Andreas Schroeder: Photo Credit Laurie Sawchuck Heading: Andreas Schroeder

Books - Listed chronologically



Annick Press, 2012. (also available in e-book format).

Each of these 8 stories offers a glimpse, through a mix of narrative and graphics, into some of the world’s most famous robberies. Schroeder’s fascination with criminal masterminds and Simard’s action-packed graphics make this an utterly compelling read. For fans of mischief, mayhem and bad guys on the run.




DUPED!   (Young Adult Nonfiction)
Annick Press, 2011.

Another entertaining collection of world-class scams and hoaxes by CBC Radio’s irrepressible “Scam-meister”, Andreas Schroeder. Told in Schroeder’s inimical chuckling style, and supported by the inspired graphics of Montreal cartoonist Remy Simard, these true stories evoke amazement, disbelief, amusement and even grudging admiration for the ingenious scamsters who often (but not always) met a bad end.



Renovating Heaven


Oolichan Books, Lantzville, B.C. 2008


Hilarious, bizarre and heart-breaking by turns, this novel in triptych about Mennonite life in Canada from the 1950’s to the 1970’s, fills in the gap between Rudy Wiebe’s “Of This Earth” (a generation older) and Miriam Toews’ “A Complicated Kindness” (a generation younger. Leaving Germany with little more than their 16th century Anabaptist faith and lifestyle to guide them, the Niebuhr family settles on a small Fraser Valley farm in British Columbia and proceeds trying to make sense of “The English” who surround them. The family finds solace, but not much else, within the local Mennonite congregation, every one of whose 62 members is related to the narrator on his mother’s side.




THIEVES!  (Young Adult Nonfiction)
Annick Press, Toronto, 2005.


Of all the crimes people commit, stealing is the most common. From the notorious to the strangely heart-warming, this collection takes you into the realm of serious criminals with ten true stories of incredible heists from the past two centuries. You’ll find tales of daring railway robberies and bungled seaplane getaways, impenetrable vaults and irreplaceable artwork, charming jewel thieves and savvy safe-crackers.




SCAMS!  (Young Adult Nonfiction)
Annick Press, Toronto, 2004.


As long as there have been people willing to believe the unbelievable, there have been scam artists. This is a collection of ten true tales of  trickery, perpetrated by some of the most inventive and outrageous swindlers of all time. Witness how the Germans conducted one of the biggest, most sophisticated banknote counterfeiting operations in the history of the world. Learn how the world was fooled, for nearly a decade, when a “lost tribe” was discovered in the Philippines. Find out how Donald Crowhurst almost won the first-ever round-the-world yacht race without ever leaving the Atlantic Ocean.



Fakes Frauds and FLimflammery

FAKES, FRAUDS, AND FLIMFLAMMERY  (Nonfiction) McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1999.


As a regular contributor to CBC Radio’s “Basic Black Show”, Andreas Schroeder has earned a faithful and vastly amused audience for his stories of outrageous scams and rip-offs, and the fraudsters who dreamt them up. This is his third collection of such tales, and a must-read for anyone who enjoys (however guiltily) tales of hilarious and ingenious chicanery, wittily told.



CHeats Charlatans and Chicanery

CHEATS, CHARLATANS, AND CHICANERY  (Nonfiction) McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1997.


Once again, Andreas Schroeder regales us with an assortment of wonderfully wicked tales, written in his trademark sly and deadpan style that his many fans will immediately recognize and his new readers are sure to enjoy. An enormously entertaining collection of knavish frauds and thefts, carried out by utterly ingenious – and often lovable – rogues.



Scams Scoundrels and Skullduggery

SCAMS, SCANDALS, AND SKULDUGGERY  (Nonfiction) McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1996.


For years, Andreas Schroeder has been delighting listeners of CBC Radio’s “Basic Black Show” with wicked and hilarious tales of scams and rip-offs from all over the world. In this collection, Schroeder presents us with 17 of the stories that received the greatest, most positive listener response when they were broadcast – a sort of “Best of Basic Black Scams, Volume I”.



Carved From Wood

CARVED FROM WOOD  (Nonfiction)
The Mission Foundation, Mission, B.C. 1991


From its sober 1860’s beginnings as St. Mary’s Mission, the city of Mission in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley evolved first into an 1880’s CPR railway junction, then, in the 1890’s, into a major manufacturing metropolis (if only in the fevered imagination of its developer/founder J. W. Horne), acquired a split personality with its eventual division into Mission City and Mission Municipality, then pulled itself back together again in 1969 as the District of Mission. Only when the gamblers, speculators and gold-diggers finally left it to its own devices did the town begin the steady, rational growth that eventually made it one of the central Fraser Valley’s most picturesque and hospitable communities.



