A debut collection of terrifying, darkly funny stories concerning the drug-addled, beaten-down inhabitants of a southern Ohio holler called Knockemstiff. Several tales feature epicene young men hectored by violent fathers; others show people trying and failing again and again to escape, or even, finally, to want to escape. Throughout, Pollock shows deep empathy for these whipped and battered souls, most looking not so much for a way out as for a way to let it all slide. A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships. A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.
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Blunt, brutal, but infused with a deep sympathy, Knockemstiff is a pitch-dark and hilarious collection of stories set in a tiny town in Southern Ohio. The youth of Knockemstiff grow up in the malignant shadow of their parents; raised on abuse, alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, they are stunted in every possible way: emotionally, mentally, sometimes physically.
They talk a lot about escape but they never so much as cross the county line. A fiendishly enjoyable collection ". His economical prose excels in its lurid and often scatological detail, and his physical descriptions are superb. The book is l aced with dry, black humour ".
He is a master of voice and phrasing, and there are some knockout, pitch-perfect sentences Pollock treats readers to inventive, melodic and captivating storytelling.
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Added by 1 of our members. Knockemstiff A collection of stories by Donald Ray Pollock. 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. 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. 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 body builder. A psychotic rural recluse comes upon two siblings committing incest and feels compelled to take action.
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Look Inside. Nov 20, Minutes Buy. Knockemstiff is a genuine entry into the literature of place. 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 irresistibly, undeniably real.