The Devil All the Time

By Donald Ray Pollock
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385535045, 272pp.)

Publication Date: July 12, 2011

List Price: $26.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2011 Indie Next List
“This is a powerhouse of a novel. Disturbing? Yes. But Pollock, the author of the story collection Knockemstiff, earns the gravity of his subject matter. As the title suggests, God is pretty elusive to the characters in this book, despite their many attempts to have it otherwise. There is, however, an almost biblical inevitability in the fate of these people, and Pollock hooks your interest in their destinies from the very beginning. It's (pardon the pun) 'a hell of a ride!'”
-- Robert Sindelar, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA


Description

From the acclaimed author of Knockemstiff—called “powerful, remarkable, exceptional” by the Los Angeles Times—comes a dark and riveting vision of America that delivers literary excitement in the highest degree.

In The Devil All the Time, Donald Ray Pollock has written a novel that marries the twisted intensity of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers with the religious and Gothic over­tones of Flannery O’Connor at her most haunting.

Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrifi­cial blood he pours on his “prayer log.” There’s Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial kill­ers, who troll America’s highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. There’s the spider-handling preacher Roy and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but also violent man in his own right.

Donald Ray Pollock braids his plotlines into a taut narrative that will leave readers astonished and deeply moved. With his first novel, he proves himself a master storyteller in the grittiest and most uncompromising American grain.




About the Author

DONALD RAY POLLOCK, recipient of the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship, made his literary debut in 2008 with the critically acclaimed short story collection Knockemstiff. He worked as a laborer at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1973 to 2005.




NPR
Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011

Donald Ray Pollock worked in a paper mill and meatpacking plant for 32 years before becoming a writer. His second book The Devil All the Time is set in his hometown of Knockemstiff, Ohio, where he says "nearly everyone was connected by blood through one godforsaken calamity or another." More at NPR.org

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