The Mennonites

THE MENNONITES: A Pictorial History of Their Lives in Canada (Nonfiction)
Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, 1990.


The first permanent Mennonite settlements in Canada were founded in the 1780’s, followed by several major migrations resulting from vicious persecution in their countries of origin. Today, almost a million ethnic and religious Mennonites make their home in Canada.

Andreas Schroeder, an ethnic Mennonite, chronicles the history of this enduring community in photographs drawn from a number of archival and contemporary resources, together with a carefully researched text. He also describes the social and religious traditions that make the community unique.



The Eleventh COmmandment


Co-authored with Jack Thiessen,
Translated into English by Andreas Schroeder
Thistledown Press, Saskatoon. 1990


These 22 Mennonite tales, originally concocted in Low German by the Mennonite raconteur Jack Thiessen, have been reworked, edited and translated into English by the well-known author and translator Andreas Schroeder. Laced with wit and earthy humour, they present a gallery of hilarious and inimical Mennonite characters, such as Great-Aunt Margaret who immigrates to Canada to die (but can’t ever seem to get around to it); the bridegroom Hans Reimer who needs over-priming with various veterinarian supplies on his wedding day, and Jack Neufeld, who outwits himself to astonishing effect after sneaking upstairs to console a lonely widow…



Dustship Glory



Doubleday, Toronto/New York, 1986 (hardcover)
Ballantine, New York, 1987 (trade paper)
University of Athabasca Press, Regina, Sask. 2011 (trade paper)

More than a thousand miles from the sea, in the middle of the bald Saskatchewan prairie, the Finnish-Canadian settler Thomas Sukanen has begun to build himself an ocean-going ship. At first people think the lumber and steel are new building materials for a granary or haybarn, but when they discover its real purpose, Sukanen’s bizarre dream becomes his  community’s concern. In the mire of the Great Depression, patience and morale is in short supply. Sukanen has clearly lost his marbles, and for his own good he must be stopped.

Schroeder has taken a true story and woven it into an inspiring and touching tale of human determination and a man victimized by his dreams and his times.




TOCCATA IN ‘D’  (Fiction)
Oolichan Press, Lantzville, B.C. 1984.


In this story, which Schroeder describes as a micro-novel, the narrator (a composer who emigrated from Germany to Canada in the 1950’s) returns to his birthplace to explore his origins and to try to make greater sense of his family’s puzzling history. In the process he makes some painful and rather unexpected discoveries.

This book is something of a technical experiment, in which the story, told in ten chapters over the length of a mere 57 pages, demonstrates the surprising emotional impact that such condensing and rapid scene re-sets can have on a narrative’s effectiveness.



Shaking it Rough

SHAKING IT ROUGH  (Nonfiction)
Doubleday, Toronto/New York, 1976.
Goodread Biographies (Lorimer Publications), 1983.


A prison memoir, in which Andreas Schroeder chronicles with sensitivity, humour, and passion the eight months he spent in the British Columbia correctional system on a dope charge. Readers of this book will find many of their preconceptions about prison life changed, and their understanding increased. Schroeder’s portraits of prisoners, prison guards, and officials are subtle and convincing. His insights into the unwritten laws of prison behaviour and his understanding of the nuances of prison psychology are both fascinating and provocative.



The Late Man

THE LATE MAN   (Fiction)

 Sono Nis Press, Vancouver, 1972.


A collection of “modern parables”, in which reality and surreality mesh – in which a couple making love and a couple killing each other appear involved in identical acts. These stories show Schroeder’s early biblical (Mennonite) influences, and his attraction to the evocativeness of Christ’s parables most clearly, though the language and its  preoccupations are decidedly more reminiscent of the poets Karl Krolow and Yvan Goll than Jesus Christ.



File of Uncertainties

Sono Nis Press, Vancouver, 1971.


Andreas Schroeder’s second collection of poetry, written in large measure while spending a winter alone in a cabin in the Fort Nelson area of northern British Columbia. His initial infatuation with the European Surrealists’ approach to literature has begun to fade.



The Ozone Minotaur

Sono Nis Press, Vancouver, 1969.


Schroeder’s first book of poems offers life as “a series of startling images suddenly lit – a row of streetlights through which light spreads like a contagious electric disease” (Michael Yates). Strongly influenced by both the German and the French Surrealists, its preoccupations are primarily mythological and metaphysical. 




UniVERSE    (Concrete Poetry)
MassAGE Press, 1971.

A collection of light-hearted concrete poems, intended primarily to satirize the form. Collages, cartoons, telegrams, announcements, advertisements, refrigerator lists, found poems, lost poems and no-poems – people took this stuff way too seriously in The Sixties. Illustrations by cartoonist Lew Saw.