Reader reviews and comments on A Good American, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Good American

A Novel

by Alex George

A Good American
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2012, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2013, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 3 of 4
There are currently 30 reader reviews for A Good American
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Rebecca G. (Menlo Park, CA) (01/06/12)

"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) (01/05/12)

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.
Power Reviewer Joan P. (Owego, NY) (01/04/12)

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.
Jane H. (Owensboro, KY) (01/03/12)

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) (01/02/12)

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) (12/29/11)

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) (12/28/11)

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) (12/27/11)

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.

Beyond the Book:
  German Americans

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Book That Matters Most
    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers appreciated the innovative structure of The Book That Matters ...
  • Book Jacket: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood

    A memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood

    An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets and friendship.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.