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Download American Rust Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample American Rust Audiobook, by Philipp Meyer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,211 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philipp Meyer Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781440718045
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Philipp Meyer presents his dramatic debut novel, American Rust—a moving tale of friends in a fading Pennsylvania steel town and the murder that forces them to question their assumptions about each other and those around them. Unfolding at a relentless pace, Meyer’s dark vision of an environment in flux is propelled by characters drawn with keen insight into human pathos. Before the last act is staged, loyalties will be tested as old paradigms shift and a new reality takes hold. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Affecting…Mr. Meyer is not only able to create a richly layered narrative with multiple perspectives, but he’s also able to climb inside his people’s heads and channel their thoughts and feelings…American Rust announces the arrival a gifted new writer—a writer who understands how place and personality and circumstances can converge to create the perfect storm of tragedy.”

    New York Times

  • “This bleak but skillful debut is both affecting and timely…[Meyer’s] rigorously sculpted psychologies and assured sense of place are compelling.”

    New Yorker

  • “Powerful…both plaintive and grand…Meyer grew up in Baltimore, where he dropped out of high school and pursued various careers as an emergency medical technician, a construction worker, and a derivatives trader for a Swiss bank. Along the way, he studied English at Cornell, and most recently he taught writing in Austin, Tex. The variety of those experiences—the intimate knowledge of hard physical labor, high finance, and great literature—informs every page of American Rust.”

    Washington Post

  • “A terrifically impressive dissection of loyalty and honor. It’s a muted hymn in praise of the things we admire in others rather than the stuff we despise.”

    Telegraph (London)

  • “The entropic nature of society in paralysis is stunningly portrayed in a novel rich in scope and ambition.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “A paean to the end of empire…The story crackles with narrative tension…The picture is grim, but masterfully painted.”

    Economist

  • “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. Fans of Cormac McCarthy or Dennis Lehane will find in Meyer an author worth watching.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Compelling…Tom Stechschulte’s gritty deliver suits the setting well, and he adjusts his tone with surprising agility. The novel shifts between the points of view of several characters, including two women, and Stechschulte’s sublte vocal changes reflect this technique effectively.”

    AudioFile

  • “Meyer’s greatest strength as a novelist lies in his poignantly well-rounded characters, particularly Billy’s long-suffering mother, Grace, who repeatedly sacrifices her own prospects for those of her child. A Pandora’s box of debate for book clubs, this novel is an essential purchase.”

    Library Journal

  • A 2009 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize Finalist
  • Selected for the March 2009 Indie Next List
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2009
  • An 2009 Economist Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2009 Washington Post Top 10 Book for Fiction
  • A 2009 Amazon Best Books of the Year
  • Winner of the 2009 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize for First Fiction
  • One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gail Double | 2/19/2014

    " Didn't get to finish the book because I borrowed it from the library and it expired. Thank goodness I did because so far, I couldn't get into it. I don't know if I"ll be picking it up again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alan Newman | 2/17/2014

    " This is a grim tale about life in a small town in the steel country of Pennsylviania--the mills have closed, and are rusted shells in the landscape, and the town's inhabitants are long unemployed and hopeless,only rarely able to move upward socially or economically. The story centers on Isaac English, a genius, but trapped into delaying college to care for his ailing father, his friend Poe, football hero turned brawler; his sister Lee who went to Yale and married well; and Poe's mother Grace and her lover, the Sherrif of the county. In many ways this could have been written in the 1930's--it is really a Depression novel, set in an economically depressed area that has been silently deteriorating under our noses since the 1970's. Train hopping hobos, thieves, drunks populate its pages. The writing is excellent, the characters compelling, though they are responsible for making their own lives, and the readers life, miserable (this is not a cheerful read). But it rings true, except for the ending which is a little contrived. Worth a read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 2/15/2014

    " 3.5 actually, or maybe even 3.75. A powerful story but very difficult/painful to read. The rust belt (western PA) declines (the whole society declines...), a chance encounter and everything changes -- spins the lives of all the characters out of control -- Poe, Isaac, Grace, Harris, Lee. What will they each do with the new hand they've been dealt? Reads like a Greek tragedy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean | 2/14/2014

