Philipp Meyer, Author of The Son and American Rust


Philipp Meyer


American Rust is a Daily Telegraph Summer Reading Choice


American Rust was shortlisted for the Center For Fiction's First Novel Prize, 2009.

Reviews and Praise for The Son (first section)


"The Son makes a viable claim to be a Great American Novel."
The Washington Post

"one of the most solid, unsparing pieces of American historical fiction to come out this century."
National Public Radio

"arguably the best American book thus far this century. Think Cormac McCarthy with strong female characters or a more rusticated, visceral Jonathan Franzen."
Bookseller (UK)

“Heartstopping…on a par with that classic of the genre, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.
The Telegraph

"masterly…exhilarating...only in the greatest of historical novels do we come to feel both the distance of the past and our own likely complicity in the sins of a former age. To that rank, we now add “The Son.”
New York Times

“Brilliant…epic”
The Financial Times

"Those damned Americans. The best movies, the best music and now an author like Philipp Meyer. This epic novel . . . deserves a place in the list of Great American novels. De Zoon is an incredible reading experience, it will leave you stunned. Unforgettable." – De Limburger (Netherlands)

"Dazzling…The Son is to literature what Goya is to painting."
Sydney Morning Herald

"A masterpiece." – Het Parool (Netherlands)

“the kind of encompassing historical scope that leads readers to think “Great American Novel.”
The Oxford American

"One word—stunning. The Son stands fair to hold its own in the canon of Great American Novels. A book that for once really does deserve to be called a masterpiece."
—Kate Atkinson

Reviews and Praise for American Rust


"John Steinbeck is alive and well today . . . and his name is Philipp Meyer"
—Geordie Williamson, chief literary critic, The Australian

“everything about this story seems essentially American…in the tradition that stretches from Ernest Hemingway to Cormac McCarthy. Meyer knows how to create heartbreakingly real female characters, too. [His] tone is less polemic than John Steinbeck's, but he's working on the same broad scale."
The Washington Post, Ron Charles

"Meyer is already being compared with John Steinbeck, and with very good reason."
Esquire UK

"Do people still think in terms of the Great American Novel – a work of fiction that exactly captures the contemporary spirit of the union? If so, American Rust has GAN stamped all over it. In racing terms it’s by Of Mice and Men, out of Huckleberry Finn, ridden by Cormac McCarthy, and trained by Salinger and Kerouac. "
The Daily Telegraph (UK), Roger Perkins

“remarkable…introduces a novelist worth celebrating and watching.”
USA Today, Bob Minzesheimer

"Like Upton Sinclair’s "The Jungle" and George Orwell’s "Down and Out in Paris and London," American Rust documents the psychological and moral tangle that comes with poverty… In stylistic terms, Meyer’s clipped, stream-of-consciousness narration brings to mind not only the modernists (Hemingway, Woolf, Joyce) but also Cormac McCarthy."
The Millions

"assured...crackles with narrative tension...masterfully painted."
The Economist

“the social detail and emotional verisimilitude [of] Richard Russo ... a keen, J.D. Salinger-esque empathy. American Rust announces the arrival of a gifted new writer."
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"The comparisons other reviewers have made to Steinbeck are unavoidable and in large part justified, as are those to Cormac McCarthy….uniformly brilliant."
The Times UK (Saturday Review Supplement)

"a New Classic"
Tatler (UK)

"stunningly portrayed...a novel rich in scope and ambition."
The Guardian

“reminiscent of William Faulkner...Meyer knows more about the meaning of redemption than most other contemporary American novelists. He also knows how to write a compelling story.”
The Baltimore Sun

"This psychological novel about guilt and redemption has been compared to writers such as Steinbeck, Faulkner and Salinger. Flattering as that may be, the biggest recommendation about Meyer's work is that he sounds like no one, except himself. It is the unique sound of a surprising new American talent. Roest is a brilliant novel."
TROUW The Netherlands

"a novel which you finish feeling hopeful for the future. Because as long as American literature brings forth debut novels of this standing, we do not have to worry about the demise of the generation of post-war literary giants."
NRC The Netherlands

"[a] skillful debut...both affecting and timely."
The New Yorker

"powerful insight...captivating...compelling."
The Observer (UK)

"Meyer punches in the same heavyweight division as John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy. He's that good."
Qantas

"A masterly hybrid of stream of consciousness prose and expertly paced, thrilling narrative."
The New Zealand Listener

“Novelists spend entire careers trying to write even one classic book. Philipp Meyer has accomplished that feat on his first attempt. American Rust might one day be recognized as one of our great American novels.”
The Dayton Daily News

"American Rust impresses...this is a new writer who clearly knows what he's doing."
The Times (London), Douglas Kennedy

"brilliant...a documentarist's eye for an uncertain, self-destructing world, the lyrical style to nail a friendship in a sentence and an almost effortless devotion to a page-turning story."
Metro UK (five star review)

"a fine acheivement...moving between the panoramic and the personal with engaging confidence"
The Sunday Times UK

"a bold, absorbing novel...moves deftly from the panoramic to the microscopic — from sweeping views of a dying valley to the quiet ruminations of a mind behind bars."
The New York Times Book Review (Lewis Robinson)

“a literary thriller…lives up to the hype.”
Austin American-Statesman

"a hardboiled debut that seems particularly apt during the financial crisis"
The Wall Street Journal

