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Knockemstiff

Pollock, Donald Ray (Book - 2008 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Knockemstiff
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In this unforgettable work of fiction, Donald Ray Pollock peers into the soul of a tough Midwestern American town to reveal the sad, stunted but resilient lives of its residents. Spanning a period from the mid-sixties to the late nineties, the linked stories that compriseKnockemstifffeature a cast of recurring characters who are woebegone, baffled and depraved--but irresistibly, undeniably real. Rendered in the American vernacular with vivid imagery and a wry, dark sense of humor, these thwarted and sometimes violent lives jump off the page at the reader with inexorable force. A father pumps his son full of steroids so he can vicariously relive his days as a perpetual runner-up body builder. A psychotic rural recluse comes upon two siblings committing incest and feels compelled to take action. Donald Ray Pollock presents his characters and the sordid goings-on with a stern intelligence, a bracing absence of value judgments, and a refreshingly dark sense of bottom-dog humor. With an artistic instinct honed on the works of Flannery O'Connor and Harry Crews, Pollock offers a powerful work of fiction in the classic American vein.Knockemstiffis a genuine entry into the literature of place.
Authors: Pollock, Donald Ray, 1954-
Title: Knockemstiff
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 206 p. :,map ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Donald Ray Pollock
ISBN: 0385523823
9780385523820
Branch Call Number: FICTION POLLOCK
Subject Headings: Knockemstiff (Ohio) Social life and customs Fiction
LCCN: 2007039806
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Donald Ray Pollock peers into the soul of a tough Midwestern American town to reveal the sad, stunted but resilient lives of its residents.

The stories in this collection feature a cast of recurring characters who are woebegone, baffled, and depraved — but irresistibly, undeniably real. With artistic sensibilities reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor, Pollock offers a powerful work of fiction in the classic American vein.


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Jul 06, 2014
  • marti419 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I did not like this book at all. I kept reading thinking maybe the next chapter would improve, but it never did.

I read this book on lunch breaks in cafes and coffeehouses near my work. Reading this gave me that 'brown bag feeling' I imagine customers feel when exiting porn shops. I was afraid at any moment someone would look over my shoulder and publicly shame me. It's only a tad alarming to enjoy something so depraved, but the writing and story telling are compelling. Stop judging me.

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