The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
  1. $16.77 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Love Me Back

    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$11.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Burnside Literature- A to Z

More copies of this ISBN

A Good American

by

A Good American Cover

ISBN13: 9780399157592
ISBN10: 039915759x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $11.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An uplifting novel about the families we create and the places we call home.

It is 1904. When Frederick and Jette must flee her disapproving mother, where better to go than America, the land of the new? Originally set to board a boat to New York, at the last minute, they take one destined for New Orleans instead ("What's the difference? They're both new"), and later find themselves, more by chance than by design, in the small town of Beatrice, Missouri. Not speaking a word of English, they embark on their new life together.

Beatrice is populated with unforgettable characters: a jazz trumpeter from the Big Easy who cooks a mean gumbo, a teenage boy trapped in the body of a giant, a pretty schoolteacher who helps the young men in town learn about a lot more than just music, a minister who believes he has witnessed the Second Coming of Christ, and a malevolent, bicycle-riding dwarf.

A Good American is narrated by Frederick and Jette's grandson, James, who, in telling his ancestors' story, comes to realize he doesn't know his own story at all. From bare-knuckle prizefighting and Prohibition to sweet barbershop harmonies, the Kennedy assassination, and beyond, James's family is caught up in the sweep of history. Each new generation discovers afresh what it means to be an American. And, in the process, Frederick and Jette's progeny sometimes discover more about themselves than they had bargained for.

Poignant, funny, and heartbreaking, A Good American is a novel about being an outsider — in your country, in your hometown, and sometimes even in your own family. It is a universal story about our search for home.

Review:

"George's debut novel is a sentimental, lively, and sad family saga spanning four generations, from a couple's flight out of Germany in 1904 to the hope that their great-grandchildren hold for the future. The story is told by James Martin Meisenheimer, the grandson of the original immigrant couple, the unusually tall Jette and the unabashedly rotund and red-bearded Frederick. This unlikely pair falls in love in Hanover and flees (a mother, not a war) to the U.S. with Jette pregnant. She gives birth to James's father, Joseph, in Beatrice, Mo., a small town whose residents are capable of both kindness and hatred. Frederick opens a bar, then volunteers for the army and is killed in WWI. Jette turns the bar into a restaurant during Prohibition, a place that feeds the townspeople — with food, yes, but also music — for decades. When James calls his grandmother's life 'one long opera,' full of 'love, great big waves of it, crashing ceaselessly against the rocks of life,' he is very much a mouthpiece for author George (and not unlike Styron's Stingo), whose debut chronicles much of the 20th century through the eyes of one family. George, a British lawyer who has practiced law in London, Paris, and Columbia, Mo., where he now lives, evokes smalltown life lovingly, sometimes disturbingly, and examines the ties of family, the complications of home, and the moments of love and happiness that arrive no matter what. Agent: Emma Sweeney Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"This lush, epic tale of one family's journey from immigrant to Good Americans had me alternately laughing and crying, but always riveted. It's a rich, rare treat of a book, and Alex George is a first-rate talent." Sara Gruen, New York Times-bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Ape House

Review:

"As epic as an opera, as intimate as a lullaby, A Good American swept me through an entire century of triumph and tragedy with the wonderful Meisenheimer family. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and achingly sad, the story of the residents of Beatrice, Missouri, and all their glorious, messy secrets and dreams is a winner from the first page. Alex George has created that rare and beautiful thing — a novel I finished and immediately wanted to start again." Eleanor Brown, New York Times-bestselling author of The Weird Sisters

Review:

"Richly drawn, tragic, yet laced with humor — A Good American is a remarkable, multigenerational story of a German immigrant family struggling to find roots as dreams collide with honor and secrets lead to heartache." Beth Hoffman, New York Times-bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Review:

"[A]t once funny and sad and spectacularly real. A must-read." Speer Morgan, editor of The Missouri Review

Review:

"A Good American is a novel to be savored. It's brave, tender, and funny. As George promises in the opening line of this multigenerational story, 'Always, there was music.'" Rebecca Rasmussen, author of The Bird Sisters

Review:

"Alex George's A Good American is good, old-fashioned storytelling, and his characters, both recognizable and startlingly fresh each time, linger in the mind and heart like the strains of a treasured melody. By turns funny and heartbreaking, A Good American lifts the reader from the first sentence and carries her all the way to the powerful end with the swiftness and confidence of the big muddy river running through the little town of Beatrice, Missouri. It was truly a joy to read." Lise Saffran, author of Juno's Daughters

