The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time are Book oh great another book i can never recommend to elizabeth this book is vicious understand that this is a hyper violent book filled with completely unsavory charac

The Devil All the Time are Book oh, great. another book i can never recommend to elizabeth...this book is vicious. understand that. this is a hyper-violent book, filled with completely unsavory characters in a filthy landscape where crimes are committed with breathtaking casualness. and i gotta confess, i loved it.because that's not all it is. this isn't just gratuitous violence for shock value and testing of the reader's limits. there is also that heartbreaking thing i love so much in my literature: small-town desperation. the frustration of limitations. the recognition of boundaries, and working within them to steal a little pleasure for yourself, even if your sickfuck version of pleasure is orchestrating murder-victim photographic tableaux or seeing how many little girls you can deflower or daydreaming your pathetically small-frame dreams:sometime soon, he was going to drive down to the river city and see a doubleheader. his plan was to buy a good seat, drink beer, stuff himself with their hot dogs. he's heard hot dogs tasted better in a ballpark, and he wanted to find out for himself. cincinnati was just ninety miles or so on the other side of the mitchell flats, a straight shot down route 50, but he's never been there, hadn't been any further west than hillsboro his entire twenty-two years.hank had the feeling that his life would really begin once he made that trip.god, that kills me. that eating a hot dog in a ballpark would be this big life-changing experience; the apex of his imagination. right in my feeling-parts, that.okay, are you suitably saddened and soft? because now we have to talk about the rest of the book. the part with the murder and the rape and the animal sacrifice and the prostitution and the suicide and all that other stuff. because as much as you can sympathize with people wanting to escape their narrow lives and make their mark on the world, this is what winesberg, ohio would become if eli roth got his hands on it.and people are going to die.they will die as misguided attempts to attract the attention of god, or to prove that resurrection of the human body is possible (spoiler alert - it is not), thrill-killings masquerading as art, killing as self-defense, severe beatings as justice: this is a terrifying little slice-of-life.and yet - it is still so fucking beautiful. recalling a long-deceased love:alice louise berry had died in the influenza epidemic of 1918, along with 3 million or so poor souls, just a few weeks after starting her classes at the gilmore sanderson secretarial school. if only they had stayed in the hills, earskell often thought, she might still be alive. but alice always had big dreams, which was one of the things he had loved about her, and he was glad that he hadn't tried to talk her out of it. he was certain those days they spent in cincinnati among the tall buildings and crowded streets before she took the fever were the happiest ones of her life. his too, for that matter.ahhhhh - again with the feeling-parts! that's what this book is like - a constant shift between beauty and brutality. and his control of the two elements is masterful. this has definitely earned its place in my personal canon of appalachia lit that gives me a heart-on, and as soon as i can find my copy of knockemstiff, i am all over that like blood on prayer-log. . 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 GFrom 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 over tones 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 sacrifi cial blood he pours on his prayer log There s Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband and wife team of serial kill ers, 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.. The best Books The Devil All the Time Donald Ray Pollock wrote this book using many characters, including preachers. There are at least three of'em in The Devil All The Time. One good old preacher is dying but won't admit it for nothing. The other two ... Well, they done got themselves into just the kind of trouble Mr.Pollock likes to write about. From the Bible we find in Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers ... " No. Wait a minute. That one doesn't apply here. There ain't no peacemakers in Knockemstiff, Ohio. so let's try Ezekiel 13:3 "Thus saith the Lord God: Woe unto the foolish prophets that follow their own spirit ..."Yea, those other two preachers should have studied over that one a bit longer. then there is Revelation 22:12 "... behold, I come quickly ..."Yelp ... that one's gonna happen. Willard and Charlotte Russell are doing the best they can to raise a good christian son. His name is Arvin. And Arvin turns out well despite a lot of difficulties ... it just seems that in Knockemstiff, Ohio, the devil is on your ass All-The-Time. Still, Arvin grows into a young man simply trying to make his way in a tough old world, helping his family anyway he can. Even when other folks come along that maybe chose for themselves a pathway to hell ... Arvin knows a shortcut. excerpts are spoiler(ish) (view spoiler)[page 1 prologue narration "Willard eased himself down on the high side of the log and motioned for his son to kneel beside him in the dead, soggy leaves. Unless he had whiskey