American Rust

American Rust

Philipp Meyer

First Sentence:     Isaac’s mother was dead five years but he hadn’t stopped thinking about her.

Back of the book:

Set in a beautiful but dying Pennsylvania steel town, American Rust is a novel of the lost American dream and the desperation that arises from its loss. 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, abandoned homes, and the polluted river. Isaac is the smartest kid in town, left behind to care for his sick father after his mother commits suicide and his sister Lee moves away. Now Isaac wants out too. Not even his best friend, Billy Poe, can stand in his way: broad-shouldered Billy, always ready for a fight, still living in his mother’s trailer. Then, on the very day of Isaac’s leaving, something happens that changes the friends’ fates and tests the loyalties of their friendship and those of their lovers, families, and the town itself.

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The Terror Of Living

Urban Waite

First Sentence: The kid had taken a bus north from Seattle and stood outside studying the bar for a long time, weighing the options.

A drug deal goes badly wrong and ex-convict Phil Hunt has to go on the run. He is running from both Drake, the deputy sheriff, and the hitman Grady, who has been hired to kill him, trying his best to protect his wife, who is in hiding, and evade his captors at the same time. I wanted to enjoy this book as it seemed like it might be a good read but I just couldn’t get into it. It’s been compared to Cormac McCarthy in some places but I really can’t see why. Apart from the plot being a poor rip off of No Country for Old Men, there is nothing that even comes close to a Cormac McCarthy book here. I can honestly say I had absolutely no interest in what was going to happen to any of the characters once I’d reached the halfway point, and the writing left me utterly cold. Maybe I’m missing something, but life’s too short and there are too many great books to be reading, and for me, this is definitely not one of them. Not one I’ll be going back to…

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