Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review – The Devil All the Time

Okay, I'll admit it. I loved Donald Ray Pollock's superb collection of short Stories Knockemstiff.

If you've read them you'll know what to expect from The Devil All the Time. If you haven't then shame on you!

Donald Ray touches on some familiar ground; occasionally flirting with one or two of the characters we met in the tar paper shacks of Knockemstiff, Ohio. But the brutal, deranged and down right dangerous people he introduces us to in 'Devil' are something else entirely.

The story weaves twisted strands of hard lives into a powerful tapestry of desperation, violence and sadness. Perhaps you might also find a little hope hidden in there too.

This is defiantly not a book for the faint hearted. It's a gut-punch in the underbelly of rural, post war American society. Hard, immoral and unsettlingly. What makes it not only tolerable but instantly enjoyable is the quite brilliant voice of the author.

Donald Ray Pollock writes wonderful, tight prose and humming dialogue. He carries you effortlessly through some of the most disturbing facets of the human condition and leaves you hunched over and breathless; tasting blood and craving more. This is a book that will stay with you after long after you're done reading it and for some, that may not be a good thing!

It seems to me that every new American author with a distinctive voice is instantly hailed as a new 'someone', be it Steinbeck or Bukowski. Donald Ray Pollock is not a new anyone. He is his own man and thank god for it.

If you read only one book this year, then make it The Devil All the Time.

For more information about Don, check out his website: Donald Ray Pollock

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