Book of the Decade: Knockemstiff

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December 26, 2009 by markstani

Well, everybody else is doing it (and choosing crap, mostly), so what the hell: here’s my book of the decade: Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock:

Though she’s rotten to the core, I reckon I’ve always loved Tina Elliot, from the first time I laid eyes on her. She came in the store with her mother right after I started working there, just a little-bitty thing, said she’d give me a kiss for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. But that was back before she was old enough to do other things, and ever since she started putting out for the boys, she’s been looking for someone to take her away. I wish I could have been the one, I really do, but I don’t figure I’ll ever leave the holler, not even for Tina. I’ve lived here all my life, like a toadstool stuck to a rotten log, never even wanting to go into town if I can keep from it. – ‘Knockemstiff’ from Knockemstiff, by Donald Ray Pollock, Harvill Secker (2008)

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