Customer Reviews for

American Rust

Average Rating 3.5
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    great book!

    I really enjoyed this book. It was a really quick read and I liked how the book was divided into 6 books and was broken down, each chapter a few pages. I liked how the various viewpoints were captured this way. It is kinda like a snowball effect, from the actions of Issac, Poe, Grace, Harris, and Lee. This book has the small town flair to it, everybody knowing everybody else. An excellent character study!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very Good.

    Reading this book was like taking a wonderful but sad journey through the life of people you have just met. The book starts off with Isaac English and Billy Poe, two young men who are a well of lost and wasted opportunities. Isaac has just stolen $4,000 from his father and is leaving town to chase a better life for himself. Poe decides to walk him a short distance but intends to return home shortly. Unfortunately, nothing turns out as planned for both boys and a man ends up dead.

    Isaac possesses the intellect of a genius and everyone in town expects that he will end up in a great college and excel even higher than his older sister who attended Yale. But his mother dies, his father is crippled by a job related accident and his sister leaves for college. For reasons which seem unfathomable, he chooses to remain at home rather than go to college. Billy was once a star athlete with scholarship offers from top universities. But he squanders all these opportunities by choosing to remain in his small town doing practically nothing with his life. He seems to spend the rest if his time unemployed, getting into fights and being a source of worry to his mother. But as different as both boys seem from each other, they form a friendship. And though Billy seems from the aforementioned description to be a bad seed, there is something about this character that is intensely sympathetic. Billy like the rest of the characters in the book all make bad choices and tries to make the best of what the town and its surroundings has dealt them.

    The town had once been a giant of the manufacture and sale of steel. But like many of such towns in America's rust belt, the factories had not been properly updated and had become less competitive in the market place. A vast majority of the men in the town had once worked in one of the many steel plants only to have their source of income taken away when most the jobs went overseas. The town is now a shell of its former self and half the population seem to be recipients of section 8, welfare benefits and other forms of government assistance. In addition, there is a good part of the population that is involved in ingesting Meth or cooking it for sale or private use.

    The author is amazing at describing the physical decay of the town amidst the natural beauty that surrounds. You feel the breakdown of the town and the despair that its inhabitants experience as they try to just make it from day to day. Their psyches are broken and he is able to capture it in a very palpable way. He discusses contemporary American life and its problems without it sounding like he is preaching to you or fulfilling an agenda. His style is slow without being boring and detailed without meandering. I will say that his writing does take a bit of getting used to but I believe that the effort expended is repaid in full. There were parts of it that I felt were randomly thrown in without any real purpose but the substance of the novel makes you forgive this. The story will transport you from your chair to an economically devastated landscape whose inhabitants' dramatic lives will entertain, horrify and sadden you. I would highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    That

    Is pretty good for a start. Like it!

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  • Posted January 17, 2014

    American Rust

    Great book!
    I like the way the Author set up the chapters.
    Brings back many memories of my younger days in the Pittsburgh area.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Excellent book

    He is a great writer-wonderful descriptions of the landscape-the characters are very realistic

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Rustov Mothership Apocalypse

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    An incredible new novel by a remarkable writer

    American Rust is the story of the lives of ordinary people who deal with extraordinary situations and who make difficult decisions. The book is a page-turner. Once it gets going, you'll have a problem putting it down. It is a remarkable portrait of contemporary America, written by a young writer whose talent is already established. One issue it focuses on is dealing what is legal, as opposed to what is moral. No easy answers to this one and the author, Philipp Meyer, ensures that the reader gets involved. The characters are well-drawn. I believe that years from now this book will be established as a classic. Go for it!

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  • Posted April 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    gritty and tough lives

    I originally picked AMERICAN RUST because I was intrigued by the cover. After reading the synopsis, I knew that I had to read this book. With today's economy, many can relate to the hardships of a dying town and its people. This novel revolves around a murder and the connection of those involved. Philipp Meyer has written such an intense story where each chapter is seen from the eyes of one of the characters. This made me want to learn what happens with each and every person as they were interesting characters and therefore I couldn't put the book down. This is a story of depressing lives, but not ones without hope and dreams.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2009

    AMAZING!

    I could not put this book down! I'll be honest I don't have a lot of time so it's not too often I can finish a book in a few days (It sadly some times takes me a couple months). But once I started this book I had no other choice but to finish it. If I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about reading it! I recomend this book to anyone looking for something new and great to read!!!!!!

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Ecellent book!

    This book is simply excellent. The author does a great job describing the socioeconomic challenges of small town America today while respecting his characters and going b7ack & forth between their inner thoughts and spoken dialog. The story is very captivating in itself, but the characters and insight they demonstrate towards their lives is very well done. At times these characters are borderline crazy and at times as mentioned deomonstrate insight & intelligence. Probably like most of us. It gives me new repsect for individuals living & understanding the detioration of the small town American dream in the coal & steel towns of yesterday but of course it is also important and relevent for us all as we are turned upside down by this changing economy. Read this book!

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  • Posted March 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    American Rust

    American Rust is a story about two your men, Poe and Issac who are coming
    of age in a blue collar Pennsylvania steel town. Times are hard, the steel mills have shut down, the older residents are giving up and giving in to just surviving. The younger people accept their fate or not and some leave without looking back. This story deals with what happens to us when our dreams are shattered, when all that is left is the people that we really are without the comfort of daily routine and the promise of a paycheck.
    Something happens in this story, someone is killed, it is an act of self defense but neither boy sees it that way. Immaturity leads them to try and hide the evidence when a small act of courage could have saved a whole lot of worry and regret. Will Issac and Poe rise above their situation? This is their story of what is true friendship is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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