Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time
The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Winesburg, Ohio in hell by way of Jim Thompson. One of the most chilling and darkly entertaining novels I've read in years. He deftly weaves their tales together without stretching the threads. It can be difficult reading, with the suffering that some characters endure, but it never dips into salaciousness or what I like to call "squalor porn." He cares about the characters, even the wastes of humanity, and gives even the lowest an honest amount of life. While it feels nihilistic in parts, from the dregs of slovenly vice, one rises from the blood and the filth. And I hope there's another book that begins with him.

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Chad Eagleton said...

I don't think I'll ever forget the story Pollock read at Frank Bill's Book Release Party. It floored me and made Maria cry.

Thomas Pluck said...

I still have to read Knockemstiff. Was it from that collection? He's got a great voice, real good at switching to a character's POV so deftly you don't even know it. Even in the same scene. Very admirable work.

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