Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: American Rust

. "He had no idea how long he'd be on the train, he'd watched the powerlines hurdling up and down until the motion made him sick. Several times they'd pulled over, sat watching on stub lines as other trains passed, hours, it seemed, he was restless and bored but there was no point to getting off -- it was days trying to get on." American Rust by Philipp Meyer. This is a very well-written book. It is also really interesting in that it captures the town and character down to a gnat's eyebrow. I can't figure out why it isn't doing anything for me. Maybe because it is so relentlessly depressing. I have to make myself read it. If it weren't on my guilt list and one of the books I picked for the Colorful Reading Challenge, I might not finish it (big words for this reader who has only stopped reading two or three books ever). As it is, I started it six months ago, abandoned it, started it again a couple of weeks ago, lost it at the gym, didn't care, retrieved it from the gym, and am now struggling to get to the end. Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event. .

12 comments :

Book Bird Dog said...

It's hard to read depressing books, I agree. Here's mine: My tease

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

Your teaser is well written but definitely a downer. My suggestion, if you were asking for any, would be to dump the book. But you probably have too many hours invested already, so my next best suggestion would be to skim to the end and let it go.

gautami tripathy said...

I like the cover. Sometimes depressing books turn out good.

Teaser/Whereabouts Tuesdays: Tintin and Cigars of the Pharaoh by Hergé

Natalie W said...

Oh it would be very hard to read depressing books when there are soooo many other good ones!
Great teaser!

JoAnn said...

The writing is wonderful, but it can be tough to read depressing books. Hope you finish soon...

celi.a said...

That writing just evokes the monotony of a train ride perfectly! Great teaser!

You can check out mine here.

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

Don't feel bad, it didn't do anything for me either. I don't think the issue is just depressing, because I have no problem reading depressing books, but I just couldn't really bring myself to care about them.

An Anonymous Child said...

I find it so strange that many readers don't like "American Rust" because they find it depressing. Yes, it's a far from cheerful book but it's also kind of brilliant. I liked that it didn't try to make everything into a happy story, it didn't feel the need to cram positivity down my throat, and made do with honest grimness.

I suppose every reader has his/her own tastes. And I guess a lot of people don't like difficult, dark reads like this one. I hope you stick through because though it's a downer-style book, it really is very good (my personal opinion). And also, occasionally it's nice in the long run to tackle something slightly different and hard to read. Anyways, good luck with the remainder. I hope it won't be too painful...

Rose City Reader said...

I don't have anything against depressing books, per se, although I do usually like them leavened with a pinch of optimism or at least a little gallows humor. I don't find pure grimness to be realistic -- any more than pure happiness.

I actually think American Rust is incredibly well-written. In fact, when I review it, I will make a comparison between Meyer and Dreiser, I think he has the potential to be that good. I don't think he is there yet, but this is pretty amazing for a first novel in terms of the writing and accomplishing what he sets out to do. I also think there are flaws. But, then, I also have issues with Dreiser, even though I think he is a genius and changed American lit.

Thanks for all the comments!

jlshall said...

Interesting teaser, but it does sound like a rather depressing book. Think I'd be tempted to abandon it, even if it meant not finishing the challenge.

Bybee said...

I'm interested in this book. Going out on a limb now and saying that I think it'll win the Pulitzer.

Ali said...

I loved this book, but I can understand why it doesn't appeal to everyone. The characters do some inexplicable things at times, and that can make it hard to relate to them. The writing, though! I can't wait to see what he writes next.

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