Top positive review
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The Devil's in the details
on 1 August 2011
Expectations are always high when a great (and Donald Ray Pollocks short stories are exceptional) short story writer releases a novel. No need to worry here then as The Devil all The Time is an exceptionally good first novel. Brilliant, even.
Quite a hard book to summarize easily as it has multiple threads and characters that weave in and out of each other that then finally collide in blood and guts at the end. Literally the equivalent of a murder spree in prose it has little mercy for the squemish or faint of heart.
If you've read Knockemstiff then you will know the types of characters Mr Pollock writes about - outsiders, losers and the downright murderous. It's the quality of the writing that gets to you - hard edged and honest, tragedy shot through with humour, great dialogue. Writing in a voice that reminded me of some of my all-time favourite writers (Tim Gautreaux, Ron Rash, Larry Brown through Harry Crews and back to Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner although Mr Pollock has his own distinct style ) I cannot recommend this book highly enough.