American Rust: A Novel (Google eBook)

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Random House Publishing Group, Feb 24, 2009 - Fiction - 367 pages
75 Reviews
The debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Son

BONUS: This edition contains a reader's guide.

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.

Newsweek's list of "Best. Books. Ever"
A Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2009
A New York Times Notable Book of 2009
An Economist Best Book of 2009
A Kansas City Star Top 100 book of 2009
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Best Books of 2009
Idaho Statesman's Best Books of 2009
  

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I found the plot and the characters totally engaging. - LibraryThing
The writing is good, the subject matter depressing. - LibraryThing
The ending is dark and sombre, but satisfying. - LibraryThing
However, I did not like the staccato prose. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - maryreinert - LibraryThing

Two rather hapless young men "accidentally" murder a homeless man. Well, maybe not accidentally, but they didn't start out to do that act which provides the basis for this entire story. Set in a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lauralkeet - LibraryThing

Philipp Meyer's debut novel, American Rust, landed on my TBR pile early in 2010, not long after its paperback release. Four years later I've finally read it, and wonder why on earth I waited so long ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Philipp Meyer grew up in Baltimore, dropped out of high school, and got his GED when he was sixteen. After spending several years volunteering at a trauma center in downtown Baltimore, he attended Cornell University, where he studied English. Since graduating, Meyer has worked as a derivatives trader at UBS, a construction worker, and an EMT, among other jobs. His writing has been published in McSweeney's, The Iowa Review, Salon.com, and New Stories from the South. From 2005 to 2008 Meyer was a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He splits his time between Texas and upstate New York.

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