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A Good American


A Good American Cover

ISBN13: 9780399157592
ISBN10: 039915759x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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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.
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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.
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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.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
JoanMaggie, April 21, 2012 (view all comments by JoanMaggie)
A warm novel that picks the reader up and sweeps her away through a century of American history. This books feels familiar because it tells the familiar story of the emigrant experience and the experience of life itself. Well worth picking up and spending time with.
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mauritamcclard, January 11, 2012 (view all comments by mauritamcclard)
great book on history of family in America and the life they made here. I will tell friends about it.

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Product Details

George, Alex
Amy Einhorn Books
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
9.27 x 6.28 x 1.31 in 1.36 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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

A Good American Used Hardcover
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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."
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