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 comprise Knockemstiff feature a... show more
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 comprise Knockemstiff feature 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. Knockemstiff is a genuine entry into the literature of place.
Publish date: March 18th 2008
Pages no: 206
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Adult Fiction
, Literary Fiction
, Short Stories
, Southern Gothic
It's about Harlan, Kentucky, not about Knockemstiff, Ohio, but whatever.Where the sun comes up about ten in the morningAnd the sun goes down about three in the dayAnd you fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinkingAnd you spend your life just thinkin' of how to get away4 stars.
The first few stories seemed to be a bit more brutal than the rest, but I really enjoyed reading all of them. The reader was painted pieces of a very disturbing picture of Knockemstiff, Ohio thru this collection of somewhat disturbing stories. Great read. Highly recommended.
flashes of real talent/interest, interspersed with inauthenticity - a little bit of a con going on here - with the author tweaking the bourgeoisie ("Look how shocking we are! we drop LOTS of acid and fuck and kill!), and the bourgeoisie looking for an unusual story (Donald Ray) they can market -- I ...
According to author Donald Ray Pollock, Knockemstiff is an actual place, although I find it hard to believe that any place can be as depressing as the Knockemstiff Pollock portrays in his book of the same name. It is a collection of short stories centering around the residents of that town and they ...
Knockemstiff is a collection of 18 short stories set in Knockemstiff, Ohio.Reviewing a book of short stories is a tricky business, especially if you haven't been reviewing them as you go. Furthermore, I'm not a huge short story fan so I don't read collections unless one comes along that will knock ...