As Good as Gone by Larry Watson
A Novel

70%

5 Critic Reviews

As the concluding five chapters unfold, the pacing of As Good as Gone builds momentum from its once-leisurely rhythm...But as with the reward of the lavender- and golden-hued sky to come, the ultimate effect of this novel is well worth the time spent watching.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Calvin Sidey is always ready to run, and it doesn’t take much to set him in motion. As a young man, he ran from this block, from Gladstone, from Montana, from this country. From his family and the family business. He ran from sadness, and he ran from responsibility. If the gossip was true, he ran from the law.

It’s 1963, and Calvin Sidey, one of the last of the old cowboys, has long ago left his family to live a life of self-reliance out on the prairie. He’s been a mostly absentee father and grandfather until his estranged son asks him to stay with his grandchildren, Ann and Will, for a week while he and his wife are away. So Calvin agrees to return to the small town where he once was a mythic figure, to the very home he once abandoned.  

But trouble soon comes to the door when a boy’s attentions to seventeen-year-old Ann become increasingly aggressive and a group of reckless kids portend danger for eleven-year-old Will. Calvin knows only one way to solve problems: the Old West way, in which scores are settled and ultimatums are issued and your gun is always loaded. And though he has a powerful effect on those around him--from the widowed neighbor who has fallen under his spell to Ann and Will, who see him as the man who brings a sudden and violent order to their lives--in the changing culture of the 1960s, Calvin isn’t just a relic; he’s a wild card, a danger to himself and those who love him.

In As Good as Gone, Larry Watson captures our longing for the Old West and its heroes, and he challenges our understanding of loyalty and justice. Both tough and tender, it is a stunning achievement.

 
 

About Larry Watson

See more books from this Author
Larry Watson is the author of seven widely-acclaimed novels, including the best-selling Montana 1948, which was awarded the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, a Best Book citation by the American Library Association, short-listed for IMPAC Dublin International Award, and published in ten foreign editions. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his family.
 
Published June 21, 2016 by Algonquin Books. 368 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Westerns, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for As Good as Gone
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 17 2016

Watson’s powerful characterizations frame large and connected themes: family loyalty, the conflicting capacities of love, and the tenuous connections between humans.

Read Full Review of As Good as Gone: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Aug 13 2016

The challenges of his family may redeem Calvin or break him for good. This is a very well done novel in which every character faces an individual conflict, resulting in a rich, suspenseful read.

Read Full Review of As Good as Gone: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by David Armand on Jul 22 2016

As the concluding five chapters unfold, the pacing of As Good as Gone builds momentum from its once-leisurely rhythm...But as with the reward of the lavender- and golden-hued sky to come, the ultimate effect of this novel is well worth the time spent watching.

Read Full Review of As Good as Gone: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Jun 23 2016

...his story is underdeveloped, at least until it takes a slightly ludicrous turn toward the end. That's not to say there isn't anything to enjoy here.

Read Full Review of As Good as Gone: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Peter Geye on Jun 21 2016

And though each of these story lines carries considerable weight and intrigue, the most memorable part of this novel is the wonderful/strange coming together of Calvin and Beverly...This book is vintage Watson: laconic, dramatic and tough as a dry Montana stream bed.

Read Full Review of As Good as Gone: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Reader Rating for As Good as Gone
67%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 28 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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