Advance reader reviews of A Good American by Alex George.

A Good American

A Novel

By Alex George

A Good American
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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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  • Elinor S. (Loudonville, NY)


    A good American
    As I started reading this book, I thought, "I bet this is going to be inane and boring". I could not have been more wrong. It was engaging and heartwarming with some surprising twists. James is a great chroniciler of his family's history, with the right amount of humor and compassion. I loved this book!!
  • Mary D. (Claremont, CA)


    A Good American
    A Good American by Alex George was a "good read." It grabbed and held my attention from the very beginning. I felt that the characters were very well drawn, the family story lines were very well developed and consistent; everything was entirely believable, starting with the reasons for leaving Europe, why Frederick and Jette settled where they settled, and how family fortunes evolved. This book would make an excellent mini-series, along the lines of Roots or the Lonesome Dove mini-series. All of the characters were "real people" complete with flaws, inabilities to communicate, misunderstandings. The few "bad seeds" were almost horrific when the story unfolded and all questions were answered. This book is easy to read, not requiring more than a basic background knowledge in American or world history. I throroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.
  • Lynn R. (Wautoma, WI)


    A Good American
    I really enjoy a good historical novel in the mix with my mysteries. This one was perfect, I could hardly put it down. I was a little nervous at first because it did not grip me until the 2nd or 3rd chapter, but then it had me. The characters were believable and interesting and blended well.

    I have recommended this book for my book club for later in the year because there are many topic for conversation. Excellent book!
  • Kathy S. (Danbury, CT)


    Loved this Book
    I absolutely loved this book; an exceptional debut novel. The tempo starts out slowly, and quickly accelerates as the novel progresses. The characters were well-developed and I felt a true sense of loss when I read the last page. I look forward to a follow-up novel.

    This book would work well for book clubs, with its many themes to explore: post-war Europe, marital relationships, familial relationships, race, religion, small-town living.
  • Rebecca G. (Menlo Park, CA)


    "A Good American" truly a great read!
    "A Good American" grabs your attention in the first chapter and doesn't let go... if you like stories about families, this is for you. I enjoyed the author's story-telling ability and his use of rich language to describe the relationship between the many characters.
  • Jean O. (DePere, WI)


    A Good American
    This is a wonderful book. The prose is beautiful and flowing, the characters are real and interesting. I tabbed several passages because they are memorable. Usually I do not read a book twice, but I am in the process of doing that now. It seemed too abrupt to leave the story. I need more time to savor.
  • Joan P. (Owego, NY)


    A Good American
    "A Good American" turned out to be surprisingly good. It started out being interesting but ordinary. As it went on it gathered steam and got better and better.

    The characters that I thought improbable developed and became real. There were some that were unreal but entertaining, a dwarf, a giant, a very seductive school teacher and a bartender that fell down drunk every night, to name a few. Characters came and left only to reappear later in the story. When Frederick sang in France with a piano player from Missouri, I thought I know who he was but who under the age of seventy would know. Later in the story, much later his identity is revealed.

    Although the main theme of this book is patriotism and the love an immigrant can feel for America as he raises his family and becomes a citizen, there were numerous threads woven through the story. Frederick's talent and love for music is passed down to his boys. The Kaiser Medal, although it's history caused Jette to be ashamed, is stolen and used bring change to many lives. There were interesting sub-plots concerning religion and race.

    I enjoyed this book and will definitely recommend it to my book club.
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