Pennsylvania Gets Rusty Again


Today, I swung by the library, which isn’t unusual for a Monday after work. I conducted by normal perusing and within minutes a book on the “New Arrivals” shelf caught my eye with its simple cover, comprised of only text and a rusty railround tie. The book was titled American Rust by Philipp Meyer and it caught my attention for two more reasons after I judged the book by its cover: it takes place right around my stomping grounds of Pittsburgh and, more importantly, a quote on the back compared it to the likes of Cormac McCarthy and John Steinbeck. Then, arriving home, I get online and see on Variety that two writers behind the excellent The Motorcycle Diaries are penning an adaptation of this very novel. This would be the third or fourth time this year that I have picked up a book at the library and found out news released that very day talking of its film adaptation. I am beginning the believe that I have subtle physic powers that draw me to these books – or maybe that just means I spend too much time at the library. Maybe I will stare at a goat later and see if I can kill it with mind bullets.

The novel itself seems right up my alley. Described as “unrelentingly downbeat” and “character-driven,” the story follows two childhood friends in an economically shattered steel town in western Pennsylvania who spend their lives dreaming of getting out of the world they know that seemingly leads nowhere and experiencing life anew in sunny, worry-free California and they are just about on their way to their new life when they find themselves implicated in a serious crime.

I don’t know much more about it and since I haven’t read the book yet (I think I will start reading it tonight), I’m not going to read anymore about it online. I am just glad to see my area of western Pennsylvania getting some serious attention from Hollywood the past couple of years (The Road, Adventureland, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Smart People). Word to my Pennsylvania government. Keep up the alluring tax breaks.

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