Kim G'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

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011
Read from July 28 to 30, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Dark, yes, but compulsively readable. (And not as bad as I thought it might be going in, I thought the depiction of all the serial-killing in this book would be more graphic.) Tightly-paced, vivid writing and a cast of characters that manage to be both deplorable and fascinating.

A few lost points for the conclusion for running out of steam a bit, save the final scene, and I guess I can't complain that basically all the female characters end up dead, because almost everyone ends up dead, but having the most fully drawn female character's impetus for becoming a serial killer a rape by midget? Rolling my eyes. It might be true to the genre, but it doesn't make it any less stupid.

But still, this is good stuff. Arvin is an indelible character, the book takes a lot of possible cliches about violence, small town faith, and depravity and twists them just enough to keep them fresh, and there's a good lesson to be learned, ladies, about getting involved with slimy preachers (in summary, don't).

If the idea of artful grindhouse fiction appeals to you, I heartily recommend.

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