The Devil All the Time

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Doubleday, 2012 - Fiction - 261 pages
42 Reviews
From the acclaimed author of Knockemstiff--called "powerful, remarkable, exceptional" by the Los Angeles Times--comes a dark and riveting vision of America that delivers literary excitement in the highest degree.

In The Devil All the Time, Donald Ray Pollock has written a novel that marries the twisted intensity of Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers with the religious and Gothic over­tones of Flannery O'Connor at her most haunting.

Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There's Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can't save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrifi­cial blood he pours on his "prayer log." There's Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial kill­ers, who troll America's highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. There's the spider-handling preacher Roy and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte's orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but also violent man in his own right.

Donald Ray Pollock braids his plotlines into a taut narrative that will leave readers astonished and deeply moved. With his first novel, he proves himself a master storyteller in the grittiest and most uncompromising American grain.

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This is southern gothic writing at its very best! - LibraryThing
Not suitable for those who like happy endings. - LibraryThing
The writing though, is incredible. - LibraryThing
Pollock is the kind of writer Hemingway wanted to be. - LibraryThing

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User Review  - lincolnpan - LibraryThing

Awesome book and beautifully written. Disturbing yet not sadistic, just amazing prose and profile of complex personalities in the Appalachian wasteland. Thoroughly enjoyable. Read full review

Review: The Devil All the Time

User Review  - Richard Vialet - Goodreads

*4.5 Stars* Sometimes I find it difficult to put into words what I really liked about a particular book. This novel is one of those. It's a nihilistic portrait of rural life in Ohio and West Virginia ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

DONALD RAY POLLOCK, recipient of the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship, made his literary debut in 2008 with the critically acclaimed short story collection Knockemstiff. He worked as a laborer at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1973 to 2005.

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