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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

American Rust - Blog Tour and Giveaway - Review

About American Rust

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (January 12, 2010)

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 arise from its loss. From local bars to train yards 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 the power of love and friendship to redeem us.

About Philipp Meyer


Philipp Meyer grew up in Baltimore, dropped out of high school, and got his GED when he was sixteen. After spending several years volunteering at a trauma center in downtown Baltimore, he attended Cornell University, where he studied English. Since graduating, Meyer has worked as a derivatives trader at UBS, a construction worker, and an EMT, among other jobs. His writing has been published in McSweeney’s, The Iowa Review, Salon.com, and New Stories from the South. From 2005 to 2008 Meyer was a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He splits his time between Texas and upstate New York.


A few words from Toni on the book:
I want to say that I have read a lot of reviews on this book recently. I read a few reviews on the book before I first started. I have to be honest and say I did not like all this talk of Steinbeck. Comparing the author to Steinbeck to me was annoying to me. It isn't wrong, but I just found it annoying. Quite possibly because East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath are on my top ten favorite books of all time. I was not buying it!

After reading about 100 pages into the book I just had to find more reviews and find out what people were saying about this book! And where the heck was I last year that I didn't get a chance to read this one? When I first started the book I read 30 pages, I remember thinking that this book is going to take me a while to read. I thought this because of the descriptive and detailed writing along with the narrative voice switches.... it switches in the same paragraph with the same character. I was tentative about that at first. The very next time I picked up the book to read, I didn't stop until over 100 pages later. Where did the time go? I was completely absorbed into the book. I had to force the cover shut to get some sleep. The unique and effective narration helped me to get inside each character and reside with the characters. It resonated with me through the night.

I am no longer annoyed with the Steinbeck reference. I tend to agree! The book is contemporary, and has just about every element that I look for in a book. The writing is current and relevant. The characters are as real as everyday. The writing is incredible with a strong and gritty, ominous and human plot. The book grabbed hold of me in a wonderous way.

Writing Sample:
"Meanwhile here you are. Temporary visitor on the sun's earth. Think your mother will be here forever and then she's gone. Still sinking in five years later. Disappeared in a day. Same as you will. Nothing you can see that won't outlast you--rocks sky sun. Watch a sunset and feel like you own it but it's been rising without you for a thousand years. No, he thought, more like several billion. Can't even get your head around the real number. You're the only one who even knows you exist. Born and die between the earth's heartbeats."

Prose, I say, prose. Just the way I like it. I just close my eyes after reading that and get that feeling like I am staring at the ocean or a great work of art. Some kind of feeling in between the two views. Prose with every day life and grit right there jumping off the pages at you.

As
I was reading the above passage, I was with Isaac. I was with him contemplating life and feeling his life. The same way I was with Adam Trask in Salinas smelling the dusty air in the novel East of Eden. It was the same way that I experienced the same feelings of desperation I felt with "the Fambly" in Grapes of Wrath. I am one hundred percent satisfied that this is another Great American Novel, and I will make a cozy nook on my shelf for this one in my permanent library. It was born to be a classic. It is a little embarrassing when I get this way about a book. I just want to go on and on and on....so I will now I will talk about the giveaway.

I have a lovely copy of this book to offer. It will be sent from the Publisher.

Thank you Lisa from TLC book tours for arranging this tour and giveaway. Thank you Kathleen from Random House for the free copy for review.

Rules of the Giveaway - (How to get entries into a random drawing)
  • Leave a comment on this post (with your email) and you get a single entry. +1
  • If you are a follower you get another entry. +2
  • Blog, Tweet or Announce and you will get another entry. +3
  • US / Canada Only
  • This contest ends February 5th, 2010. Winners will be notified shortly after.

Check out the other stops on the tour!!

Philipp Meyer’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, January 18th: Literary Feline

Tuesday, January 19th: Book Club Classics!

Wednesday, January 20th: A Circle of Books

Thursday, January 21st: One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books

Tuesday, January 26th: Luxury Reading

Thursday, January 28th: Ready When You Are, CB

Tuesday, February 2nd: Rough Edges

Thursday, February 4th: Bibliophile by the Sea

Monday, February 8th: Bibliofreak

Tuesday, February 9th: Becky’s Book Reviews

Thursday, February 11th: The 3 R’s Blog

Friday, February 12th: Beth Fish Reads

Thursday, February 18th: So Many Precious Books, So Little Time


77 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am very interested in reading American Rust!
Kathleen (akprinz at msn dot com)

Sandra K321 said...

I would like to be included in the drawing. From the reviews I have read, it sounds like the author does a good job building up the characters.
seknobloch(at)gmail(dot)com

Sandra K321 said...

I follow your blog via Google.
seknobloch(at)gmail(dot)com

bermudaonion said...

The book sounds fantastic! Glad to hear the Steinbeck comparisons were true! No need to enter me.

Jo-Jo said...

Please enter me Toni...I passed up the tour opportunity for this book but I would still love to read it!
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Jo-Jo said...

I'm also a follower.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

相信 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jenn's Bookshelves said...

GREAT review, Toni. I've had this book in my review pile for some time. You've inspired me to want to read it soon!

fredamans said...

Thank you for the entry.

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

fredamans said...

I am a follower.

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

itsJUSTme-wendy said...

Hi Toni, As soon as I read - "devastated Pennsylvania steel town"
I knew I would be interested!

