Rayroy's Reviews > American Rust

American Rust by Philipp Meyer
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Oct 15, 13

Read from October 04 to 28, 2011

I have been living in Pittsburgh for over seven years and in that time I have often visited the Mon River Valley south of the city of champions. Towns such as Monessen, Donora, New Eagle, Brownsville, Bell Vernon and others make up the Mon River Valley, They are towns nestled between the muddy brown Monongahela River and inspiring hillsides, each town has its own unique charm and the region is the setting of Philip Meyer's American Rust. Meyer's describes the valley strikingly well, I got a thrill recognizing towns ,landmarks and the layout of the land, it’s a wonder why more books don’t take place in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Michael Carbon’s Wonder Boys takes place in Pittsburgh and surrounding area, I got the same holy crap I have been there feeling in both books.

As for the story of American Rust, let’s see it’s got a thriller's pacing, is told tough multiple perspectives that are more like getting in the characters’ heads , you feel their moral dilemmas and how they make sense of the world around them. While American Rust is about broken dreams, in towns with once glorious times their inhabitants getting by on hard times, the center is about friendship and its power in horrible situations. Two best friends, Isaac and Poe, get mixed up in an act of violence in which their friendship is tested. American Rust is haunting, a realistic modern American drama that seems fresh and feels right for the current post 2008 recession we live in.


I have to get this of my chest, a lot of reviews say American Rust is unreadable at times, I didn't find it unreadable at all, am i crazy or something? I have a theroy but don't feel like getting in to it, we all are different kinds of readers.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by El (new)

El I'd be interested in hearing your theory at some point, maybe after I finally read this book. I'm ashamed to say I still haven't read it, even though I've lived in Pittsburgh about 10 years now.


message 2: by Rayroy (last edited Apr 08, 2013 03:32PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rayroy It's an easy read plane and simple. I mean I read lot of novels that are dense and hard to read hard to fellow that can truly be called hard to read, it's just for the most part the average reader reads a few books a year and reads Janet Evanovich or books about food or self help. American Rust has chapters that are set up like in "As I Lay Dying" are, so the reader gets different perscpectives about the event at the center of the novel, so when a novel that's as plot driven as a thriller but has depth and good prose, sometimes sidetracks from the main plot and doesn't relay on plot twists then people say how it's unreaderable no they are perhaps bad readers. Good readers know that plot isn't all there is.


Judy You are not crazy. For other books set in the area see Tawni O'Dell.


message 4: by Ritawilliams (new)

Ritawilliams I loved it right up to the end. It felt important to me for Isaac and Poe to encounter each other. And for that guy Jesus to get his from the two kids. Dunno. But I couldn't put it down.


Rayroy Yes put it's more realistic that they don't in some ways


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