Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Devil All the Time

Donald Ray Pollack takes the desperation and despair of his Knockemstiff stories and stretches them into a crime novel, like Jim Thompson troubled by readings of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor and insomnia. Serial killers, pedophile priests, suicide, killers, religious fanaticism and a heap of dead bodies fill this grim tale. Pollock gives this story a hero and we have someone rightly or wrongly to root for which is a difference from his influences. Devil all the Time is a decent first stretch into novel length by Pollack hopefully to be followed by stronger ones. This won’t make him a household like his influences but puts in company with fellow interpreters of their gothic Americana such as Daniel Woodrell and William Gay (who provides a blurb).

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