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February 17, 2012 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: A Good American by Alex George

A Good American
by Alex George
Read by: Gibson Frazier

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Audio (Amy Einhorn Books)
Publish Date: February 7, 2012
Format: Audio CD | 12 hours and 30 minutes
Rating: 4½ of 5

What a wonderful surprise! I received this in audio for review and knew little about the book other than it was historical fiction. As I began listening I was immediately swept away into the saga of the Meisenheimer family.

The story opens in 1905, Germany. Frederick serenades Jette with beautiful opera songs and eventually wins her heart. But Jette’s mother does not approve of Frederick and when Jette becomes pregnant, the only real option available to the two young lovers that will allow them to stay together is to leave for America. They book passage on the first available ship, marry on the journey and eventually arrive in New Orleans. Finding it difficult to fit in and not understanding the language, they continue traveling and when they reach Beatrice, Missouri, they find other German immigrants and settle there. Frederick takes a job at a local bar and eventually buys the establishment.

Music, food and family are themes that runs throughout this amazing story. While much of the novel is upbeat there is also sadness, tragedy and secrets. The writing is rich, the characters are vivid and I was carried away with their tale. Never boring and rarely predictable, the story takes turns I wasn’t expecting, and kept me engrossed.

The entire novel is told from the point of view of one narrator, Fredericks’s grandson, James. Many of us can relate to being the grandchildren of immigrants. My grandparents came to America in the early 1900s to escape the aftermath of a Europe devastated by World War I, seeking employment and a better life for their future children. But I know little of their story, and while I was listening to this book I kept thinking how I wished someone in my family had written some of it down for, sadly, it is now lost in time.

The audio was a pleasure to listen to. Gibson Frazier’s narration was superb and his storytelling had a perfect rhythm and just the right amount of emotion and inflection. I highly recommend this to readers who want to try an audiobook for the first time as a single narrator makes it an excellent choice to become familiar with the audiobook format. And I’m sure it’s wonderful in print, too.

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Source: Review copy.

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9 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. sagustocox / Feb 17 2012 12:59 pm

    This is a book that is on my radar. I would love to read this for the WWI challenge. Glad that you enjoyed it

    Like

  2. BermudaOnion / Feb 17 2012 1:28 pm

    Everyone seems to love this book! I’d love to listen to it but will probably read the print copy I have.

    Like

  3. Suko / Feb 17 2012 2:45 pm

    Leslie, this sounds really good! Excellent review of a book that’s new to me. (I wish I were better about listening to audio books! They sound wonderful but I just can’t seem to find the time or the opportunity to listen to one. )

    Like

  4. DevourerofBooks (@DevourerofBooks) / Feb 17 2012 4:32 pm

    I definitely agree about Frazier’s storytelling!

    Like

  5. Alison's Book Marks / Feb 17 2012 8:44 pm

    I found your review from the kinky at Devourer of Books. Two for two…I’m downloading this one! Thanks!

    Like

  6. Alison's Book Marks / Feb 17 2012 8:45 pm

    LINKY. omg, I’m so sorry! (that’s an embarrassing autocorrect!)

    Like

    • Leslie / Feb 17 2012 9:13 pm

      🙂 Quite alright! Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

Trackbacks

  1. A Good American by Alex George: Audiobook Review « The Reading Date
  2. 2012 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up « Under My Apple Tree

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