30. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Claudia, Fiction, Historical Fiction

A Good American by Alex George, 384 pages, read by Claudia, on 04/01/2012

Alex George’s  novel A Good American has received a lot buzz since its’ publication date of February 7.  Alex George was featured in the February issue of Book Page….and this is where I learned he lives in Columbia and practices law.  According to this article, George had just moved to Missouri in 2003 when he was struggling to write another book, and got the idea that most people have never had the experience of moving to a new country.   The result is a lively story of the that begins in Germany in ends in the small fictional town of Beatrice, Missouri.  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.   A Good American is a novel about being an outsider—in your country, in your hometown, and sometimes even in your own family.

 

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