Bill's Reviews > The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
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's review
Jul 28, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, favorites
Read from April 30 to May 07, 2012

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 get
The 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 for Sore Eyes and Dan Chaon's Await Your Reply to name a couple), and that is the ability to manage several plotlines that will ultimately converge and round out a story. I don't know about you, but this just smacks of brilliance for me. Pollock has superbly constructed a story, but buyer beware: this is rife with degenerate lowlifes. Almost all of the characters can be hated, but this train wreck of a tale is impossible to turn away from. As vile and dirty as some of these characters were, I was invested in them emotionally. Not that I cared for them, but I cared for their fates. I cared for retribution, I cared for justice.

Pollock has just soared to the top of my list of must-read authors. I will read Knockemstiff very soon, and will wait very impatiently for his next novel.
Good Lord man, what were you doing wasting 30-odd years in a paper mill? Here's hoping those creative juices have been building up over the years and we can expect more novels from this guy.

Five huge stars and highly recommended.
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