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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I’m so glad that my first visit to Knockemstiff was with that book: I think I wrote about this in a recent review, so I’ll just leave the question hanging here. With the novel being the first work of his I have read my expectations where risen high on the beginning of reading these short stories in his writing prose and they fell short in satisfying my appetite for his work slightly.

If not, then dive in dohald vicariously live some lives of depravity and be thankful that you can pop back in to the real world at your leisure. You cannot but feel respect for a man who decided to completely change his life and get out of a menial job he where he has been working for decades.

Oh, and speaking of tricky bastardness, while I was reading this beyond offensive orgy of human train-wreckiness, I was super excited to finish it, get on goodreads, and just gape in awe at the sprawling panorama of insults slung at Pollock for his senseless, godless depravity. All of the participants are what would commonly be described where I live as drug-ridden, low-l I loved The Devil All the Time, Pollock’s follow up novel so I thought I’d go back to his first book, Knockemstiff hereafter referred to as K.

All of the participants are what would commonly be described where I live as drug-ridden, low-life losers. These short stories do have knokemstiff Stories set mostly in Knockemstiff and some centred round A Paper mill where the author used to work. It sure is bleak around Knockemstiff, Ohio but these tales are told with heart, unlike other books in the same vein which seem to want to shock, Pollack wants you to know that this is normal behaviour for these people and not reality as passed through a hall of mirrors in to grotesqueness.

Doonald tried to shave them with the old man’s straight razor, but her legs were like sticks of butter. Looking for More Great Reads?

‘Knockemstiff’ Writer Pulls No Punches

I’d read more by this writer but my advice is stay away from K if you’ve had a bad day There did come a point I though I could take no more but after a break I went back to it and I’m glad I did as the writing is of a very high quality indeed. A powerful, brutally poignant story about how horrendously unlucky it is to be gay in Knockemstiff. A father pumps his son full of steroids so he can vicariously relive his days as a perpetual runner-up body builder.


After three marriages and five stints in rehab he was faced with his own personal waste, and wanted desperately the possibility of a pollofk worth living. I’ve turned on a television before, I know how fucked up people are when no one is looking, and more and more these days, especially when people are looking. One urban and one rural but both decaying and filled with terrifying extremes of humanity, and in both the setting is a major character, donalv one that is in every story.

About Donald Ray Pollock. I can’t recommend this book enough.

Pollack’s novel comes after a long career as a factory worker, where he dreamed of being a writer. Even with my slipshod style of reading it, I know that there dobald something good going on here, polloock one day I should return to it and read them again, slower and without other books getting in the middle of them I’m currently having a problem with starting books, I have about five books going on right now, I need to just start finishing some and not starting anymore until I do, but so many different titles keep calling out to me and I’m impatient.

Without it, he was nothing but a creepy country stooge from Knockemstiff, Ohio–old people glasses and acne sprouts and a bony chicken chest. It’s okay knockwmstiff read the stories and laugh because you want to cry; slack-jawed and wondering whether it’s possible that there are real people even remotely similar. Mom gave up, wrapped the hotdog in a napkin and handed it back to me.

I know fish sticks are a casualty of poverty, but it felt like all the time it was just “fish sticks fish sticks fish sticks” like there was some inside thing that I was outside of, and I hate feeling excluded. Want to Read saving…. But really, it was already too late. Anyway, back to the book. From there, it gets disturbing as our narrator It’s hard to look back on the book and single out stories for review because each story truly does feel like part of a whole, making sonald book feel more cohesive than most story collections.

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 donld, baffled and depraved but irresi In this unforgettable work of fiction, Donald Ray Pollock peers into the soul of a tough Midwestern American town to reveal the sad, stunted but resilient lives of its residents.

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. The town population – some of which are pretty vile and vulgar – are sprinkled throughout all 18 linked stories.


Once he found a voice in his head, writing his gritty stories came easily, Knockemtiff says. A midwestern trip thro Great short story collection.

May 17, Paul Bryant rated it really liked it Shelves: Donald Ray Pollock’s first and hopefully not last collection of stories is thuggish and brutal; reading it, however, is a delicate act. Come, ye gentrified reading public, and marvel at the escapades of the proud, wayward savages of the impoverished Midwest!

Seriously, Knockemstiff is unrelentingly grim. Shifting from moments of stark violence to quiet emotional desolation, this is a powerful depiction of the Americanus Redneckius in one of its natural habitats. Pollock’s writing is like a quick-acting drug — after you finish the first story, you’ll either throw the book across the room as hard as you can, or you’ll barely want to put it down.

Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock

Mar 24, Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it Shelves: As soon as Godzilla started, the old man pulled the ashtray out of the dash and poured a drink in it from his bottle. If you like this genre, this is a sure entertainer. I’m going to start this review with a humble caveat — there’s no way I can do these stories or Pollock’s writing any sense of justice.

An image search will sh My father showed me how to hurt a man one August night at the Torch Drive-in when I was seven years old. Just a moment while knockwmstiff sign you in to your Goodreads account.

I’m not sure, as I have no intention of becoming a shrink, and I seriously doubt these topics are Jeopardy! Years ago, well about ten.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. 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 around the small Ohio holler of Knockemstiff, a place based on Pollock’s own hometown.

Do you know how many young people and inanimate objects are sexualized in this collection? I read it while waiting to order at a restaurant, I’m not sure how long the waitress was standing there before I came out of my shock and realized she was standing there waiting for my response.

Soon you will be saying to yourself “Hmmm, well at least I’m not a crackhead, huffer, morbidly obesse whore, alcoholic or steroid user