

I would have never picked up this book based on it's description, but happened on a review and decided to listen anyway.

And I don't normally write reviews, because I'm not a good writer, but I have to tell you (as I've told my friends one by one today) that I listened to this whole book yesterday and started it again today. It is perfect. It is funny and sad and moving and every single sentence is so well constructed and lovely...the reader is perfect. I'm not kidding at all, this is the best book I've ever listened to-- don't pass it by.

I hope her other books will be available on Audible- in the meantime, I'm going to read them!

11 people found this helpful

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Huh?

I was captivated by the story and motivated to read on. Gaige's style is interesting. I thought the narrator was excellent. Collyer made the main character seem believable even appealing at times. Schroder/Kennedy made one bad decision after another. Painful.

Having been through a difficult divorce (with children) I could feel the angst created in the story line. You felt angst throughout the audio.

I would recommend this book whole heartedly except that the end was not good. I like a book to have a true beginning, middle and end. I was disappointed with the end. I felt like the story stopped abruptly and I was left saying to myself, "Huh?".

4 people found this helpful

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Hugely Overrated

I looked at several reviews online before buying this (not including the ones here on audible). I saw the book described as a combination of Nabokov & Salinger. Nothing could live up to that hype, but this doesn't even come close.

It's a simple, easy read. It's not exceptional prose, it's not great literature. It barely held my interest as the characters lacked depth & the situations were fairly predictable.

It flows fairly smoothly from beginning to end & will certainly appeal to many readers.

I was expecting a great deal more from it & am disappointed. If the storyline description appeals to you & you enjoy a lazy read then you will very likely enjoy this book. But don't believe the hype.

2 people found this helpful

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Great story!

Would you listen to Schroder again? Why?

I would listen to this book again. It was a great story and Schroder was an interesting character

What other book might you compare Schroder to and why?

Sophie's Choice - because terror and hardship force us to make difficult & painful decisions that we must live with for the rest of our lives.

Which character – as performed by Will Collyer – was your favorite?

Erick Schroder was my favorite because he was such a rich character. He did what we have all wished to do at times in our lives - become someone different, re-invent ourselves.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

What would you do if you hated your life and wanted to forget??

2 people found this helpful

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Really good read!

Would you consider the audio edition of Schroder to be better than the print version?

I enjoyed this book of a father abducting his own daughter and the adventures/misadventures than ensue. Good characterization.

2 people found this helpful

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A solid writing

I did not enjoy the content of this book but I have enjoyed immensely the writing. This writer is very talented. The writing is so, for the lack of better word, solid. from beginning to end it has the same rhythm, like reading with a metronome. the reader understands very well the hero's way of thinking even though he does not relate to it. I will read more books by Amity Gaige, hopefully with content I can relate to.

1 person found this helpful

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WHO AM I?

Schroder is about personal identity. Every human being has an identity that is reinforced by relationship with others. One of the most important identity reinforcements is forged by marriage. There is only one good reason for two adults to get married; as trite as it may seem, it is love. When love leaves one partner in a marriage, it deconstructs the union of two or more people and, when a marriage dissolves, personal identity changes.

Defined by a daughter that no longer lives in his life, Schroder becomes like his father; abandoned by all. Eric is only a perception of himself. He wanders between two identities with no relational reinforcement. He wonders, who am I?

NOTE: The character of Schroder is partly based on the real life identity thief Christian Gerhartsreiter, aka Clark Rockefeller.

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Amazing and Disturbing Read

wow this book was disturbing. and it was beautiful at the same time. every time i put my iphone down, i couldn't stop thinking about it. i wanted to just listen to it nonstop so that i could be done with it. but in a good way.

i know that sounds weird.

let me try again. this story was so...real. the way that this father describes his life, his love, his daughter. his life and love for his daughter. it's so true, so real. there are moments that i was reading this and i couldn't feel more connected to the narrator.

then there were moments where i was so appalled by him. and upset, horrified, disgusted. i got angry at myself for feeling empathetic a few moments before.

as i said in the title, this is an amazing and disturbing read at the same time...i loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Em&Me
  • 02-10-21

Unpalatable, beautiful and touching.

I’m going to start by saying that it is difficult to write a review about this book. This is because the central character made me question and even stretch my own morality.

I’m not writing any spoilers here that aren’t available in the blurb; a father, hamstrung by the family courts system takes his daughter on one final, extended, access visit.

Except that if the plot alone was the ingredient of the novel then you would probably pass this on by, after all, what is there to be said? You know the story, right? Oh so wrong.

Before I say the next part; I want to be clear that no-one is physically abused in this novel. That aside, the writing reminded me of Lolita, which is another novel that uses and chooses beautiful language to tell a story that also challenges the morals of the reader.

This is a (platonic) love story written from a father to his child, their one final adventure together. It is written with tenderness and beauty.

No, this novel won’t be for everyone. However, if you want to read prose written using language which is almost poetic, one that draws you in and maybe makes your heart break a little too, without being mawkish or a tearjerker, that tells an everyday story in an individual way and challenges your own perceptions and morals then this is one for you.

To the author or the publisher, in case you read reviews; please write more. No, your next book won’t be the same but if this is any guide your talent deserves to be read and heard.

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  • D L. bloom
  • 07-11-14

Beautiful and moving

What made the experience of listening to Schroder the most enjoyable?

A wonderful narrator, who really got the perfect balance between the inevitable self sabotage of the protagonist against the subtle and poetic sensitivity of his narrative voice.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Schroder himself: complex, contradictory, sympathetic and repulsive at once.
But I love how Amity Gaige brings so much life to the other characters with such economy of scale; she really breathes life in to them using so little, showing how much she trusts and respects her readers.

Which character – as performed by Will Collyer – was your favourite?

I like the way he portrays Meadow, he reads with great rhythm.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, it definitely moved me, but it is not sentimental and does not intentionally pull at the heart strings...it just unfolds and gives you generous space to walk around in, feeling your way through the language and the landscapes, quietly allowing you to gauge your own reactions and shifting sympathies.

Any additional comments?

A great book which enjoys narrative and language without being heavy handed with it read by an intelligent narrator who really brings the best out of it with a sonorous clarity and steady focus.