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Froelich's Ladder


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About the Author

Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, a freelance editor and technical expert based in Portland, Oregon, received his bachelor's degree from Colby College, and his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. His short fiction has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Chicago Literati, and others, and he has contributed essays and interviews to Booktrib. Froelich's Ladder is his debut novel.


"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 "A wild odd funny picaresque headlong fervent fever dream of a dense moist prickly novel--the most unusual fiction I have read in years." -- Brian Doyle, author of Mink River "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 "These men and women--and women mistaken for men--search and stumble through a barely charted wilderness of moss and muck, peppered with outposts, outlaws and out-of-luck misfits who charm with wordplay that brings to mind William Goldman's The Princess Bride." -- Brian Juenemann, Eugene Register-Guard "Bristling with the bizarre, Jamie Duclos-Yourdon's Froelich's Ladder is a fantastical commentary on humanity's interconnectedness." -- Meagan Logsdon, ForeWord Reviews "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 Hidden Letters of Velta B. "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 "Froelich's Ladder is a tall tale/fable/kindermarchen 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. I loved the magic and the tall tale-ness and the characters and I wish there were more books in the world that were creating new folklores and fairy tales. Sometimes we grown-ups need to be reminded of why we started loving stories in the first place, and Froelich's Ladder is a book that can do that." -- Billie Bloebaum, bookseller, Third Street Books "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." -- Dianah Hughley, bookseller, Powell's Books "In Froelich's Ladder, Jamie Duclos-Yourdon debuts an impeccably crafted adventure in the best tall tale tradition. The men and women of his frontier Oregon are keenly drawn and brilliantly, painfully human, as is the book itself, touched with wit and whimsy and saturated with longing. Duclos-Yourdon's deft, lyrical prose gives the novel an impressive, addictive fairy-tale sensibility, and marks it as one of those rare reads that simultaneously evokes and transcends its wholly original time and place." -- Tracy Manaster, author of You Could Be Home by Now "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." -- Kate Ristau, author of Shadowgirl "This is more than just an ordinary fairy tale; it is also a look at independence and solitude and it is very, very clever and very, very irreverent. I do not remember ever reading anything quite like this." -- Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen "What a clever, leaping story!" -- Ruby Meyers, bookseller, Annie Bloom's Books "This was a fast-paced, clever witted novel that I enjoyed immensely. The underlying theme of alienation was played out well throughout the novel. It reminds the reader that we will always need to reach out to one another through whatever means and in whatever language. After all, they sure did need each other in order to survive the Wild West." -- Mareli Thalk, reviewer, Mareli Thalk Ink "Jamie Duclos-Yourdon's debut novel, Froelich's Ladder, is part Twain-ian tall tale, part history lesson, part fantasy, and part social commentary on generosity and social interdependence in a magical, but realistic, Oregon forest of 145 years ago. " -- Mo Daviau, author of Every Anxious Wave

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