A heart-wrenching, unputdownable tale of redemption and survival in small-town America in the tradition of Richard Ford, Pete Dexter and Cormac McCarthy. American Rust tells the story of two friends - Isaac, a smart nerd who is desperate to escape the run-down dying steel town of his childhood but is stuck there looking after his invalid father, ...Read MoreA heart-wrenching, unputdownable tale of redemption and survival in small-town America in the tradition of Richard Ford, Pete Dexter and Cormac McCarthy. American Rust tells the story of two friends - Isaac, a smart nerd who is desperate to escape the run-down dying steel town of his childhood but is stuck there looking after his invalid father, and Poe, a former sporting hero who's already past his prime and has missed the chance to make it big in another place. Isaac plucks up the courage to leave town, but on the way out fate intervenes and a criminal vagrant is killed in self-defence. The police chief suspects hot-tempered Poe, whom he has helped out of a charge in the past because of the chief's close relationship with Poe's mother, but the truth is very different. This is a book of revelations, told as cleanly and deliberately as a blade-cut, with a powerful, humbling wisdom. It will take your breath away. 'With its strong narrative engine and understated social insight, American Rust is reminiscent of the best of Robert Stone and Russell Banks. Author Philipp Meyer locates the heart of his working class characters without false sentimentRead Less
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I read in book about how all the steal plants closed and lots of abondand building people cant find jobs how life for few in that setting live. makes me think about all the factories that are closing and all the people laid off in car industry. i wanted the ending to be different but it was a good book and i enjoyed it , like the boys and how they make hard choices in thier lives.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-09-15 In his unrelentingly downbeat debut, Meyer offers up a character-driven near-noir set in Buell, a dying Pennsylvania steel town, where aimless friends Billy Poe and Isaac English are trapped by economic and personal circumstance. Just before their halfhearted escape to California, Isaac accidentally kills a transient who tries to rob Poe. The boys return to the crime scene the next day with plans to cover up the crime, setting the plot in motion. Poe is soon under suspicion, and Isaac, distraught after discovering Poe has been carrying on a relationship with Isaac's sister, Lee, sets off for California alone. Meanwhile, Poe's mother, Grace, mourns her own lost opportunities, broods over her son and pines for her on-again-off-again love, the local sheriff. A fully realized tragic heroine, Grace is the poignant thrust of the novel, embodying enough rural tragedy to nearly atone for the novel's weakness: a sense that some of the plot mechanics are arbitrary. Still, 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. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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