*Review* The Devil All the Time- Donald Ray Pollock

12992927Now a Netflix film starring Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, and Bill Skarsgård.  

A dark and riveting vision of 1960s 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 Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre 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’s Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial kill­ers, who troll America’s highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. There’s the spider-handling preacher Roy and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but also violent man in his own right.

Donald Ray Pollock braids his plotlines into a taut narrative that will leave readers astonished and deeply moved. With his first novel, he proves himself a master storyteller in the grittiest and most uncompromising American grain.


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My Review

“Some people were born just so they could be buried.”

This is a book that I didn’t know existed until I saw the movie trailer. The trailer was like nothing I’ve seen before and left me with a lot of questions. After looking up more about the film, I saw that it was actually a book and I knew that I needed to read this. 

I knew next to nothing about this book except the little that they’ve shown in the movie trailer but film and novel always differ. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. After completing this novel, I realized that I didn’t see any of this coming. It was one of the most bizarre and craziest things that I’ve ever read and I say that in the very best way possible. 

This is a crime story like no other and one that’s distinctive from the rest. With equal parts shocking and horrifying, this gritty novel will have you biting your fingernails and sitting on the edge of your seat. Prepare yourself for a story that packs a punch and doesn’t hold back. Nothing is off-limits here. 

The Devil All the Time was the masterpiece that I needed in my life. It was fresh, unique, and downright bizarre. I’m glad that I’m one of those people that has to read something before they watch the film because I don’t think the film could capture what this book truly has to offer. 

Rating: 4.5/5


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There is nothing better than a great cup of coffee and an even better book.

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