Sunday, 13 September 2009

American Rust: A Novel

If you are a Cormac McCarthy fan, you will probably enjoy this debut novel by Philipp Meyer. Just like McCarthy, Meyer takes readers down long dark roads leading to ultimate despair.

Meet Billy Poe and Isaac English, high school buddies with failed dreams, giving up on any future in Buell, Pennsylvania, a dried up steel town. One fateful night, they take off leaving a trail of violence behind them. What starts as a fight with some transients in an old steel warehouse turns into murder of the worst kind. One bad decision, leads to another and another leaving both characters questioning their choices in life.

Isaac is tired of caring for the "old man," resentful of his mother's suicide and angry with his sister, Lee, for chasing her academic dreams. And Billy isn't any better off. Laid off from his menial job and living with his mother, Grace, in a run down trailer, he watches her throw her life away on an abusive husband and useless boyfriends.

American Rust is a story of loyalty and love in disintegrating America. Morals and values are explored and exploited. What is right may be right, but it can also be wrong. Billy and Isaac are similar to Steinbeck characters and Meyer's honest style of writing is comparable to Faulkner.


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