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Dave Knight is a wayward child growing up in a
military family during the 1950s. His older sister wants to kill him but
settles for regularly beating him up. Other siblings join in the mayhem while
their alcoholic father contributes to the chaos with his unique approach to
As the Knight family moves from one army base to
the next, Dave develops a give-a-damn attitude that often leads to trouble. 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
they ever be caught.
After barely graduating, Dave is drafted into the
army and sent to guard a nuclear weapons depot in Korea. There, he gets into
trouble with his sergeant and tries to avoid dishonorable discharge.
This book seems to touch on a subject close to almost any
reader. The only readers I would exclude would be children and people who do not
tolerate violence, strong language, and other adult content. To give you an
idea...I am an adult (well, most times) and while the previously mentioned
subjects aren’t my favorite to read, I felt they blended in with the story and
did not offend me.
Now about the story. As I said I felt it fit almost any
reader and what I meant by that is most of us could identify with something in
this book. It is true that those of us born in the 50’s to the 70’s might feel
as if we are living in real time. But I think the issues are those that we’ve all either experienced or known someone who
dealt with one of them. That makes this a
very intense read. I might add if I had a criticism, this was an awfully long
story. Not a slow story. Slow and long have quite different meanings. I’m not
even sure what could be cut but it did seem a little long to me.
Glass made his characters so defined that I could see one of
each of them in the small town I grew up in or those whom I have known since.
It’s almost an autobiography for everyone. I’m taking license with the word autobiography, but I’m just certain
there is something in this book that touches each person.
This seems to be a debut novel for William A. Glass. If so,
it’s a heck of a start.
read an excerpt...
Upstairs all is pandemonium. Dan is furiously pounding on
the bathroom door while inside Marie stares into the mirror applying eyeliner.
She’s in the seventh grade now and has discovered that boys aren’t just for
beating up. Meanwhile, Dave’s in the basement ironing a shirt. He gives it a
couple finishing touches then slips it on while running up the stairs.
“Have you seen my book bag?” Melissa asks.
“Isn’t that it next to the door?” Dave replies.
The bus pulls up in front of the house, and Melissa grabs
the book bag. Knight hands her a bacon-and-egg sandwich as she goes out. “Tell
the driver to wait,” he asks. Then one by one the other Knight children rush
out while the driver insistently honks his horn. Finally, Marie comes
downstairs, gets her sandwich, and strolls down the front walk, arms full of
accoutrements. As she climbs aboard, the enlisted men’s dependents in back sarcastically
applaud. Marie ignores them, and once seated she uses a can of hairspray to
laminate her teased tresses. She pays no heed to mounting protests from others
on the bus who object to being gassed this early in the morning.about William A. Glass...
is a retired business executive now living in South Carolina with his wife,
Bettina. She teaches high school German
while Bill coaches soccer at a small college.
Their three sons, Alex, Robert, and Gordon, have all graduated from
college and moved away to pursue careers.
recreation, Bettina and Bill enjoy hiking and camping out. Usually, they take their dog, Scout,
along. When the weather permits, Bill
commutes to work on his motorcycle.
Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/As-Good-Can-Be/dp/1946005401/
more "personal stuff" about William A. Glass...
Q. Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where
you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made
you want to write it?
A. Good question!
Writing As Good As Can Be was a passion project. Something I had to do.
Well, it’s complicated. For one
thing, I wanted my three grown sons to know about my early life so they could
understand me and my approach to parenting better. Also, I wanted to leave something behind
other than a musty urn in a dusty tomb.
Finally, writing this book was a way to immortalize my alcoholic but
loveable father. But that’s not who As
Good As Can Be is dedicated to. The book
is dedicated to my long-suffering mother, Jacque Lansdale Glass.
Q. Where do you get your storylines from?
A. As Good As Can Be is autobiographical fiction.
The storylines came from my experiences and those of family members and close
friends. The narrative features an
omniscient narrator and is written in the third person. That made it possible to include episodes
from other peoples’ lives that tied into the main plot.
Q. Was this book
easier or more difficult to write than others?
A. I haven’t written any other books. This is the first one. In a way, that answers your question because,
as I wrote and rewrote As Good As Can Be, I was doing on-the-job
training as an author. That was difficult,
but fun! So much so that I’ve written a sequel.
It will be out next spring. The
title is Knight’s Plutonian Shore.
Q. Do you only write
A. Yes, both As
Good As Can Be and the sequel are historical fiction.
Q. Give us a picture
of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a
garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
A. I’m a college
soccer coach, and much of the work on As Good As Can Be was done on our
team bus while traveling to and from games.
I also love to sit on the front porch of our little house in South
Carolina and write when the weather and the gnats cooperate.
Q. And finally, of
course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a
A. I was a
voracious reader growing up. One of
those kids who would read every word on the Frosted Flakes box at breakfast if
nothing else was available. Early on, I
began writing poems and short stories but veered away from that during my
rebellious teenage years. It wasn’t
until after I retired from a hectic business career and took up coaching that I
got back to writing.
Thanks so much for featuring my novel, on Our Town! I’m proud of As Good As Can Be and appreciate
you helping me get the word out.
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