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The Devil All the Time

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  21,525 ratings  ·  3,132 reviews
Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrifi­cial blood he pours on his “prayer log.” There’ ...more
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Doubleday
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Daniel B-G Hi Shelli. From memory, I don't think that killing is explicitly shown in the text, nor is there any animal cruelty, but there are ritualistic things …moreHi Shelli. From memory, I don't think that killing is explicitly shown in the text, nor is there any animal cruelty, but there are ritualistic things done to the animals after death that you will probably find distasteful. I'm not especially sensitive, my response was a powerful feeling of "this guy has seriously gone off the deep end" (less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  21,525 ratings  ·  3,132 reviews


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karen
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
oh, great. another book i can never recommend to elizabeth...

this book is vicious. understand that. this is a hyper-violent book, filled with completely unsavory characters in a filthy landscape where crimes are committed with breathtaking casualness.

and i gotta confess, i loved it.

because that's not all it is. this isn't just gratuitous violence for shock value and testing of the reader's limits. there is also that heartbreaking thing i love so much in my literature: small-town desperation. th
...more
Paul Bryant
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
UPDATE

Well, finally the movie arrived (on Netflix) and it's.... just about adequate. Yeah, that good. I mean, everything is in place, kind of, (aside from Mr Robert Pattison, how did he get in there with his weird accent) but like the movie Trainspotting it's sooooo watered-down. Bookreaders will know this feeling. I note that Donald Ray Pollock himself is the narrator in this movie version (and he has a great voice) so he must have liked it but for me, naaah. Read the damn book, it's great.

And
...more
PirateSteve
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gothic
Donald Ray Pollock wrote this book using many characters, including preachers. There are at least three of'em in The Devil All The Time. One good old preacher is dying but won't admit it for nothing. The other two ... Well, they done got themselves into just the kind of trouble Mr.Pollock likes to write about.
From the Bible we find in
Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers ... "
No. Wait a minute. That one doesn't apply here. There ain't no peacemakers in Knockemstiff, Ohio.

so let's try Ezek
...more
Melissa
This compelling piece of fiction, written with a deft hand, takes the cake for disturbing and depraved. Unwavering in his delivery, Donald Ray Pollock gives us a peek at the world, through the eyes of some gnarly and grotesque individuals. What stands out is the casual ease in which the violence and carnage is served up, sans the antics that reek of shock value, making this deliciously dark plot palatable in some strange and unnerving way. That's not to say the reality these people call life is ...more
Larry
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emphatic 5 star review! Chose to read this book as a long shot, based solely on the book description, and as a result of a recommendation to paperbackdreams YouTube channel - I am so glad I did! Totally blown away!

Can’t wait for the Netflix movie in September so I can see on the screen the story that played out in my head as I read.

Will absolutely read everything by this author, he is a gem!
Richard Derus
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been revised and can be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.

2020 UPDATE The film's Netflix debut comes in September, and here's a taste of what's to come. (Please overlook the source, the info is in fact good.)

2019 UPDATE A casting change, but apparently no delays in the Netflix film of this excellent book.

2018 UPDATE Filming begins February 2019.

***2017 UPDATE***A FILM IS COMING***starring Robert Pattinson as Reverend Roy. This will be interesting.***

It's National Book Lovers
...more
Jennifer Masterson
Every single star for this extremely dark and disturbing novel. Even though it took me a long time to finish, not once did I want to give up on it. I listened to the audio version. I think that the brilliant narration by Mark Bramhall added to this novel. He is one of the best narrators that I have come across. If you listen to audio this is a good one.

This is my first Donald Ray Pollock novel but it certainly will not be my last. Highly recommended to people who can handle dark and disturbing
...more
BlackOxford
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american
Appalachian Spring

Combine the Heartland evangelism of the Origin of the Brunists with the Appalachian haplessness of The Glass Castle, then season with a few homicides and sexual perversions as in American Psycho and you have The Devil All the Time, an everyday tale of disenchantment with the land of opportunity and its principles.

The main action takes place in the hill country of Southeastern Ohio. The hamlet of Knockemstiff, a real place, is ground zero. The place names are telling. Knockemsti
...more
Robin
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Southern Gothic devotees
Christ's image is everywhere - but the Devil's carnage is too, in this compulsively readable, blood-soaked thriller.

Although he's less "artiste" than Flannery O'Connor and William Gay (the crowned Queen and King of Southern Gothic), Donald Ray Pollock holds his own among such venerated company. His prose is taut, hard-boiled, and so is the tension he creates. There's a sick decadence here. It's ripe with all the grotesque ingredients necessary for such a story: twisted revival meetings, a travel
...more
James Thane
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir, crime-fiction
This is a beautifully-written, captivating book about a number of mostly poverty-stricken rural characters, some of whom are down on their luck and others of whom are simply bad to the bone.

