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Extended Audio Sample Zermatt, by Frank Schaeffer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (84 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frank Schaeffer Narrator: Lloyd James Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Calvin Becker Trilogy Release Date:
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In this sequel to his acclaimed novel Portofino, Frank Schaeffer’s memorable young narrator, Calvin Becker, returns in a story that is a coming-of-age gem.

It is 1966, and Calvin is fourteen, torn between his naturally volcanic sexual curiosity and a fundamentalist family so strict that he has never seen a movie, watched television, or danced—and has to hide his five copies of Mad magazine in the attic. Ralph and Elsa Becker, Reformed Presbyterian missionaries from Kansas, are stationed in Switzerland and on a modest ski vacation with their three children: tyrannical eighteen-year-old Janet, angelic Rachael, and the irrepressible Calvin. But at the Hotel Riffelberg, a supposed safe haven from the sinners listening to jazz far below in Zermatt, Calvin nevertheless falls into the hands of Eva, a young waitress who, while bringing him breakfast each morning, begins Calvin’s initiation. Even so, it is only after his mother catches him in the act (or so she thinks) that Calvin’s real education begins. The resulting family meltdown builds to a climax destined to push Calvin’s childhood into the past.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Not since Huck Finn has American literature been graced with a character as irresistible as Calvin Dort Becker.”

    Andre Dubus III, New York Times bestselling author

  • “In a painfully believable performance, Lloyd James suffers Calvin’s adolescent misery…James’ performance combines pathos with comedy, making the ingenuous, if not-so-innocent, Calvin a character to remember.”


  • “Comedy and tragedy blend flawlessly in this extraordinary novel…This is coming-of-age literature for all ages. Narrator James is pure perfection…Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Doris | 8/23/2013

    " Sex, sin and salvation all contribute to the pubescent awakening of our young narrator, Calvin Becker, on the ski slopes of Zermatt. A sometimes fun, sometimes sad look at this vacationing fundamentalist missionary family, last seen in 'Portofino', the first of this rather entertaining trilogy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bobby Sullivan | 9/23/2012

    " Laugh out loud funny in parts, too tragic for words in others... I have no idea how Frank Schaeffer turned out sane, because his family was anything but. If you grew up in a Fundamentalist household, you'll recognize an awful lot in this story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kathleen | 6/29/2012

    " The sequel to Portofino, it had a weak ending and seemed to go now where after the middle of the book. Still, as someone who was raised in a fundamentalist family, the language is a too familiar. I empathized with Calvin, all the lying and pretending, just to lead a normal life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Anne | 3/25/2012

    " Where Portofino was funny, Zermatt was just plain scary. A real cautionary tale about the mental illness inherent in fundamentalist religious practices. "

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