Advance reader reviews of A Good American by Alex George.

A Good American

A Novel

By Alex George

A Good American
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Feb 2012,
    400 pages.

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There are currently 25 member reviews
for A Good American
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  • Jane H. (Owensboro, KY)

    A Good American
    This book started out great as a historical fiction book but somewhere along the way the author decided to insert wry humor into the mix. In my opinion, this diluted the effectiveness of the story. Maybe if the entire book had been written this way, I wouldn't have felt so cheated, but having settled in for a good historical fiction read, I was disappointed when this adjustment was added. My opinion is that it is a light read -- certainly not an award winner.
  • Judy K. (Conroe, TX)

    Great Entertainment!
    From page one, this book grabs your attention and doesn't let go. It tells the story that is the same story many American families would tell if they had a talent like Alex George among the ranks. It traces the saga of the Meisenheimer family's journey from Germany in 1904 to America through the present day. Along the way, we experience little slices of history as they touched this family: prohibition, racism, WWI, WWII, the Great Depression. We see how a given talent, singing in this instance, runs through generation after generation. We see how tastes in food and music evolve through the years. Throughout the telling of this American Story, we laugh out loud at characters like a dwarf attorney dressed in three-piece suits and a spinster aunt with a pronounced case of hypochondria. It is very interesting to trace the Americanization of the Meisenheimers from Frederick and Jette to their great-grandchildren who are as far removed from Germany as four generations can take them. Great read. You won't be disappointed.
  • Joan B. (Ellicott City, MD)

    A Good American
    I really loved reading this book. The theme that really called to me was the joy, comfort and fellowship the generations of the family recieved from music. I have always depended on the happiness that music can bring to the soul. It was a thrill to have that feeling expressed in a novel.

    How delightful to have the feelings of patriotism described and expressed in a modern novel. My wish would be for everyone to read and feel this love of the USA.

    The story line was somewhat like a soap or even reality TV. However, the underlying themes of the plot line were inspiring.
  • Rachel D. (Leominster, MA)

    A Good American
    I have read this book and found it to be charming and sad and funny. The family coming to America and learning the language and habits of Americans and how to get along is inspiring. It moves along at a good pace and keeps the reader interested from begining to end.
  • MaryEllen K. (Albany, NY)

    A Good American
    I was very eager to read this book, based on the advanced praise. However, I found that it got off to a very slow start for the first 65 pages. Then, finally, I started to care about Frederick, Jette, Joseph, and Rosa. These characters were well drawn and had great potential for development, but it seemed to me that the author put more focus onto the historical events (WW l, Prohibition, Big Flood, Stock Market Crash, WW ll, etc.) that surrounded their lives. Lomax was one character that I felt I knew well, and I really enjoyed the way he befriended and loved both Joseph and Rosa. The book soon turned its focus onto the next generation of Meisenheimers- James, Freddy, Frank, and Teddy.
    I must honestly say that I didn't feel a connection to any of these brothers, their wives, or their children. This novel was a generational saga, but I feel that the author could have written a better book if he had aimed for more depth, rather than breadth.
  • Ann L. (Arnold, MD)

    A Good American
    This was an interesting 3 generation family saga story taking place mainly in Missouri. It held my attention all the way through with good characters and a story line that had several twists and turns. The author has a smooth easy style of writing which makes it fun to read. There is one especially witty dialogue between two characters who are carrying on a conversation but each one is talking about something else that the other is not aware of. I would highly recommend this as a very enjoyable book to read.
  • Steve B. (Spring, TX)

    A Tale of American Immigrants & Their Descendants
    One of the best generational stories I have ever read. The author, Alex George, is himself an immigrant and he obviously has fallen in love with America. His understanding of the challenges and opportunities experienced by our ancestors upon entry into the United States is evident.
    This novel presents the reader with a wide range of emotional highs and lows, joys and tragedies, and examples of good behavior and dastardly acts. It also illustrates how those who work hard are rewarded but also, in the concluding pages; a surprise is revealed about how one character has used crime, deceit and abandonment to create his fortune.
    In the Author’s Note, Mr. George tells us why he likes America and in turn caused me to reflect on what I have often taken for granted about how lucky we are that our ancestors chose to be Americans.
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