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  • To get an idea of Donald Ray Pollock's astonishing new book, one could try to imagine a drunken punch-up between a redneck Hemingway and an amphetamine-fuelled Raymond Carver... A fiendishly enjoyable collection

    Daily Telegraph
  • Pollock's writing is lean and unflinching. His economical prose excels in its lurid (and often scatological) detail, and his physical descriptions are superb. The book is laced with dry, black humour

    New Statesman
  • Like Denis Johnson, Andre Dubus and Raymond Carver before him, Pollock populates his stories with low-lives and junkies, dreamers and drunks...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. It may be as ragged as junkies' jeans, but this has the potential to be a whiskey-stained classic

    Time Out
  • The majority of the inhabitants of Knockemstiff, Ohio ... seem straight out of John Boorman's film Deliverance ... Life experience shows in this exceptional collection

  • What makes this an enjoyable read is Pollock's aptitude for a funny gag in the guise of amazingly inventive language

    Dazed and Confused

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