Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Gave Up: "American Rust" by Philipp Meyer

Gave Up: Americna Rust by Philip Meyer, 2009, 9780385527514.

I saw a review.  The review said this was good crime novel.  No, not really.  More a literary novel with a crime at the center.

I think the strength of the book was the look at rural poor people.  Set in a Pennsylvania town south of Pittsburgh and surrounded by shuttered steel factories and foundries.  Two 20-year-old guys have been shiftless since high school.  One guy can't keep a job and has a bad temper and need to punch things.  A bad temper is bad thing for a real big guy.  Second guy is a brilliant but had to stay at home to care for his disabled father as his sister went off to Yale and law school.

Anyway.  Second Guy figures, "Screw it, I'm skipping town."  He starts walking and somehow meets with First Guy.  They shelter from a rainstorm in a shuttered factory.  Three drifters come in the building.  Tension starts.  Second Guy goes outside and comes back in to see First Guy held up by a knife.  Second Guy throws a large ball bearing and kills drifter. 

Things happen.  half way through the novel First Guy is arrested for murder and I stopped trying to care.

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