Set in rural Ohio and West Virginia, the story takes place over a period from the end of World War II until the middle of the 1960s. It weaves together the strands of several different stories, and the characters include a husband and wife team of serial killers who hunt their male "models" along the nation's
...more
Dan Schwent
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Willard Russell prays over a prayer log for his cancer-ridden wife with his son, Arvin. A spider-eating preacher is convinced he can bring back the dead. A husband and wife pick up hitchhikers, photograph them, and kill them. How will all of their paths intersect?

Knockemstiff was one of my favorite books this year and I was anxious for Donald Ray Pollock to try his hand at a novel. Now I'm anxious for him to write a couple hundred more.

The Devil All the Time dips into the same well as Knockemsti
...more
Kemper
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hey, parents, having problems getting you kids to behave in church? Let them spend a Sunday with Willard Russell. Willard isn’t a preacher, and he doesn’t have one of those big mall-like mega churches. What Willard has is a log in the woods. That’s right, a damn log in the woods. A prayer log if you will, and he’s hung up some crosses around it, and he makes sure that his son Arvin is out there all the time praying with all he’s got. Don’t mind all that dried blood and animal bones. Willard thin ...more
Zoeytron
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: public-library
A preacher who eats spiders, trying to strike his own parable with the church folk. His little talks with Jesus end up turning his deluded notions into full blown insanity.

A husband and wife comb the backroads picking up young male hitchhikers, all of them coming to an end in a true photo finish. The woman, thinking herself a slightly better class of trash than her husband, idly scratches her “jigger” bites and dreams of moving on without him.

A sheriff who recognizes that being the law in a ba
...more
Brian
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Alone at last with the ghosts of his childhood.”

“The Devil all the Time” is an ugly, uncompromising book. Donald Ray Pollock has created an atmosphere that is dark, unrelenting, and devoid of hope. I would say that he exaggerates the atmosphere of the parts of southeast Ohio and West Virginia that he writes about, but he has lived there all his life, so who I am to say? I do live in central Ohio and have all of my life, and my belief is that there is a segment of society in that area that proba
...more
Matthias
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthias by: Ɗẳɳ 2.☊
Shelves: my-reviews
The places described in this book are said to be located somewhere in Ohio. Small towns and highways connecting them to other small towns with convenience stores, schools, cornfields, dirt roads, churches, wood-paneled homes and their sheds. But it doesn't take you very long to know that this decor is just a façade for where you really are. The plants have withered, the dogs are skinny, all eyes are dead. Everything is thirsty. The pure thirst for water is numbed and buried in dust. Alcohol and ...more
Lawyer
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Not for lovers of English Cozy Mysteries
Recommended to Lawyer by: Goodreads Group Pulp Fiction February 2012 selection
The Devil All the Time, Donald Ray Pollock's tales from a ghost town

“Just as there are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born? The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?

Monsters are variations from the accepted normal to a greater or a less degree. As a child may be born without an arm, so one may be born without kindness or the potential of conscience. A
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“As far back as he could remember, it seemed that his father had fought the Devil all the time.”

Interested in reading Mitchell’s #1 pick so far this year? Are you sure you’re ready for the darkness that is the black hole of his heart? Positive?????? Alrighty then, here goes . . .

Houston commercial photography

When Ron 2.0 recommended The Devil All the Time to me I told him to f*&^ off did what I normally do – added it to my TBR where it would promptly be fo
...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shelby *trains flying monkeys* by: Kristin
Not a book with fairy tales and happy endings.

This book shows the darkness that can linger in people's souls.


Willard Russell believes if he and his son Arvin pray over his "prayer log" long enough it can save his doomed wife Charlotte from the cancer ravaging her body. It might now be enough to just pray alone though..so he adds some sacrificial blood.

So begins this tale. Setting in rural Ohio and West Virginia. Pollock shows the side of poor rural life that I hope to never see.

The characte
...more
Lou
Read the Donald Ray Pollock Recommends Books page, put together from an interview i had with Donald Ray Pollock Here.

Beware some brutal characters contained within this story.
The name Pollock strikes up images in my head of the paintings of Jackson Pollock the painter, that splatter art. Well this Pollock is just as creative with his storytelling that leaves a deep branding in your mind and soul of a human stain of evil characters, that will stay with you well after you have finished this book.
...more
Susanne  Strong
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Stars.

Depravity, Desperation, Evil Incarnate. “The Devil All the Time.”

“It’s hard to live a good life. It seems like the devil don’t ever let up.”

Raised by his mother and father in Knockemstiff, Ohio, Arvin grew up going to a prayer log everyday with his father, bringing “gifts” to the log as blood sacrifices, in hopes that they would be enough to heal his mother Charlotte of cancer. Poor Arvin.