    " This was recommended by the Book Club (of sorts) at Chautauqua and I usually love their recommendation but this year I did not LOVE this one. I thought it was well written and interesting but not earth shatteringly wonderful as were some of their other recommendations ie Someone Knows My Name and In the Garden of the Beasts! It's a good summer read and a character study ...it surprised me in the end which I always like...take a chance and try it. You might like it better than I did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Valentin | 1/24/2014

    " He just wasted the opportunity to write really good book about the decline of the small industrial towns. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Harriet | 1/16/2014

    " Couldn't get into this book... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jackie May | 1/13/2014

    " If it weren't for book club, I would have quit reading it. The comparisons to John Steinbeck are unfounded. There are so many books to read, you should pass on this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alto2 | 1/12/2014

    " A gut-wrenching and gritty look at the modern Mon (Monangahela River) Valley that birthed my father. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robbie Bashore | 1/7/2014

    " I was very interesting to read this after reading The Grapes of Wrath. Many parallels. Quirky characters caught in unfortunate situations. I'm not sure I liked the ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer Arnold | 1/5/2014

    " You might catch glimpses of what could be great writing (Lee and Poe's doomed relationship, in particular), but overall the novel was a disappointment. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 12/26/2013

    " This was my own book club pick and I was NOT a fan. Blech. Like a sad Lifetime movie in print. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rute | 12/11/2013

    " Duro,mas muito bem escrito. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brady Dale | 8/26/2013

    " This guy is a buddy of mine from college, but it's definitely a compelling story about some folks stuck in a seriously depressing situation. Check it out right now. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Arlene | 7/16/2013

    " Too depressing... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kitty | 6/23/2013

    " A great story of what happens when a town is effected by the loss of it's major industry. Although all the characters in the book seemed to have some sort of mental instability. Family and friendship are important aspects of this novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Scott Beck | 6/2/2013

    " Good enough to finish but not really memorable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cole | 8/31/2012

    " This was a surprisingly good read. The only reason it's not five stars is because of the ending; although I'm sure the author intends the reader to make their own conclusions, I'm the type that likes a defined start and finish. If you like my books, then read this one and you'll enjoy it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted | 3/17/2012

    " Evocative book chronicling the struggles of three friends to escape the decaying steel town in which they were raised. Bad decisions lead to worse outcomes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie Lemson | 3/3/2012

    " I was very compelled by the characters in this book but in the end found that I was unable to understand them and their motivations. Very good writing though and worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrienne | 7/14/2011

    " Well written, but I never connected to any of the characters. It didn't have the heart it needed to take it from good to great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 5/4/2011

    " Recent graduate of the Michener Writing Fellowship here in Austin.... love this guys fluid, stream of consciousness voice "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jackie | 4/22/2011

    " If it weren't for book club, I would have quit reading it. The comparisons to John Steinbeck are unfounded. There are so many books to read, you should pass on this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arianne | 4/5/2011

    " Very well written, but sometimes became a bit dry in one of the story lines. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gail | 3/9/2011

    " Didn't get to finish the book because I borrowed it from the library and it expired. Thank goodness I did because so far, I couldn't get into it. I don't know if I"ll be picking it up again.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrienne | 3/6/2011

    " Well written, but I never connected to any of the characters. It didn't have the heart it needed to take it from good to great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 3/4/2011

    " Although it ends way too neatly (the denouement somewhat insults what has come before), this is still a well-written meditation on what has become of American industry, the detritus it has left behind and the people who are affected in the process. Also, it's a pretty good thriller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kitty | 2/20/2011

    " A great story of what happens when a town is effected by the loss of it's major industry. Although all the characters in the book seemed to have some sort of mental instability. Family and friendship are important aspects of this novel.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Valentin | 2/20/2011

    " He just wasted the opportunity to write really good book about the decline of the small industrial towns. "

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About the Author
Author 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, he 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, Iowa Review, and Salon. 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.

About the Narrator

Tom Stechschulte has narrated well over a hundred audiobooks and has won sixteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2009 and has been a finalist for the Audie in 2005 and 2011. As an actor, he has been seen in eleven Broadway shows as well as numerous television and film shows, including the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.