Kristina Jo's Reviews > American Rust

American Rust by Philipp Meyer
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's review
Jan 01, 2016

liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, own, sale-box
Read in January, 2010

When I first started this book, I had a hard time getting into it. The author adopted a narrative voice that really got on my grammar-police nerves. I couldn't tell if Meyer was trying to write like most of his characters speak, or if he was just that dumb. I wanted to tell his editor to bust out the grammar books. But after I allowed myself to become involved in the story, I decided that Meyer was trying to write like his characters and that he is not, if fact, an idiot. (But maybe that's just because I got used to the style.)

In terms of plot, I have very mixed feelings. It's as if the bad guy always won, but you wanted him to win. But really, the bad guys bit it, and the good guys, who all reacted badly, won. Of course, there are exceptions, but these only seem to add to the reality of the story and to the awesomeness of the good guys' win. Again, mixed feelings about the illegality of the winningnesses, but it makes a person think about the gray areas of right and wrong, what makes a person one of the bad guys, and so on and so forth. While I tend avoid such ambiguous lines of thought, since they usually just make my head hurt, I like to see other people exploring said ambiguosities and convincing others (I hope) to think about them carefully. I just hope Meyer doesn't hate me for getting it all wrong. Or stop exploring the ambiguous nature of so much because idiots like me get everything all wrong.

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