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The Devil All the Time review - Donald Ray Pollock

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DETAILS IN THE 'DEVIL' Small-town Ohio proves a bleak setting for a litany of violent acts people commit against each other

The Devil All the Time

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Donald Ray Pollock
publisher:
Doubleday
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Knockemstiff, Ohio, is an actual town and, judging from Pollock’s fiction and Google, also a desolate hellhole. After setting a celebrated book of short stories there, Pollock returns to the same geographic and metaphorical stomping ground with this unrepentantly dark debut novel about sexual violence, emotional violence, and plain old violence violence. Two of the subplots concern horrific preachers, but the most unsettling story of all involves married serial killers looking for hapless guys to degrade and murder. Pollock is an impassioned writer, but in The Devil All the Time he doesn’t add much to what we already know about the obscenities that hide out in the human heart. B+

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