Lisa's Reviews > The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
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's review
Jun 15, 12

bookshelves: audio
Recommended to Lisa by: Ann
Read from January 12 to 15, 2012

Oh my! Oh my goodness! This book is so brutal and gritty and well written. I am afraid to admit I've read it and afraid to recommend it to anyone. The content is so vile and horrible it makes one sick. I don't want to say much more but if you have a weak stomach, or don't want to read about murders, prostitution, animal sacrifices, suicide, masturbation, pornography, pedophilia, etc. Don't read this book. If you are curious, go read a synopsis of the book and read other peoples reviews. I moved this to the top of my TBR list because the book appeared as one of the 16 books on the 2012 Tournament of Books of which I have now read six titles and plan to read five more soon. This book will make you weep for humanity and its decay. Are there really people like this?
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Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Lisa, I'm very curious about this one and added it, too.

Lisa Well, so far, it is the grittiest, most brutal book I've ever read/listened to. Brutal, as in bizarre killings, pornography, masturbation, animal sacrifices, etc. Very well written but embarrassing to say I've read. It was on my list and I brought it to the top because it was one of the titles that is on the 2012 Tournament of Books.

message 3: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Yikes.
Thanks for letting me know.

message 4: by Carol (last edited Jan 14, 2012 03:52PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carol You may think I'm crazy but I think this would appeal to me more if it were non-fiction.

I'm not opposed to gritty and brutal as I've read my share of these but if the author goes for in-your-face shock value, I'm not interested.

This is Pollack's debut and considered literary suspense...hmmm.

I'll wait and see what you think in the end.

message 5: by Chris (new)

Chris Oh dear. I thought this was going to be less on the brutal side and more on the "great writer great debut" side. Very glad to know this, I'll take a pass.

Lisa Carol I am not sure what literary suspense really means. I don't think the the author wrote the story for shock value. I thought his writing was excellent and I liked the book. It is hard to review or comment on the topics because I don't want to mislead someone about the devastating things that happen in the story. I forgot to mention that much of the book is funny too (well, in a grotesque sort of way). It is obviously well written and not too graphic for other folks or it would not have made it as one of 16 on the Tournament of Books.

Carol "well written" probably translates to literary and I'd guess suspense fiction would keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat so I think from what you describe, this would qualify.

I'll bet your review is right on...

Paul From your review, I understand your hesitation about recommending the book. BUT . . . it sounds like something I could get into, so it moves closer to the top of my list. Thanks also for the reminder about the tournament.

Lisa I'm looking forward to hearing what you, Carol and Paul, think of "The Devil all the Time". Here is a link to the Tournament of Books. I've read five of the titles and plan to read at least five more soon.

message 10: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Thanks for sending the Tournament of Books link, Lisa.
I plan to start "The Devil all the Time" this weekend.


message 11: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Great! So anxious to know your thoughts. Of the five I've read it falls at two or three of the favorites.

message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris Lisa, another thank you for posting the Tournament of Books link! I've never heard of this before. I was very happy and surprised to see two of my "Best of 2011" on the list: A Stranger's Child" and "The Art of Fielding!" The Zombie poll ends today, so I was able to vote! :-)

Carol After reading your comments, this sounds like a book I'd have to choose the time to read. Once again, I'll state that I'd might be compelled to read this if it were non-fiction. That may sound strange in light of your question Are there really people like this? Yes, unfortunately, there are.

What do you think the author's purpose was in writing this book? The answer to this might be a consideration in my reading it or not.

message 14: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Carol, I don't know how to answer your question about the author's PURPOSE in writing the book. I get the feeling that he is writing about what he knows and has experienced. He wrote "Knockemstiff" and although I have not read it, I think it is similar--about his hometown. I think you should read it.

Carol Thanks for trying Lisa...perhaps I'll get to this one day. If I do, I'll be certain to let you know what I think.

message 16: by Karen (last edited Jan 27, 2012 04:29AM) (new) - added it

Karen Lisa wrote: "Carol, I don't know how to answer your question about the author's PURPOSE in writing the book. I get the feeling that he is writing about what he knows and has experienced. He wrote "Knockemstiff"..."

I'm about halfway through and agree with you so far--it is horrible and vile, but well written. I am trying to determine the point of it, though.

Melissa Klug So, per my earlier comment on your Knockemstiff post--he is from my hometown (my hometown is CHillicothe, which is the major city next to Knockemstiff.) He is a good friend of one of my coworkers. Unfortunately, I do think this kind of stuff happens...I just wish it were truly fiction.

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