|Follows the lives of two young men bound by family, inertia, and the ties of home to a dying Pennsylvania steel town, who dream of escaping to California together until one of them accidentally kills a transient and attempts to cover up the crime. *Author: Meyer, Philipp *Publication Date: 2010/01/12 *Number of Pages: 382 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.00 *Width: 5.50 *Height: 8.25|
|From the Publisher:
Follows the lives of two young men bound by family, inertia, and the ties of home to a dying Pennsylvania steel town, who dream of escaping to California together until one of them accidentally kills a transient and attempts to cover up the crime.
Set in a beautiful but economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town, American Rust is a novel of the lost American dream and the desperation—as well as the acts of friendship, loyalty, and love—that arise from its loss. From local bars to trainyards to prison, it is the story of two young men, bound to the town by family, responsibility, inertia, and the beauty around them, who dream of a future beyond the factories and abandoned homes.
Left alone to care for his aging father after his mother commits suicide and his sister escapes to Yale, Isaac English longs for a life beyond his hometown. But when he finally sets out to leave for good, accompanied by his temperamental best friend, former high school football star Billy Poe, they are caught up in a terrible act of violence that changes their lives forever.
Evoking John Steinbeck’s novels of restless lives during the Great Depression, American Rust takes us into the contemporary American heartland at a moment of profound unrest and uncertainty about the future. It is a dark but lucid vision, a moving novel about the bleak realities that battle our desire for transcendence and the power of love and friendship to redeem us.
Two young boys find that their dreams are not sharp enough to sever the ties that bind them to the dying industrial town that they call home. Isaac English and Billy Poe are desperate to escape their dying hometown of Buell, Pennsylvania, so they decide to head out west to the golden skies of California. On their first night out, however, they have a confrontation with another drifter, which ends in blood. This moment of accidental violence quickly spins into a whirlpool of repercussions that threatens to swallow the boys and everyone they know in this bleak portrait of foolish faith and corroded hope. Selected by the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of 2009 and named one of the top 10 books of 2009 by the Washington Post.
"Meyer has a thrilling eye for failed dreams and writes uncommonly tense scenes of violence, and in the character of Grace creates a woeful heroine. Fans of Cormac McCarthy or Dennis Lehane will find in Meyer an author worth watching."
"Often disheartening, AMERICAN RUST reminds us that there is, indeed, much to be bitter about in towns that have been left behind."
- Sarah Fay
Meyer is expert at conveying the sweeping power of circumstances that have chained Billy and Isaac to [their hometown of] Buel. He shows how seemingly small choices ripple long beyond their expected wake."
- Brendon Volpe
"Philipp Meyer's powerful first novel...scrapes beneath today's economic headlines to show us a community corroded by poverty and despair. Told in language both plaintive and grand, it's a tale of murder and the struggle for redemption in a Pennsylvania steel town that will never reclaim its old prosperity."
- Ron Charles
"Mr. Meyer is not only able to create a richly layered narrative with multiple perspectives, but he's also able to climb inside his people's heads and channel their thoughts and feelings....AMERICAN RUST announces the arrival of a gifted new writer...who understands how place and personality and circumstance can converge to create the perfect storm of tragedy."
- Michiko Kakutani
"AMERICAN RUST is a simple yet intense story....[that] depicts a stunning postindustrial landscape."
- Peter Oresick
"The characters manage...their complex lives in run-down neighborhoods, where they get drunk, argue, fight, have sex, find and lose hope, kill (by accident), attempt suicide and run away...Meanwhile, they turn into blind alleys, add up facts (which aren't facts) and make seemingly small mistakes that turn out to be life-changing. With each misstep, Meyer ratchets up the tension."
- Diane Scharper
"In short, simple brush strokes, Meyer captures the beauty and destitution of Isaac's world...[AMERICAN RUST is] a distinctive story full of a sorrowful hope graced by a profound respect for struggle and the unrelenting courage necessary to carry on."
- Malcolm Garcia
"AMERICAN RUST is a bold, absorbing novel with a keen interest in how communities fail. Meyer knows that reductive explanations aren't sufficient, and he moves deftly from the panoramic to the microscopic..."
- Lewis Robinson