Title: A Good American
Author: Alex George
Narrator: Gibson Frazier
Genre: Historical Mystery
Audio: 11.3 hours
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
When Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer set out for America from Germany, they intended to go to New York, like most immigrants. But fate brought them through New Orleans instead, eventually settling in a small Missouri town. What follows is their life – the ups and downs and everything in between.
This is one of those great, multigenerational family sagas. The one problem I find with this kind of story, and one that I found here, was that it sometimes felt like it was just a long obituary. I was starting to get really depressed with everyone dying. The story spans many years. Of course people are going to die. But sometimes it seemed like that’s all that was happened. Death. Cute story about a raccoon. Death. Death. Wedding. Death.
But, this was the story of an American family. How they came to this country, how they settled where they settled, and what happened after that. Death aside, it’s nice to be reminded of what the “American Dream” looks like and experience history through the Meisenheimers.
Alex George is a fantastic writer, peppering the story with unique characters and heartfelt emotion. I enjoyed spending time with the Meisenheimer family (which is probably why I got so depressed when everyone kept dying). So many people loved this book that I feel perfectly comfortable recommending it despite my seemingly-ambivalent review. I wish I loved it as much as everyone else. Amy Einhorn and I just don’t seem to be getting along quite as well as we used to. But we’re still cool. I promise.
Gibson Frazier did a fine job narrating this. He has a unique voice and puts a lot of emotion into his narration (as opposed to those who step back and let the story handle that).
Others’ Thoughts: Mrs Q Book Addict; Whimpulsive; Devourer of Books
Ack, that would probably bother me too as much as it makes sense in the story, lol. I’m thinking I’ll still read this but I know to expect that!
I have this audio on my shelves, but haven’t slogged through all my others yet. I have never read a bad AE book, so I know I need to get to it. Maybe this summer!
I just got this one on audio as well, and need to make time for it. Most of the reviews I have been reading have been raves, so I am very happy to see your balanced and thoughtful analysis on this one. I will have to keep your opinions in mind when I am listening to this one!
I thought this book was disappointing in the end – too many cliches, too shallow. But I thought the narration on the audio was excellent – not sure I would have stuck with it on paper!!