Knockemstiff

Knockemstiff

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
4
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"Spanning a period from the mid-sixties to the late nineties, the linked stories that compose 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 bodybuilder. 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."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0385523823 (alk. paper)
9780385523820 (alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: FIC POLLOCK
Characteristics: 206 p. : map ; 22 cm

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lukasevansherman
May 22, 2017

Yes, there really is a town in Ohio called Knockemstiff. And author Donald Ray Pollock hails from there. Based on his debut collection of short stories, you wouldn't want to visit. Pollock has created one of the most perverse and depraved cast of characters you'll ever meet. There are shades of the Southern Gothic of Flannery O'Connor, the eccentric grotesques of "Geek Love," and the shocking violence of Cormac McCarthy, but Pollock is a distinctive writer with a very bleak world view. You might want a few belts of cheap whiskey before reading. I prefer his other books, which are a kind of white trash noir: "The Heavenly Table" and "The Devil All the Time." Don't worry, there are plenty of sick characters in these too.

p
PearlyBaker
Jan 31, 2016

Probably the sickest, most depraved and cringe filled book I've ever read. I read things in here I did not want to know people even thought about doing. It covered every deranged topic from violence, drug addiction, abuse, child abuse, suicide, mental illness, traumatic brain injury to a disturbing chapter on Alzheimer's. Thanks to Jerry Garcia and enough LSD-25 in the 80's to make Satan weep, I have absolutely no short, intermediate or long term memory left. Which makes the chapter on Alzheimer's all the more disturbing for me. However on the plus side I will have forgotten this book completely by weeks end.

marti419 Jul 06, 2014

I did not like this book at all. I kept reading thinking maybe the next chapter would improve, but it never did.

n
nickabe57
Mar 25, 2013

I read this book on lunch breaks in cafes and coffeehouses near my work. Reading this gave me that 'brown bag feeling' I imagine customers feel when exiting porn shops. I was afraid at any moment someone would look over my shoulder and publicly shame me. It's only a tad alarming to enjoy something so depraved, but the writing and story telling are compelling. Stop judging me.

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