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American Rust: A Novel (Random House…
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American Rust: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle) (Original 2009; 2010. Auflage)

von Philipp Meyer (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,28715311,560 (3.67)174
"Set in a beautiful but economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town, American Rust is a novel of the lost American dream and the desperation - as well as the acts of friendship, loyalty, and love - that arises from its loss. From local bars to trainyards to prison, it is the story of two young men, bound to the town by family, responsibility, inertia, and the beauty around them, who dream of a future beyond the factories and abandoned homes." "Left alone to care for his aging father after his mother commits suicide and his sister escapes to Yale, Isaac English longs for a life beyond his hometown. But when he finally sets out to leave for good, accompanied by his temperamental best friend, former high school football star Billy Poe, they are caught up in a terrible act of violence that changes their lives forever.""Evoking John Steinbeck's novels of restless lives during the Great Depression, American Rust takes us into the contemporary American heartland at a moment of profound unrest and uncertainty about the future. It is a dark but lucid vision, a moving novel about the bleak realities that battle our desire for transcendence and of the power of love and friendship to redeem us."--BOOK JACKET.… (mehr)
Mitglied:hannahjuno
Titel:American Rust: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)
Autoren:Philipp Meyer (Autor)
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2010), Edition: Spiegal & Grau Paperback Edition, 400 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:
Tags:Keine

Werk-Informationen

Rost von Philipp Meyer (2009)

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I did enjoy the writing here and the first half, probably, was not necessarily a who or why dunnit but circumstances leading to it being done. Overall I found it kinda depressing. ( )
  jldarden | Oct 6, 2021 |
The Philipp Meyer guy? Dude's a writer's writer.

This is actually a very simple little book, but the emotional depths Meyer plumbs make this the great book that it is. I'm not going to go on and on about it, so I'll just say, pick this up, and then fall into its pages. Excellent novel. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
i thought the story started strong, but then the whole stream of consciousness style of writing at the end got really old. The story is told from the viewpoint of 6 different people. A lot of very dark thoughts from some of the characters and the setting. Felt disappointed with the loose ends. ( )
  Jeff_Simms | Jun 9, 2021 |
“You ought to be able to grow up in a place and not have to get the hell out of it when you turn eighteen.”

American Rust is set in a small Pennsylvania steel town named Buell, a place that had been a wealthy steel town but since the closure of the mills is a place where jobs are scarce and foreclosures are on the rise, where older residents feel trapped and younger ones are eager to take wing and flee. Buell is the underbelly of the 'American Dream'.

The book centres around two young men, Isaac English and Billy Poe, best friends since high school. Their friendship is an unlikely one, Isaac is diminutive, brainy and socially awkward, the kid who was top of his class and apparently destined for an Ivy League university and a stellar career; and Billy Poe, the brawny football jock with the volatile temper, who ignored had the opportunity to go away to college on an athletic scholarship but instead chose to stay in Buell.

Scarred by his mother's suicide, Issac spent years at home taking care of his invalid father instead of following his sister, Lee, to college, until one day he decides to chuck it all and head to California to begin a new life. When a chance encounter Isaac and Billy have with three homeless men unexpectedly turns ugly, the two former schoolmates find themselves caught in a dangerous spiral of violence, their dreams for the future crushed. Suddenly Isaac is on the run from the authorities whilst Billy is arrested for murder and sent away to prison, where his quick temper lands him in even more trouble.

In each chapter the narrative switches from one character’s point of view to another, mainly Isaac and Billy's but on occasion Lee, Grace (Billy's mother) and Harris (the town's chief of police) meaning that the author is able to create a richly layered narrative with multiple perspectives, thoughts and feelings.

In Isaac and Billy we have two alienated young men bound to one another by loyalty and a shared past but who also come to represent those youngsters who are ill-equipped for the demands of digital era.

Lee and Grace, are two women whose choices has sets their lives on very differing trajectories. Lee, also a brilliant student, got a scholarship to Yale where she married a wealthy classmate and is making plans to attend law school. She feels guilty about having left Isaac at home with their invalid father, and returns home to try and get her father proper nursing care thus allowing Isaac to go off to college. Grace, also once dreamed of going to college; of becoming a social worker, but marriage has kept her from leaving the area and now she fears that decision has not only crushed her dreams but Billy's as well.

In contrast Harris, the local police chief, is the moral centre of this novel. He is a kind, decent man, who whilst realizing that the town's halcyon days are behind them, "beings in time, moving towards............expiration", tries to slow the neighbourhoods slide into lawlessness by bringing a sense of compassion to his job, cutting people a break here and there, seeing the best in them rather than the worst, using common sense rather than dogma. Harris, who has been dating Grace on and off for years and now finds himself torn between his desire to help her and the likelihood that her son is guilty.

If I'm honest there were a few minor issues with the narrative, in particular on the occasions when Isaac started thinking about himself in the third person, but on the whole I felt that Meyer handled it remarkably well. He has created truly believable characters who took on real flesh-and-blood as the story progressed, meaning that I felt a real empathy for them. I grew up in Cornwall, a beautiful part of the country but also one with limited job opportunities, so on leaving school moved away to find employment, as did many of my contemporaries, so can certainly appreciate with the tough choices made here, by those who chose to leave and those who opted to remain. There are certainly elements of Salinger within this book but I also saw a touch of Moby Dick's Ishmail in Isaac, a young man struggling to cope in an alien environment.

