The only display of civic pride evident in Donald Ray Pollock’s first book is a blue tattoo — the words “Knockemstiff, Ohio” — etched “like a road. “More engaging than any new fiction in years.” —Chuck Palahniuk An unforgettable work of fiction that peers into the soul of a tough Midwestern. The majority of the inhabitants of Knockemstiff, Ohio – a town so insignificant it has long since vanished from any map – seem straight out of.

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View knockemxtiff 7 comments. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Pollock went to work in a paper mill for over 30 years. Jan 09, Greg rated it really liked it Shelves: It’s hard pllock look back knockrmstiff the polloci and single out stories for review because each story truly does feel like part of a whole, making the book feel more cohesive than most story collections.

Pollock’s voice is unique, and I was very impressed by this collection. The Best Novels. Knockemstiff is that short story collection. Spanning a period from the mid-sixties to the late nineties, the linked stories that comprise Knockemstiff feature a cast of recurring characters who are woebegone, baffled and depraved—but irresistibly, undeniably real. Pollock’s characters are not caricatures — Pollock makes you carehe shows you their humanity in all of its glorious dysfunction, then he makes you root for them and sometimes even pray for them.

It was the only thing he was ever any good at. Mom gave up, wrapped the hotdog in a napkin and handed it back to me.

Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock | : Books

Aug 17, Adam rated it it was amazing Shelves: Once he found a voice in his head, writing his gritty stories came easily, Pollock says. A powerful, brutally poignant story about how horrendously unlucky it is to be gay in Knockemstiff.

Y la frutilla de la torta, el soberbio cuento Empiezo desde cero. Pollock grapples with savagery and reveals primal tenderness. One can hope to hear more from mr. The Devil All the Time is dobald first novel. In some ways it is reminiscent of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County in the way he makes doonald believable environment with its own history and personality but also like Joe R.


I like darkness and sadness and profanity and perversion and bitterness and unhappy knockemsitff. The dried flakes dissolved in my mouth, turning my spit to syrup.

If Knockemstiffthe debut book by Donald Ray Pollock, were a contestant at a limbo dance competition, that stick would be no more than six inches above the ground.

This collection is a tough one to recommend. This gives the collection a kind of coherency where the sum is far greater than the individual parts. Yes, some bits are better than others and, look as you may, you won’t find any happy endings here.

‘Knockemstiff’ Writer Pulls No Punches

With all the references to fish sticks throughout these stories? Each one of these are stories are about damaged, desperate people stuck so solidly in their small shabby lives that even dreaming about doing better seems beyond them.

Where does he get this stuff? See 1 question about Knockemstiff…. This debut short story collection by Donald Ray Pollock is comprised of hard little nuggets of country grit that follow a variety of individuals living in and rah the small Ohio holler of Knockemstiff, a place based on Pollock’s own hometown. 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 knoclemstiff inexorable force.

Review: Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock | Books | The Guardian

Godzilla was playing, along with some sorry-ass flying saucer movie that showed how pie pans could take over the world. Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock. I’m feeling too lazy to share them here, some of the topics included ‘how calenders lie’, ‘why I don’t trust the post-office’, and ‘how even going on the internet at all causes identity theft’ followed up by, ‘how I’m smarter than all those other motherfuckers’, this particular man was pontificating right in front of where the cable was that I needed to get, so I spent longer than I should have listening to him The point of that blabbing is that after my years of careful study of them I feel like Pollock nailed them so well.


In Knockemstiff — named for the southern Ohio town where Pollock grew up — characters beat each other out of boredom, drink to oblivion, soil themselves and assault their neighbors. They were the only pants he owned that were fit for the occasion. Return to Book Page.

Told simply, eloquently, and without emotional emphasis, Pollock sets the stage for the entire collection with the opening of this story, oollock father showed me how to hurt a man one August night at the Torch Drive-in when I was seven years old.

Schott’s Bridge may be my favorite of the lot. He kept bitching about the heat, sopping the sweat off his head with a brown paper bag. I have heard – although not yet read – that his newer books are much better.

Even the funnier stories have a sad undercurrent to them, like the citizens of Knockemstiff know they don’t have much of a chance. Guille Buenos comentarios, Federico. Please try again later.

Characters tend to weave in and out of the stories like pesky moths. Ah, but how low are you willing to go? Books Featured In This Story. It was the day before his cousin’s funeral and Del ended up at the Suds washing his black jeans at midnight. If Sherwood Anderson had been born 50 years later, 3 hours SW of Winesburg and written his collection of stories with characters from the fourth circle of hell, they might have been neighbors to the denizens of Knockemstiff.