Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock

4 Stars
“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 . . .

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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 forgotten by my old lady brain. Then Shelby chimed in with a “DOOOOOOOOOO IT” and I had no choice but to put it on hold at the library (in case you didn’t get the memo, I’m a lemming). What can I even say about this story? Something kind of like . . .

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If you like to mix a little hick lit in to your reading repertoire, this title might be of interest to you. However, if you are a lover of the character redemption arc or happily-ever-after, you best just keep on keeping on. Buuuuuuuut, if you’re like Mitchell and myself, sometimes pitch black is your favorite color . . . and Donald Ray Pollock writes that color oh so very well.

The Devil All the Time is a story with an ensemble cast that revolves a bit around one central figure, Arvin Russell. The book follows Arvin from his days as a youngster in post WWII Ohio through his young adulthood in the 1960s. The supporting cast run the gamut from God warriors to serial killers to child molesters. (Told ya it was bleak.) The best way I can sum up the story is if this . . .

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had a baby with this . . . .

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you might end up with something almost as disturbing as The Devil All the Time. Read at your own risk, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’m not going to spoil anything and tell you what happens – just be prepared for a full circle of misery.

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