Please enter me -
forevereading at gmail dot come

itsJUSTme-wendy said...

I am a follower.

itsJUSTme-wendy said...

And I will blog about it next Mon.

Lindsey said...

Please include me in the drawing!

jdbandlrb (at) yahoo (dot) com

I am also a follower!

Thank you!

LisaMM said...

Toni, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. I was worried for a minute there while reading your thoughts! Gritty is an excellent word choice for this book. The writing put me off a little at first but it didnt' take long for me to get used to it. Anyway, thanks for a great review, and thanks so much for all the time you put into reading/reviewing the book. We really appreciate it!

Geri said...

Great comments and review,Toni! I have looked at this book but haven't picked it up to read yet. Now I want to for sure!
Enter me please..
Posted,tweeted and blogged.
Geri

scottsgal said...

This one sounds so good - first I've heard of it
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

already a follower
msboatgal at aol.com

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Simply Stacie said...

I follow.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

Sounds like a great book!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I follow
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Diane said...

Toni...your review makes me anxious to get going on this one. Next week for sure. Thanks so much

amanda18228 said...

I would love to win this book!
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

amanda18228 said...

I follow your blog.
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

amanda18228 said...

I tweeted. http://twitter.com/amandawk/status/8011743193
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

Anonymous said...

Please enter me! Thank you.
Vicki (PT)

justpeachy36 said...

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

Please enter me in the giveaway.
I am a follower.

Margie said...

I have read some great things about this book. Please count me in.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

blog follower
mtakala1 AT yahoo dOt com

Marjorie said...

I follow by google reader.
A great book to win.


cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Ti said...

I want to read this one based on the story. I'm curious about his writing style though. The sample you shared makes me think I may not like it but I'm willing to take a chance!

bookishchatter AT gmail DOT com

Ti said...

I'm also a follower.

Kate said...

Thanks for the great review! I would love to read it.

katcomstock at yahoo dot com

I am also a follower of your blog!

southernmatrix said...

I would love a copy!! I am a follower of this blog, and I will tweet this contest. Libbysutherland forty-six[at geemaildot com)

picking2gogranny said...

You haven't steered me wrong yet. Looking forward to reading this even if I don't win.

Denny, Alaska said...

Please, count me in! Thanks!

denny(dot)gill(at)gmail(dot)com

Jo-Jo said...

I blogged about your contest here.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

Wow! What an endorsement! I definitely want to read this book this year. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

And, I'm a Follower!

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Teddy Rose said...

Toni, I have about 50 pages left to go. At first I didn't think I was going to like it but it just took me a little while to get into it. So far, it is a very good read for me.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book.
RJB
loki304[at]tds[dot]net

Nicole said...

This sounds like a good read. Thanks! nicole at momsavesmoney dot net

Nicole said...

follower

Anonymous said...

Oh I would love to win this book since I have heard alot about it. And I love checking out your blog Toni
quitemama

Misusedinnocence said...

+1, I would love to read this.

MisusedInnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I follow. :)

MisusedInnocence@aol.com

Bonnie M. said...

This book sounds phenomenal!

I very much like your blog by the way, I've found a bunch of very interesting-looking books I've never heard of.

wakeupangel at gmail dot com

Bonnie M. said...

I'm following you, name is Bani

Bonnie M. said...

Blogged here-
http://banicontests.blogspot.com/2010/01/circle-of-books-giveaways.html

Dar said...

I'd love to enter Toni. I'm already an ardent stalker of this blog. lol. I'll also post this on my sidebar if it counts.

FrankSandy said...

Please enter me. walkerd@primus.ca

FrankSandy said...

I am a follower. walkerd@primus.ca

dsandyboy said...

Count me in.

dsandyboy@gmail.com

dsandyboy said...

I'm a follower.

dsandyboy@gmail.com

Rebecca O said...

I had not heard of this book either until recently.I am definitely interested in reading it. Thanks for the chance. bekki1820cb at gmail

Rebecca O said...

Follower of the blog #1
bekki1820cb at gmail

Rebecca O said...

Follower of the blog #2
bekki1820cb at gmail

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a grandiose drama, at the heart of human nature and I would LOVE to read this. Please accept this as my entry. Thank you!

Aliya D.
aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

Anonymous said...

please count me in....thanks

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)Com

lag123 said...

Your review has left me very interested in this book. Please enter me and thank you for having this giveaway!

lag110@mchsi.com

lag123 said...

I am a follower.

lag110@mchsi.com

lag123 said...

I tweeted: http://twitter.com/lag32583/status/8414780590

lag110@mchsi.com

Kitty said...

Born and raised in the Rust Belt and I am looking forward to reading this book. It is on my TBR list.


maynekitty at live dot com

Rebecca Graham said...

Would love to read this!

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

nfmgirl said...

This sounds like a great one! Please count me in. Thank you!

nfmgirl At gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I follow

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

Blogged:
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2010/01/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-01-30-10.html

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Sarah E said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

I follow.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

I tweeted:

https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/8673594776

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Allison said...

Please enter me!
allygotts567 at hotmail dot com

Allison said...

I'm a follower.
allygotts567 at hotmail dot com

Risingsouth said...

I would love a chance to win this.

Risingsouth at aol dot com

Risingsouth said...

I am following you.

Risingsouth
Risingsouth at aol dot com

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