As Good as Dead: A Novel
As Good As Dead follows protagonist Charlotte Price, a tenure-track teacher at the University of Arizona and graduate of the esteemed Iowa Writers’ Workshop; the book’s author, Elizabeth Evans, has the exact same bio. (A red flag.) Charlotte has kept a secret for twenty years that floats to the surface; while in Iowa, she cheated on her boyfriend—and future husband—with her roommate’s boyfriend/future husband. All four of them reunite in Arizona and Charlotte fears she’ll be found out. Though As Good As Dead is billed as an “exquisitely tuned psychological high-wire act,” the intensity of a high-wire act is absent.
I’m an MFA graduate myself and badly wanted to like As Good As Dead. Unfortunately, Evans’ Charlotte is a caricature of a writer—closer to (Ryan) Boudinot than Baudelaire. Charlotte and Esmé are childish, exemplified by their dialogue and inner monologue being flooded with exclamation points. The action picks up after a slow start, but the ending is disappointing. Evans is talented—the book is definitely well-written—but the title doesn’t nearly fit the book and Evans previous works were more impressive.
|Page Count||272 pages|
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