One Inch Wonders #2: Knockemstiff

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June 14, 2011 by markstani

The latest in my series of random paragraphs from my favourite books: Donald Ray Pollock’s mighty short story collection, Knockemstiff. This particular clip is from ‘I Start Over’. Donald’s first novel, The Devil All The Time (Doubleday), is out next month. Excerpts suggest it will be brilliant.

In the rearview, I see one of the boys say something that makes the girl laugh; then I watch in disbelief as she raises her shirt to show her tits. ‘Holy shit,’ I say, stopping the car. ‘Jerry, damn boy, turn around and check that out.’ For a moment, the girl’s breasts are framed in the window like some advertisement for a new double-scoop sundae. They glow in the blazing sunlight, and I think of soft, precious metal. But even though they’re beautiful, it’s really her smile that takes my breath away. I’d give anything just to feel the way she feels right now. It’s the kind of feeling that people never realise they’ve had until years later, when it’s no longer possible to feel it.

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