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 fourth 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. Duclos-Yourdon clearly has a long career ahead of him. Just lovely! Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Froelich nurses a decades-old family grudge from his permanent perch atop a giant ladder in this nineteenth century madcap adventure novel. When he disappears suddenly, his nephew embarks on a rain-soaked adventure across the 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 magnate, this fairytale twist on the American dream explores the conflicts between loyalty and ambition and our need for human connection, even at the highest rungs.
"Froelich’s Ladder is a delight: sneaky, wise, hilarious. In thinking of Jamie Duclos-Yourdon’s spectacular debut, I’m put in mind of another tall tale, Huck Finn, whose title character said of his author, 'There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.' Froelich’s Ladder tells the truth of America, with astonishing insight, invention, and grace." Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and Stuck in the Middle with You
"Three words: inventive, intrepid, imaginative. Froelich’s Ladder blends the best elements of magic and realism, conveying characters and readers alike into the familiar fog-enshrouded world of Oregon where anything but the familiar happens." Gina Ochsner, author of The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight and The Hidden Letters of Velta B.
"Half (extremely) tall tale, half picaresque quest, and all entertaining, Froelich’s Ladder paints a picture of the American frontier that’s more original—yet perhaps more true—than any I’ve encountered in a long, long time. Readers who appreciate the cockeyed historical vision of writers like Charles Portis, Thomas Berger, Richard Brautigan, and Patrick deWitt need to add Jamie Duclos-Yourdon to their to-read lists today." Steve Hockensmith, New York Times bestselling author of Holmes on the Range and The White Magic Five and Dime
"From the first page to the last, Froelich’s Ladder brims with color, intrigue, and verve. At once a fantastical, madcap adventure and a poignant meditation on independence and solitude, it’s the kind of book that captivates you quickly and whisks you high into the atmosphere. I was in thrall to the surreal Oregon landscape, populated by tycoons and grifters, cross-dressers and hungry clouds. This debut is clever, irreverent, and ultimately unforgettable." Leslie Parry, author of Church of Marvels
About the Author
Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, a freelance editor and technical expert, received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. His short fiction has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Underneath the Juniper Tree, and Chicago Literati, and he has contributed essays and interviews to Booktrib. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two children.
Jamie Duclos-Yourdon on PowellsBooks.Blog
I wrote my first novel, A Year of Tuesdays
, right after I finished my MFA in 2001. The last thing I heard before leaving the University of Arizona was, “Good luck! Write a novel! Nobody buys short stories!”...