"poetic...virtuosic...masterful"
The New Statesman UK

“immediate and compelling, and signals the arrival of a new literary voice.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer

“American Rust has been described as recalling the Depression-era novels of John Steinbeck...a distinctive story full of a sorrowful hope graced by a profound respect for struggle and the unrelenting courage necessary to carry on.”
The Miami Herald and The Kansas City Star

"In Philipp Meyer a new American master is born. American Rust is a beautiful, bleak, and ultimately redemptive masterpiece. The best book to come out of America since The Road."
—Chris Cleave, author of The Little Bee


"impeccable, even prescient timing ... startling and recognizable insight ... a talent of great promise."
The Austin Chronicle

“In contemporary fiction, Meyer…most resembles Andre Dubus, Dennis Lehane or Richard Price.”
The Dallas Morning News

“With the recent passing of John Updike and the loss of Kurt Vonnegut last year, the American literary landscape is faced with a gaping void… fortunately for us, as readers, there are occasional reasons to hope. Philipp Meyer's debut novel, "American Rust," is one of those reasons.”
Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

“I admire his [Meyer’s] writing so much….The same way, frankly, that I do Hemingway. He ought to win the Pulitzer.”
— Patricia Cornwell

“[A] ruthless and powerful book….” (five star review)
Time Out New York

“Already drawing comparisons to Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy, Philipp Meyer paints a dark and timely vision of small-town life in his ambitious debut novel, American Rust….combines the muscular pleasures of a Dennis Lehane thriller with a far-reaching meditation about where we’re headed as a country.”
The Daily Beast

"As Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath charted the plight of American families during the 1930's Great Depression, American Rust may well be the seminal work for the current one."
Otago Daily Times New Zealand

“Meyer has a thrilling eye for failed dreams and writes uncommonly tense scenes of violence . . . Fans of Cormac McCarthy or Dennis Lehane will find in Meyer an author worth watching.”
Publishers Weekly

"Meyer's greatest strength as a novelist lies in his poignantly well-rounded characters…strongly recommended for all…fiction collections."
Library Journal

"Meyer does a terrific job capturing the tone and ethos of his setting…the alternating narrators are compellingly drawn…a grimly powerful hybrid: provocative literary fiction crossed with a propulsive thriller."
Kirkus

"In a third-person narrative that moves round-robin style from one character to the next, Meyer deftly captures individual speech patterns...never ceases to display a gift for evoking setting…."
Bookforum






Reviews and Praise for The Son (con't from above)


"magnificent sprawling epic...lives up to the hype."
The Sunday Times (UK)

"An exciting and impressive epic. We couldn’t be happier with this novel which gives the impression that Meyer will become one of the big names of the coming years."– De Standaard (Netherlands)

"Meyer is a writer of vast ambition and talent, and he has created nothing less than an American epic."
Parade

"A phenomenal novel." – NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands)

“the power of this remarkable and beautifully wrought novel is that we remember, in its careful dissection of imperial power, our innate potential for moral courage and companionship.”
The Guardian

"Vast, volcanic...and difficult to ignore."
Boston Globe

"a masterpiece of American fiction."
Dayton Daily News

“will likely catapult Philipp Meyer into the first rank of contemporary American novelists.”
San Francisco Chronicle

"an electric, sprawling epic… the Texas fixed in my mind has been supplanted by the imaginings of three great American writers…Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry and, with the publication of The Son, Philipp Meyer."
Miami Herald

"a brilliant novel...one of the finest I have read in a long time."
Toronto Globe and Mail

"vivid narrative, riveting detail…a hallmark blend of understatement and unflinching clarity."
The New York Times, Janet Maslin

"bold, ambitious, and brutal as its subject: the rise of Texas."
USA Today

"a stunning work of historical fiction... a story of courage, conviction and perseverance."
CNN.com

"the stuff of Great American Literature. Like all destined classics, Meyer's second novel...speaks volumes about humanity..."
Publishers Weekly

"Truly stunning."
Flavorwire

"The Next Great Western"
Daily Beast

"Monumentally ambitious epic about Texas. . . THE SON is a true American original."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Utterly absorbing"
Reader's Digest

“A novel that is an epic in the truest sense of the word: massive in scope, replete with transformations in fortune and fate, and drenched in the blood of war.”
Huffington Post

This is the book you want to read this summer.”
Esquire

“The Son is an epic, heroic, hallucinatory work of art... No one, ever, has done a novel like this…”
—Chris Cleave

“A remarkable, beautifully crafted novel. Meyer tackles large movements of American history and culture yet also delivers page-turning delights of story and character.”
—Charles Frazier



"A true American epic, full of brutal poetry and breathtaking panoramas. Meyer’s characters repeatedly bear witness to the collision of human greed, savagery, and desire with the mute and indomitable Plains landscape. Meyer is a writer of tremendous talent, compassion, and ambition—The Son is a staggering achievement.”
—Karen Russell

“Meyer is an impressive and multitalented storyteller in the old, good sense—the kind that makes me hang on for whatever the next chapter will hold.”
—Richard Ford

“The Son is the story of our founding mythology, of the men and women who tore a country from the wilderness and the price paid in blood by subsequent generations. An epic in the tradition of Faulkner and Melville, this is the work of a writer at the height of his power.”
—Kevin Powers

“Philipp Meyer redrafts humanity’s oldest questions and deepest obsessions into something so raw and dazzling and brutal and real, The Son should come with its own soundtrack.”
—Téa Obreht