About the Author

Alex George is an Englishman who lives, works, and writes Missouri. He studied law at Oxford University and worked for eight years as a corporate lawyer in London and Paris before moving to the United States in 2003. To learn more about Alex George, please visit www.alexgeorgebooks.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

THOMAS COLE, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by THOMAS COLE)
I found this book to be a very interesting story of how to people came to America with little else than the clothes om their backs and expecting their first child. Instead of New York, they sail to New Orleans and travel up the Mississippi and end up living in a small town between St Louis and Kansas City to start their lives in America. The story covers several generations and gives one a perspective on how others who came to the USA survived. All in all a very enjoyable read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
THOMAS COLE, January 14, 2013 (view all comments by THOMAS COLE)
A most enjoyable read. The experiences of this family through the generations is kind of like visiting the past generations of your own family. Many facets, and many family secrets that each family keeps to themselves. It helps one to think back on their own family and the things that have happened and gives new meaning to family secrets. All in all a very fascinating read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
blossom, August 29, 2012 (view all comments by blossom)
Reading “A Good American” is like sitting down for a long late afternoon conversation with your favorite uncle. All the family secrets you didn’t know are shared, not at once, sometimes meandering, but always revealing. The author, Alex George, traces one family as they emigrate to the U.S. from Germany in 1904, and in their rush to leave, decide New Orleans must not be that different from New York as a destination. The story is ultimately set in Missouri, in the middle of America. Although a subtle character, Missouri does indeed play a cultural role in shaping the family, as the story moves through the generations. Be prepared for some interesting plots twists, scenes of violence and great sorrow, and an encompassing embrace of U.S. culture in its highs and lows…and don’t be surprised if you lose a few nights sleep staying up to finish this novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780399157592
Author:
George, Alex
Publisher:
Amy Einhorn Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
B-Hardcover
Publication Date:
20120231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.27 x 6.28 x 1.31 in 1.36 lb
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. Andrew Carnegie Used Trade Paper $8.50

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction

A Good American Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Amy Einhorn Books - English 9780399157592 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "George's debut novel is a sentimental, lively, and sad family saga spanning four generations, from a couple's flight out of Germany in 1904 to the hope that their great-grandchildren hold for the future. The story is told by James Martin Meisenheimer, the grandson of the original immigrant couple, the unusually tall Jette and the unabashedly rotund and red-bearded Frederick. This unlikely pair falls in love in Hanover and flees (a mother, not a war) to the U.S. with Jette pregnant. She gives birth to James's father, Joseph, in Beatrice, Mo., a small town whose residents are capable of both kindness and hatred. Frederick opens a bar, then volunteers for the army and is killed in WWI. Jette turns the bar into a restaurant during Prohibition, a place that feeds the townspeople — with food, yes, but also music — for decades. When James calls his grandmother's life 'one long opera,' full of 'love, great big waves of it, crashing ceaselessly against the rocks of life,' he is very much a mouthpiece for author George (and not unlike Styron's Stingo), whose debut chronicles much of the 20th century through the eyes of one family. George, a British lawyer who has practiced law in London, Paris, and Columbia, Mo., where he now lives, evokes smalltown life lovingly, sometimes disturbingly, and examines the ties of family, the complications of home, and the moments of love and happiness that arrive no matter what. Agent: Emma Sweeney Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "This lush, epic tale of one family's journey from immigrant to Good Americans had me alternately laughing and crying, but always riveted. It's a rich, rare treat of a book, and Alex George is a first-rate talent."
"Review" by , "As epic as an opera, as intimate as a lullaby, A Good American swept me through an entire century of triumph and tragedy with the wonderful Meisenheimer family. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and achingly sad, the story of the residents of Beatrice, Missouri, and all their glorious, messy secrets and dreams is a winner from the first page. Alex George has created that rare and beautiful thing — a novel I finished and immediately wanted to start again."
"Review" by , "Richly drawn, tragic, yet laced with humor — A Good American is a remarkable, multigenerational story of a German immigrant family struggling to find roots as dreams collide with honor and secrets lead to heartache."
"Review" by , "[A]t once funny and sad and spectacularly real. A must-read."
"Review" by , "A Good American is a novel to be savored. It's brave, tender, and funny. As George promises in the opening line of this multigenerational story, 'Always, there was music.'"
"Review" by , "Alex George's A Good American is good, old-fashioned storytelling, and his characters, both recognizable and startlingly fresh each time, linger in the mind and heart like the strains of a treasured melody. By turns funny and heartbreaking, A Good American lifts the reader from the first sentence and carries her all the way to the powerful end with the swiftness and confidence of the big muddy river running through the little town of Beatrice, Missouri. It was truly a joy to read."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.