Thursday, June 18, 2009
AMERICAN RUST by Philipp Meyer
Spiegel & Grau (ARC)
Two young men from a dying Pennsylvania steel mill town are involved in a murder and its aftermath.....their desire to leave a hometown that offers no future...the ties of friendship and family that both strengthen and strangle..guilt and innocence, both in a legal and social sense...intensely dramatic...at times, the characters’ interior monologues seem to go on forever but there is a method to the madness.
i find the comparisons to Steinbeck a bit premature, but i see a lot of potential in Mr. Meyer’s debut novel...shades of Pete Dexter (PARIS TROUT) and Russell Banks (RULE OF THE BONE) are strong
this was not an easy read for me since i live not far from Western Pennsylvania...and if you swap Coal Mines for Steel Mills you do have the area where i live..in the late 70s-80s when the coal mines started to close. the characters in this book could be my neighbors and their grandsons..the voices in this book rang true for me, albeit painfully. i enjoyed this book and look forward to Mr Meyer’s next effort
this is a review of an ARC....