As Good As Can Be by William A. Glass
Publisher: Hawkeye Publishers, (April 14, 2020)
Category: Fiction: Coming of Age; War and Military; Family Saga
Available in Print and ebook, 400 pages
‘As Good As Can Be’ is a novel about the wayward son of an alcoholic army officer. As his dysfunctional family moves from one military base to the next, Dave Knight develops a give-a-damn attitude that goes well with his ironic sense of humor. In high school he joins other delinquents in a series of escapades, some dangerous, others funny, and a few that would be worthy of jail time should the troublemakers be caught.
After barely graduating Dave gets drafted into the army and sent to guard a nuclear weapons depot in Korea. There he runs afoul of his sergeant and must scramble to avoid dishonorable discharge.
‘As Good As Can Be’ draws on the author’s experiences growing up in an out-of-control military family during the 1950’s and his own military experience.
‘As Good As Can Be’ is a delight! William A. Glass has the storytelling apparatus of a really good mini-series writer or movie-writer. I kept getting sucked into this book while I was reading it the same way I do with a good Netflix series. Coming-of-age is a type of story that can be very difficult to execute well. You have to create a likable character, figure out where you want them to end up and then mix in the discord that makes for relatability. Because who among us didn’t suffer a little when we were in our adolescence?
In this case, the likable character is Dave Knight and the discord centers around his alcoholic father and his large, unruly family. Oh, and the general building tension of the mid-20th century. Can’t forget that! Dave’s father is a very high up officer in the Army, so, of course, his family moves around frequently, upending Dave and his siblings’ lives every single time. The Knight’s do love their kids, but with a busy father and flaky, forgetful mother, no one is really getting the attention they need to grow into a stable adult. Of course, the 1950’s were the era of “go play outside and come back when the streetlights come on” so maybe it’s safe to say Dave and his siblings were never going to get that attention anyway.
Regardless, after some missteps, Dave does manage to begin to mature and become stable just as he is drafted into the Vietnam war. From there he must relearn everything he thought he knew about being a man and do it all under extremely high pressure. Although there was one small place where the story dragged a bit, I would absolutely say that anyone reading this review should read this book. I had a great time reading it and I felt for the characters so deeply. You won’t regret picking this one up! I give it 4.0 stars.
Praise for As Good As Can Be
“A sweeping family saga that takes you into the world of a military family. A great read.”
“William’s book flows magically, I had a stack of papers to grade one night but thought I would read a chapter before I started. Next thing I knew it was 2:00 am and I hadn’t graded anything!”
About the Author
William A. Glass, formerly a VP at Gallup, now coaches soccer at a small college in South Carolina and writes. He lives with wife, Bettina, who is a high school German teacher. They have three sons who have all moved away to pursue careers.
This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends July 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
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