running through his veins, Willard came to the clearing every morning and evening to talk to God. Arvin didn't know which was worse, the drinking or the praying. As far back as he could remember, it seemed that his father had fought the Devil all the time." page 11/12 narration "... in the fall of 1945, not long after the war had ended. The greyhound made its regular stop in Meade, Ohio, a little paper-mill town an hour south of Columbus that smelled like rotten eggs. Strangers complained about the stench, but the locals liked to brag that it was the sweet smell of money.""On one of the Solomons, he and a couple of other men from his outfit had run across a marine skinned alive by the Japanese and nailed to a cross made out of two palm trees. The raw, bloody body was covered with black flies. They could still see the man's heart beating in his chest. Unable to offer anything but a little mercy, Willard shot the marine behind the ear, and they took him down and covered him with rocks at the foot of the cross. The inside of Willard's head hadn't been the same since." page 27 Helen (Preacher Roy Laferty's wife) and Emma Russell (Willard's mother) '"No, I got to go," Helen said. "Roy's waiting on me."' "He's preaching over in Millersburg tonight, where them people got their eyes carved out. We been out gathering spiders all morning. Thank God, with the way this weather's been they're still pretty easy to find."'"You be careful, Helen,"Emma said"' "'Oh, don't worry," the girl said, as she started down off the porch, "they ain't too bad once you get used to them."' page 40 Country Club member warns Henry Dunlap (Willard's landlord) "You might want to watch what you say about that woman." "'What woman?" Henry said."'"You were talking about a man named Willard Russell out there, right?" "Yeah, Russell's his name. So?" "Buddy, it's no skin off my back, but he damn near killed a man with his fist last fall for talking trash about his wife. The one he beat up still ain't right, sits around with a coffee can hanging from his neck to catch his slobbers. You might want to think about that.""You sure we're talking about the same guy? The one I know wouldn't say shit if he had a mouthful.""Maybe he's just the quiet type. Those are the ones you got to watch." page 41/42 narration "Someone was always dying somewhere, and in the summer of 1958, the year Arvin Eugene Russell counted himself ten years old, it was his mother's turn."Charlotte tells Willard how she wants to spend her last days. "'Charlotte raised up in her bed and said to Willard, "I think I had a dream."'"'I know it sounds crazy, but I want to go home and pretend we own the house for a while.""How you gonna do that." "With this stuff they got me on," she said, "they could tell me I was the Queen of Sheba and I wouldn't know any different. Besides, you heard what the doctor said. I sure as hell don't want to spend what's left of my time in this place." "Is that what the dream was about?" '"She gave him a puzzled look, "What dream?"' page 60 Arvin speaks with Hank (local store clerk) "How would a person go about getting hold of the law?" "'Well, either cause some trouble or call them on the telephone, I reckon," Hank said."'"Could you call 'em for me? I ain't never used a telephone before." "What do you want with the sheriff, son?" "'He's dead," the boy said."'"Who is?" "My dad." Arvin said."' "You mean your mom, don't you?" "'...he shook his head."No, my mom's been dead three days. I'm talking about my dad."' page 68 Deputy Sheriff Bodecker and Arvin "'Bodecker pinched his nostrils together, tried to breath through his mouth. "What the hell is that smell then?"'"'That's them up there," Arvin said, pointing into the trees."'"Bodecker lifted his flashlight. Animals in various states of decay hung all around them, some in the branches and others from tall wooden crosses.""'Goddamn it, boy, what the hell is this?" he said, turning the light back on Arvin just as a white, squirming maggot dropped onto the boy's shoulder. He brushed it off as casually as someone would a leaf or a seed. Bodecker waved his revolver around as he started to back away."'"'It's a prayer log," Arvin said, his voice barely a whisper now."' "What? A prayer log?" "'Arvin nodded, staring at his father's body. "But it don't work," he said."' page 197 Preacher Teagardin and Arvin "She was crazy" "'No," Arvin said, "she was just lonely." He pressed the barrel against the back of Teagardin's head. "But don't worry, I ain't gonna make you suffer like she did."' "'Now hold on here, goddamn it. Jesus Christ, man, you wouldn't kill a preacher, would you?"' "'You ain't no preacher, you worthless piece of shit,' Arvin said."' "'Let me pray first," he sobbed. He started to put his hands together."' "'I already did it for you," Arvin said. "Put in one of them special requests you are always talking about, asked Him to send you straight to hell."'page 255 narration/Arvin "Going back to the other side of the log, he knelt down in the place where he had once prayed next to his father. He tried his best to picture God, but his thoughts kept wandering. He finally gave up, found it easier to imagine his parents looking down on him instead. It seemed as if his entire life, everything he'd ever seen or said or done, had led up to this moment; alone at last with the ghosts of his childhood. He began to pray, the first time since his mother had died. '"Tell me what to do,"' (hide spoiler)]

About Author

  1. Donald Ray Pollock was born in 1954 and grew up in southern Ohio, in a holler named Knockemstiff He dropped out of high school at seventeen to work in a meatpacking plant, and then spent thirty two years employed in a paper mill in Chillicothe, Ohio He graduated from the MFA program at Ohio State University in 2009, and still lives in Chillicothe with his wife, Patsy His first book, Knockemstiff, won the 2009 PEN Robert Bingham Fellowship His work has appeared in The New York Times, Third Coast, The Journal, Sou wester, Chiron Review, River Styx, Boulevard, Folio, Granta, NYTBR, Washington Square, and The Berkeley Fiction Review The Devil All the Time is his first novel.

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The Devil All the Time Comment

  1. oh, great another book i can never recommend to elizabethis book is vicious understand that this is a hyper violent book, filled with completely unsavory characters in a filthy landscape where crimes are committed with breathtaking casualness and i gotta confess, i loved itcause that s not all it is this isn t just gratuitous violence for shock value and testing of the reader s limits there is also that heartbreaking thing i love so much in my literature small town desperation the frustration of [...]


  2. Donald Ray Pollock wrote this book using many characters, including preachers There are at least three of em in The Devil All The Time One good old preacher is dying but won t admit it for nothing The other two Well, they done got themselves into just the kind of trouble Mr.Pollock likes to write about From the Bible we find in Matthew 5 9 Blessed are the peacemakers No Wait a minute That one doesn t apply here There ain t no peacemakers in Knockemstiff, Ohio so let s try Ezekiel 13 3 Thus saith [...]


  3. This compelling piece of fiction, written with a deft hand, takes the cake for disturbing and depraved Unwavering in his delivery, Donald Ray Pollock gives us a peek at the world, through the eyes of some gnarly and grotesque individuals What stands out is the casual ease in which the violence and carnage is served up, sans the antics that reek of shock value, making this deliciously dark plot palatable in some strange and unnerving way That s not to say the reality these people call life is eas [...]


  4. There s chick litDick litMick litFlick litTrick litSick litQuick litAnd nowHick lit Well, yes, an affectionate term which I learned from one of the various great reviews of this novel on , which probably doesn t need another rave review, you all got the message now that Donald Ray Pollock is the real deal by now, but I feel compelled to tell you again Because I ve not been having such a great time with novels recently A kind of chill has settled over our relationship Neither of us wants to be th [...]


  5. Every single star for this extremely dark and disturbing novel Even though it took me a long time to finish, not once did I want to give up on it I listened to the audio version I think that the brilliant narration by Mark Bramhall added to this novel He is one of the best narrators that I have come across If you listen to audio this is a good one This is my first Donald Ray Pollock novel but it certainly will not be my last Highly recommended to people who can handle dark and disturbing stories [...]


  6. This review has been revised and can be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud 2017 UPDATE A FILM IS COMING starring Robert Pattinson as Reverend Roy This will be interesting It s National Book Lovers Day A day to bask in the amazing power of books to inform, amuse, educate, and alter our views and viewpoints.Grim, dark, unsparing, and good.Reposting the review by request from a special friend Rating 4.8 of fiveThe Publisher Says Take a man from Ohio who s worked blue collar, send him for an M.F. [...]


  7. The places described in this book are said to be located somewhere in Ohio Small towns and highways connecting them to other small towns with convenience stores, schools, cornfields, dirt roads, churches, wood paneled homes and their sheds But it doesn t take you very long to know that this decor is just a fa ade for where you really are The plants have withered, the dogs are skinny, all eyes are dead Everything is thirsty The pure thirst for water is numbed and buried in dust Alcohol and blood [...]


  8. Willard Russell prays over a prayer log for his cancer ridden wife with his son, Arvin A spider eating preacher is convinced he can bring back the dead A husband and wife pick up hitchhikers, photograph them, and kill them How will all of their paths intersect Knockemstiff was one of my favorite books this year and I was anxious for Donald Ray Pollock to try his hand at a novel Now I m anxious for him to write a couple hundred .The Devil All the Time dips into the same well as Knockemstiff at fi [...]


  9. This is a beautifully written, captivating book about a number of mostly poverty stricken rural characters, some of whom are down on their luck and others of whom are simply bad to the bone.Set in rural Ohio and West Virginia, the story takes place over a period from the end of World War II until the middle of the 1960s It weaves together the strands of several different stories, and the characters include a husband and wife team of serial killers who hunt their male models along the nation s hi [...]


  10. The Devil All the Time, Donald Ray Pollock s tales from a ghost town Just as there are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul Monsters are variations from the accepted normal to a greater or a less degree As a child may be born without an arm, so one may be born without kindness or the potential of conscience A man [...]


  11. Hey, parents, having problems getting you kids to behave in church Let them spend a Sunday with Willard Russell Willard isn t a preacher, and he doesn t have one of those big mall like mega churches What Willard has is a log in the woods That s right, a damn log in the woods A prayer log if you will, and he s hung up some crosses around it, and he makes sure that his son Arvin is out there all the time praying with all he s got Don t mind all that dried blood and animal bones Willard thinks the [...]


  12. A preacher who eats spiders, trying to strike his own parable with the church folk His little talks with Jesus end up turning his deluded notions into full blown insanity A husband and wife comb the backroads picking up young male hitchhikers, all of them coming to an end in a true photo finish The woman, thinking herself a slightly better class of trash than her husband, idly scratches her jigger bites and dreams of moving on without him A sheriff who recognizes that being the law in a backward [...]


  13. Find all of my reviews at 52bookminimum As far back as he could remember, it seemed that his father had fought the Devil all the time Interested in reading Mitchell s 1 pick so far this year Are you sure you re ready for the darkness that is the black hole of his heart Positive Alrighty then, here goes When Ron 2.0 recommended The Devil All the Time to me I told him to f off did what I normally do added it to my TBR where it would promptly be forgotten by my old lady brain Then Shelby chimed in [...]


  14. Read the Donald Ray Pollock Recommends Books page, put together from an interview i had with Donald Ray Pollock Here.Beware some brutal characters contained within this story.The name Pollock strikes up images in my head of the paintings of Jackson Pollock the painter, that splatter art Well this Pollock is just as creative with his storytelling that leaves a deep branding in your mind and soul of a human stain of evil characters, that will stay with you well after you have finished this book I [...]


  15. Not a book with fairy tales and happy endings.This book shows the darkness that can linger in people s souls Willard Russell believes if he and his son Arvin pray over his prayer log long enough it can save his doomed wife Charlotte from the cancer ravaging her body It might now be enough to just pray alone though he adds some sacrificial blood.So begins this tale Setting in rural Ohio and West Virginia Pollock shows the side of poor rural life that I hope to never see.The characters in this boo [...]


  16. Jesus wept, but this is the real goods people gritty, raw, uncompromising prose that snaps and bites at your soft spots I find it curious that so many people have shelved Pollock s sopho novel as horror, because while it is horrifying in places, and deals with some chilling characters, horror it is not In his review of Pollock s debut Knockemstiff, Kemper uses the terms redneck noir and hick lit and that s much closer to capturing what this novel is offering to anyone who dares pick it up One of [...]


  17. Friends, when I look out into those teaming masses, that sea of nameless faces mindlessly distracted by some mobile device, do you know what it is that I see reflected back in those blank stares I tell ya what I see is a whole mess of dull witted, primped, and pampered sissies, as soft as a doughnut I reckon it s about time to put down that screen, and crack open this good book here, and take a glimpse of how things once was in that not so distant past of ours Then you ought to thank your lucky [...]



  18. Gritty crime thrillers are not generally my cup of tea, be they in fancy pants, shiny new hardcovers in the Literature section or shitty paperbacks in the mass market rows of shame where all the bored housewives hang out There seems to often than not be this sort of straight to the point, unsalted cracker style to the writing which leaves me feeling dissatisfied I mean, sure, I know some people in real life who parrot the same words and stories, use like and ummm as ways to pause in a sentence [...]


  19. WOW , reading this was like the equivalent of being sent to the electric chair and having your ashes blasted to the depths of hell , everything is drenched in so much evil and suffering, the two serial killer lovers who hit the road looking for their next victim truly sent shivers down my spine, and there were many moments that really packed a nasty punch The thing that impressed me most was this could have turned into a standard horror thriller but it s far a human drama of hope and redemption [...]


  20. 4.5 Stars Sometimes I find it difficult to put into words what I really liked about a particular book This novel is one of those It s a nihilistic portrait of rural life in Ohio and West Virginia for a disparate group of fucked up individuals as they struggle to not only survive within the parameters that life and fate has stuck them with, but also with their own inherent impulses and desires It s an admirable, well conceived debut novel that is brutal but manages to not feel gratuitous The nove [...]


  21. From the blurb 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 over tones of Flannery O Connor at her most haunting Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devi [...]


  22. The Devil all the Time is a dark, gritty and downright dirty tale, yeah that s perfect for a story that I found pretty bloody enjoyable in places The Players Carl and Sandy Henderson are two killers that pick up hitchhikers and have their wicked way with them, photographed for all posterity in their final moments Roy and Theodore, lead a chequered existence, preaching the Lord s word while skirting the edge of decency and the law To prove their faith they kill with all intentions of bringing bac [...]


  23. If you re a fan of crime fiction and don t mind when it bleeds over into southern gothic, then do not miss Donald Ray Pollock s first novel, The Devil All the Time Critics and readers are comparing his work about the sinning and redemption that takes place by sweaty characters in small hick towns to Flannery O Connor s That s a spot on comparison, especially if compared to O Connor s novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, but I would add that some of the repugnant scenes remind me of m [...]


  24. Dark story and even darker characters This has for me a fair helping of Daniel Woodrell s country noir about it Some of the players in this tale are good and some are just plain bad But even in the good characters badness lives just below the surface There s not a lot of hope here That is unles you think the ending promises some sort of redemption I loved this book It s superbly written without a glimpse of a spare word I ll be searching out of the author s work very soon.



  25. Illustration Andrew Neal Sempre o Diabo primeiro romance de Donald Ray Pollock n 1954 um thriller que entrela a magistralmente as hist rias das v rias personagens, numa narrativa fragmentada, verdadeiramente intensa e angustiante, com descri es macabras e doentias enquadradas por paisagens do sul do Ohio e da Virginia num registo de viol ncia sat nica sem limites Willard Russell um veterano de guerra que regressa a casa transtornado pela matan a e pela crucifica o ocorrida na Segunda Guerra Mund [...]


  26. Recommended ReadingUnless he had whiskey running through his veins, Willard came to the clearing every morning and evening to talk to God Arvin didn t know which was worse, the drinking or the praying As far back as he could remember, it seemed that his father had fought the Devil all the time If you re looking for a piece of southern literature full of sunny people who live nothing but the good life you ll want to steer clear of this book it s not for the faint of heart Imagine you re about to [...]



  27. It s been two days since I finished this one.I am 30% of the way through another novel now, and I still can t getThe Devil All the Time out of my mind.Wow, where to start This is an incredibly fast read, just over 260 pages, but there are so many turns to the plotlines that, at one point late in the novel, I was reminded of one development that seemed so long ago that I thought it was from another book Donald Ray Pollock has done what I envy in only a few authors skills Ruth Rendell s A Sight fo [...]


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