Cover image for A good American
Title:
A good American
Author:
George, Alex.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Unabridged.
Publication Information:
[New York, NY] : Penguin Group USA, [2012]

â„—2012
Physical Description:
10 audio discs (11 1/2 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
A Good American is a story of immigrant hope. Set in a fictional Midwestern town and spanning more than a century, the novel tells the story of three generations of the Meisenheimer family. Beginning with an improbable love affair ignited by the power of song, the story follows an unorthodox young couple as they flee to America in search of a new life together. From prohibition to the Kennedy assassination, the family is caught up in the sweep of history as they find their place in America.
General Note:
Title from web.

Compact discs.

Duration: 11:30:00.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781611760385
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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Summary

Summary



Unabridged, 10 CDs, 12 1/2 hours


Read by TBA


For fans of Water for Elephants and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand --an uplifting novel about the families we create and the places we call home.



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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The unlikeliest of lovers, Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer flee their native Germany and set sail for America at the turn of the twentieth century, eager for the freedom their new country promises. Turn by lucky turn, they make their way from New Orleans to the tiny burg of Beatrice, Missouri, aided by the kind of dumb luck fate shines upon the deserving. Though they are ever thankful for the benevolence that comes their way, global events still manage to track them down in their idyllic haven. As WWI rages across Europe, Frederick enlists so he can fight for his newly adopted land. Recounted by his grandson, James, the lives of Frederick's descendants daughter Rosa, son Joseph, and Joseph's four boys play out against the major historical events and cultural influences of each decade, from Prohibition to the civil rights movement, ragtime to rock and roll. An English lawyer highly praised for his previous novels who is now living in Missouri, George has created an expansive yet intimate family saga in which he adroitly explores aspects of identity, loyalty, chance, and determination that define the immigrant experience.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Protagonist James Meisenheimer, age 70, unfurls this gentle family saga beginning with his German grandparents. In 1904 Hamburg, Frederick and Jette fall in love, marry, and immigrate to America, settling in Beatrice, MS. Frederick becomes the bartender at a local tavern and eventually buys the place, which he and Jette turn into a restaurant when Prohibition comes along. Their daughter, Rosa, is the town schoolteacher, and son Robert eventually takes over the restaurant. Narrator James is the second of Robert's four sons. He and his brothers choose different careers but come together as a popular quartet, singing at weddings, funerals, and other local events. Memorable characters include Lomax, the jazz musician who introduces Creole flavors to Jette's German cooking, a best friend who is a giant, and a mad attorney who is a dwarf. A case of mistaken identity leads to a shotgun wedding and a new generation of Meisen-heimers. VERDICT Gibson Frazier's narration conveys James's earnest desire to tell the family history accurately, without shame or boasting. A solid choice for popular collections. [Though the novel "loses steam once the focus (moves to the younger generation)...this memorable and well-written exploration of one family's search for acceptance in America should strongly appeal to readers who enjoy family sagas and historical fiction," read the review of the Amy Einhorn: Putnam hc, LJ 12/11.-Ed.]-Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.