Thursday, July 7, 2016

As Good As Gone

" Readers won't get a novel any better than this"
- Library Journal, starred review

Calvin Sidney is not exactly the first person you would think of to watch your children.  He has spent the vast majority his life running away from every responsibility he ever had. Calvin's estranged son is out of options when he discovers he needs surgery. He asks his father two watch his two young children during this time. Calvin agrees and trouble soon arrives. This time it is in the form of a young boy who starts to be aggressive with Ann, Calvin's seventeen-year-old granddaughter. Calvin decides that he is done with running away from problems.

*An "Best Book of July 2016"

“There’s a plainspoken toughness to this writer—nothing of the lofty soliloquizing of Ivan Doig or the verbal dash of Thomas McGuane—that has led to him be overlooked in the large herd of fine Montana novelists. As Good As Gone is the latest of his books to forge satisfying drama from the intersection of Western mystique and middle-class reality. Mr. Watson points up some grubby truths behind the archetypal Western tale of the loner who comes to town and dispenses rough justice. It’s typical of this thoughtful novelist that the ending of As Good As Gone is nuanced rather than explosive, and its traces of heroism are found not in violence but in a show of restraint.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“…Watson evokes Big Sky Country as well as Montana writing legends like Ivan Doig, Jim Harrison and Norman Maclean. And like those authors, Watson is a naturally gifted storyteller, plainspoken and unpretentious. Watson is excellent at building suspense, and As Good as Gone is frequently exciting in a cinematic sense. (Just try not picturing Sam Elliott as Calvin Sidey.) …Watson is a generous writer, and his love of the West and the people who live there shines through.”
—Michael Schaub,

[A] stunning novel…Having received numerous awards for his fiction, Watson (Montana 1948) is sure to win more praise for his powerful characterizations in the manner of Kent Haruf and Ivan Doig. Readers won’t get a novel any better than this.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

"Deserves a Clint Eastwood performance. Watson's powerful characterizations frame large and connected themes: family loyalty, the conflicting capacities of love, and the tenuous connections between humans."
—Kirkus Reviews