It seems strange to be reading this whilst there is a Presidential election going on in America. As an outsider I struggled to see the attraction of Trump the first time around but having read this I feel that I have a little more insight into the hopelessness that many in the country's so called 'Rust Belt' must have felt and how how they feel discarded by conventional politicians. Here we get glimpses into some of the town's local politics and it isn't particularly pleasant reading.

Overall a very enjoyable read that deserves to be on the 1001 list. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Oct 8, 2020 |
I didn't give this book much of a chance in 2015, however after taking a class about Working Class lives in fiction and music I may check it out with those lessons in mind. ( )
  nlmii | Jul 31, 2020 |
Do people still think in terms of the Great American Novel – a work of fiction that exactly captures the contemporary spirit of the union? If so, American Rust has GAN stamped all over it. In racing terms it’s by Of Mice and Men, out of Huckleberry Finn, ridden by Cormac McCarthy, and trained by Salinger and Kerouac.
hinzugefügt von Widsith | bearbeitenThe Telegraph, Roger Perkins (May 24, 2009)
 
[T]he plot is captivating without ever straying into the realm of folksy page-turner. The political message may be obvious - "We're treading backwards as a nation, probably for the first time in history," Bud's boss tells him - but it's a compelling one none the less.
hinzugefügt von Widsith | bearbeitenThe Observer, Mary Fitzgerald (May 24, 2009)
 
There are awkward moments in this novel […] but these are fleeting lapses, steamrollered by Mr. Meyer’s instinctive storytelling powers and his ability to create characters who evolve from familiar types into flesh-and-blood human beings. “American Rust” announces the arrival of a gifted new writer — a writer who understands how place and personality and circumstance can converge to create the perfect storm of tragedy.
 
Meyer's tone is less polemic than John Steinbeck's, but he's working on the same broad scale, using the struggles of a few desperate people to portray the tragedy of life in a place that offers no employment, no chance for improvement.
hinzugefügt von Widsith | bearbeitenThe Washington Post, Ron Charles (Feb 25, 2009)
 
This novel is in desperate need of an exceptional editor rather than a myth. Amidst all that rust, there’s a good story, a few good characters, and it’s the first book that I’ve read in a long while that deserves to have American in its title; Meyer’s take on what it means to be an average Joe-the-Plumber-American holds promise for his literary future. But a lot of what’s good about American Rust manages to get lost in a bog of unimaginative prose, stereotyped characters and dead-ended subplots.
 

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (6 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Philipp MeyerHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Nilsson, NiclasÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Nimwegen, Arjaan vanÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Epigraph (Motto/Zitat)
Falls ein Mensch nicht im Besitz eines ewigen Bewußtseins wäre (…), falls sich unter allem eine bodenlose Leere, niemals gesättigt, verbärge, was wäre das Leben dann anders als Verzweiflung? (Søren Kierkegaard)
(…) was man in Plagen lernt, nämlich daß es an den Menschen mehr zu bewundern als zu verachten gibt. (Albert Camus)
Widmung
Für meine Familie
Erste Worte
Isaacs Mutter war fünf Jahre tot, aber er dachte ständig an sie.
Zitate
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Isaac overheard his sister tell someone from college: half the people went on welfare and the other half went back to hunting and gathering.
Sarà sempre peggio, amico mio. Le buone azioni non restano impunite.
Odds of you existing — one in ten trillion, no smaller. One to Avogadro's number. 6.022 times 1023. Meanwhile people throw it away.
At seventeen, you’d pick a school based on the nice architecture, or that a professor had smiled at you, or that your best friend was going there—you made choices based on feelings, which were bound, especially at that age, to be arbitrary and ill-formed and rooted mostly in insecurity
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (1)

"Set in a beautiful but economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town, American Rust is a novel of the lost American dream and the desperation - as well as the acts of friendship, loyalty, and love - that arises from its loss. From local bars to trainyards to prison, it is the story of two young men, bound to the town by family, responsibility, inertia, and the beauty around them, who dream of a future beyond the factories and abandoned homes." "Left alone to care for his aging father after his mother commits suicide and his sister escapes to Yale, Isaac English longs for a life beyond his hometown. But when he finally sets out to leave for good, accompanied by his temperamental best friend, former high school football star Billy Poe, they are caught up in a terrible act of violence that changes their lives forever.""Evoking John Steinbeck's novels of restless lives during the Great Depression, American Rust takes us into the contemporary American heartland at a moment of profound unrest and uncertainty about the future. It is a dark but lucid vision, a moving novel about the bleak realities that battle our desire for transcendence and of the power of love and friendship to redeem us."--BOOK JACKET.

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Philipp Meyers Buch American Rust wurde im Frührezensenten-Programm LibraryThing Early Reviewers angeboten.

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LibraryThing-Autor

Philipp Meyer ist ein LibraryThing-Autor, ein Autor, der seine persönliche Bibliothek in LibraryThing auflistet.

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Durchschnitt: (3.67)
0.5 4
1 4
1.5 1
2 25
2.5 9
3 82
3.5 39
4 152
4.5 30
5 47

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