“Whether Watson is describing the inside of a 1952 Ford Tudor, a homey tree-lined street in Missoula, an afternoon branding a herd of cattle, or a pair of elderly strangers making love as spontaneously as a prairie thunderstorm dropping from the big sky, he writes evocatively and with great persuasion. This book is vintage Watson: laconic, dramatic and tough as a dry Montana stream bed.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“…a suspenseful and evocative novel with stunning prose, painting strongly drawn characters facing daunting emotional, social and family conflicts.”
A “remarkable novel. It is like watching the sunrises over the prairies of Montana about which Watson writes so eloquently. 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.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Fans of Larry Watson (Montana 1948, Let Him Go) will recognize his mastery of foreshadowing in his 10th novel, As Good As Gone: here's an ordinary family in a nondescript small town, but something's simmering. And when it erupts, readers are in for a heart-pounding read. Watson keeps readers speculating until the end of this tense, fast-paced story of family drama as modern times clash with Old West mores.”
“The powerful story of Cal’s visit is a tragedy of narrowly missed moments as he attempts re-entry into a world that no longer has any place for his old-fashioned and violent ways.”
—The Columbus Dispatch
“[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)
"From Montana 1948 (1993) through Let Him Go (2003), Watson has written rich, sometimes heartbreaking novels, often set in the middle of the twentieth century and featuring resolute men and women whose very strength of character—the product, to some extent, of contending with the forbidding if starkly beautiful landscapes of the American mountain states—has left them ill-equipped to deal with emotional turmoil. So it is for Calvin Sidey.... Calvin is trapped on a cultural and emotional fault line, the ground shifting beneath him as he realizes that the only tools he knows how to use won’t unlock the secrets to life in a new world... . Fine writing in the grand western tradition of William Kittredge and Mark Spragg."
—Booklist (starred review)
“An excellent family drama…. This is a very well done novel in which every character faces an individual conflict, resulting in a rich, suspenseful read.”
"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."
“Larry Watson’s As Good as Gone is a long, hard look at western manhood, exploring the quandary of living by a code that the world no longer values or even needs. Despite the richly drawn characters, this is a deeply lonesome book, a fearless look at a man aging out of relevance only to see how much his family needs him. Honest, warm, humane, and at times shocking, As Good as Gone is an achievement of empathy and dignity.”
—Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek
“We all wish we could tell stories like Larry Watson. His fiction is so moving, so bracing, so true to the human heart. In As Good as Gone, Watson gives us Calvin Sidey, a man to be reckoned with. Calvin is driven by both pride and deep-rooted decency. He lives by a firm code that sometimes harms those he loves. His story asks the great American question — ‘Are we meant to do it on our own or with the help of others?’ — with daring and hard-earned grace. As Good as Gone is one splendid novel.
–Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto