Out of the funk and foul methane mist comes this almost mythical tale of legendary proportions, a lugubrious story ripe and ribald with gallows humor and the kind of tragedy that is crawling with comic perversity. This amoral cast of hillbilly trash will make your eyes twitch and your forehead darken as you turn the pages with unabashed glee and lick your foaming lips with depraved delight. These are people who are devoted to the Lord with fire and brimstone dedication, a demonic depravity that fills them with Jesus juice and strychnine.
I read Donald Ray Pollockâ€™s collection of short stories, KNOCKEMSTIFF, in 2009 when it first came out. It amazed me with its brilliance at the same time that it wrenched my guts. His new book, THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME is just as brilliant but feels more like a kick in the guts. Itâ€™s heavy, horrific, beautifully written and filled with studies of people one hopes never to meet. There were times when I felt like a voyeur, watching something that was meant to be private and not shared but I read on anyway, fascinated and sometimes disgusted, but always riveted and totally impressed with the quality of the writing. The tenor, weight and tension of the novel never lets up.