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As Good As Gone    by Larry Watson order for
As Good As Gone
by Larry Watson
Order:  USA  Can
Algonquin, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Walking away from his children (after his wife's death) and a successful real estate business in Gladstone, Montana, Calvin Sidney moved into an isolated area where he lived a solitary life and found work as a cowboy.

Now it's decades later (the 1960s) and his adult son has asked Calvin for assistance in keeping an eye on the old man's grandchildren while their parents head off to Missoula for a medical procedure.

For a reason he can't even fathom, the aged cowboy agrees to help, so he heads back to the town where he once lived and is still known by the older residents. Ann, the seventeen year old, and eleven-year-old Bill, can pretty much watch after themselves, but Calvin will still become involved in some of their problems with bullying friends and an unwanted boyfriend.

All of this is just part of what unfolds as Calvin discovers that the code of the cowboy, at least as he perceives and lives it, may not be valued anymore or exist in this western outpost.

It's an interesting novel about a relic from the past who confronts a world where he is more of a curiosity than a respected icon. Calvin and the other characters in this engrossing novel are all flawed in one manner or another. But it is these shortcomings that lends the story its authenticity and makes it such an interesting read.

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