February 18, 2009

American Rust, Philipp Meyer

This debut novel will most likely put Meyer on the map. He is writing about a dying Pennsylvania steel town, where two aimless miss-matched friends, Poe and Isaac, are trapped by economic and personal circumstance. It is a dark but lucid vision, a moving novel about bleak realities and the power of love and friendship to redeem us. Meyer has a thrilling eye for failed dreams and writes uncommonly tense scenes of violence, and in the character of Grace, creates a woeful heroine. I’m sure Meyer will be compared to Steinbeck for his depiction of our current depression; I think he’s closer to Lehane.

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