The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Donald Ray Pollock has only two books under his belt, this one, and the short story collection, KNOCKEMSTIFF. He writes with an authenticity and originality that would make one think he has been honing his craft for decades (and maybe he has, just not in the public arena). I was initially drawn to THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME because 1. It has a serial killer storyline and that particular species is endlessly fascinating for me (don't judge me) and 2. The story is set in eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia, the area in which I grew up. What I was not expecting was such an amazing book, one of the best I read in 2011. Pollock reminds me of one of the best writers (I believe, anyway) 20th century America produced: Flannery O'Connor. He has the same affinity for damaged people, quasi-religious themes, and quirky world view. He also has the same command of language that is always simple, but never simplistic (a big difference). Very, very highly recommended.
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