There is a traveling pastor whose “faith” has cured him of his fear of spiders. Such that he prove
...more
Trudi
Jesus wept, but this is the real goods people -- gritty, raw, uncompromising prose that snaps and bites at your soft spots. I find it curious that so many people have shelved Pollock's sophomore novel as horror, because while it is horrifying in places, and deals with some chilling characters, horror it is not. In his review of Pollock's debut Knockemstiff, Kemper uses the terms redneck noir and hick lit and that's much closer to capturing what this novel is offering to anyone who dares pick it ...more
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ɗẳɳ 2.☊ by: Kemper
Friends, when I look out into those teaming masses, that sea of nameless faces mindlessly distracted by some mobile device, do you know what it is that I see reflected back in those blank stares? I tell ya what I see is a whole mess of dull-witted, primped, and pampered sissies, as soft as a doughnut. I reckon it’s past time to put down that lousy screen, crack open this good book, and take a glimpse of how things once was in our not-so-distant past. Then you ought to thank your lucky stars you’ ...more
Steven Godin
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
WOW!, reading this was like the equivalent of being sent to the electric chair and having your ashes blasted to the depths of hell!, everything is drenched in so much evil and suffering, the two serial killer lovers who hit the road looking for their next victim truly sent shivers down my spine, and there were many moments that really packed a nasty punch!. The thing that impressed me most was this could have turned into a standard horror/thriller but it's far more a human drama of hope and rede ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
Gritty crime thrillers* are not generally my cup of tea, be they in fancy pants, shiny new hardcovers in the Literature section or shitty paperbacks in the mass-market rows of shame where all the bored housewives hang out. There seems to more often than not be this sort of straight to the point, unsalted cracker style to the writing which leaves me feeling dissatisfied. I mean, sure, I know some people in real life who parrot the same words and stories, use "like" and "ummm" as ways to pause in ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Eff this animal killing book!!



Movin on. Don’t talk to me!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
...more
Richard
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
*4.5 Stars*
Sometimes I find it difficult to put into words what I really liked about a particular book. This novel is one of those. It's a nihilistic portrait of rural life in Ohio and West Virginia for a disparate group of fucked up individuals as they struggle to not only survive within the parameters that life and fate has stuck them with, but also with their own inherent impulses and desires. It's an admirable, well-conceived debut novel that is brutal but manages to not feel gratuitous. The
...more
Maxwell
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
[2.5 stars]

You can read my review of the film adaptation here.

After seeing the trailer for the upcoming Netflix adaptation of this novel, I was intrigued. I still am after reading this as I think it will work well as a film. The criss-crossing storylines, gritty atmosphere and seedy characters will likely translate to screen better than this novel worked for me.

My biggest issue with this novel is the pacing. I usually don't complain about books being too short, but this one moved so quickly thro
...more
Ayman Gomaa
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
English & Arabic Review:

This book in one sentence
" It's like a cursed mirror that reveals how you will die; you know you shouldn't look but u look anyway ".

I kept reading till the end of it and don't know what kind of a book am i reading !!! but i feel the Message the author wanted to send even with the good ending .

It was disturbed \ Dark \ Violent

it's mix of " True Detective \ Top of the lake \ insomnia \ Se7en \ Natural Born Killers \ Monster " yea it's that disturbing even more with one
...more
Sonja Arlow
4.5 stars

It feels like I have been stuck with quite a few tepid books recently, that is until I picked up this book.

Sheeze!!! Did Quinton Tarantino’s evil twin write this?

It hits you over the head and drags you to very dark places. The book was physically difficult to put down as my fingers cramped from gripping it so hard.

This is not for the sensitive reader, if you struggle with dark books, with hyper violence and disgusting characters in some god forsaken back-woods and then please don’t read
...more
Margitte

From the blurb:
From the acclaimed author of Knockemstiff—called “powerful, remarkable, exceptional” by the Los Angeles Times—comes a dark and riveting vision of America that delivers literary excitement in the highest degree.

In The Devil All the Time, Donald Ray Pollock has written a novel that marries the twisted intensity of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers with the religious and Gothic over­tones of Flannery O’Connor at her most haunting.

Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The
...more
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Play Book Tag: The Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock / 5 stars 3 13 Sep 18, 2020 08:45AM  
El Club Matilda: Semana 4 - Sexta y séptima parte 23 39 Sep 15, 2020 04:09PM  
El Club Matilda: Semana 3 - Cuarta y quinta parte 16 35 Sep 12, 2020 11:18AM  
El Club Matilda: Semana 2 - Segunda y tercera parte 20 34 Sep 05, 2020 03:52AM  
El Club Matilda: Semana 1 - Primera Parte 25 46 Aug 31, 2020 01:33AM  
Recommendations 3 23 Nov 04, 2019 01:58PM  

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Donald Ray Pollock was born in 1954 and grew up in southern Ohio, in a holler named Knockemstiff. He dropped out of high school at seventeen to work in a meatpacking plant, and then spent thirty-two years employed in a paper mill in Chillicothe, Ohio. He graduated from the MFA program at Ohio State University in 2009, and still lives in Chillicothe with his wife, Patsy. His first book, Knockemstif ...more

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