Customer Reviews for

Knockemstiff

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
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5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Knockemstiff, Ohio - this aint Mayberry!

"Knockemstiff" is depressing as hell! But not in the sense that the book isn't any good, it is. The book is about the town of Knockemstiff, Ohio and there just isn't anything happy about the place.

This book has a little bit of everything: drugs, rape, murder, inces...
"Knockemstiff" is depressing as hell! But not in the sense that the book isn't any good, it is. The book is about the town of Knockemstiff, Ohio and there just isn't anything happy about the place.

This book has a little bit of everything: drugs, rape, murder, incest, sex, corruption, addiction, love, racism, steroids, domestic abuse, theft, fishsticks and a whole lot of other things I would rather not mention in my review!

It's a very gritty but quick read, only 203 pages. Their are 18 individual stories with some reaccuring characters throughout it. The stories, if not true, could easily be true and most likely have happened sometime / somewhere out there!

Many of the things these unruly characters in the book do, would make most of us cringe (or gag, faint or run away), but hey, this is Knockemstiff, you gotta do, what you gotta do to get by and it "ain't" pretty!

You've been warned.....

The 18 stories in the book are:

Real Life (5/5 stars)
Dynamite Hole (5/5 stars)
Knockemstiff (3/5 stars)
Hair's Fate (5/5 stars)
Pills (4/5 stars)
Giganthomacy (3/5 stars)
Schott's Bridge (4/5 stars)
Lard (3/5 stars)
Fish Sticks (4/5 stars)
Bactine (5/5 stars)
Discipline (5/5 stars)
Assailants (5/5 stars)
Rainy Sunday (3/5 stars)
Holler (3/5 stars)
I Start Over (4/5 stars)
Blessed (5/5 stars)
Honolulu (4/5 stars)
The Fights (4/5 stars)

Good luck and enjoy.......

posted by SavageBS on February 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

creepy, nasty, hokey

I agree with the last reviewer...save yer money folks!

posted by 2168070 on November 6, 2009

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  • Posted February 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Knockemstiff, Ohio - this aint Mayberry!

    "Knockemstiff" is depressing as hell! But not in the sense that the book isn't any good, it is. The book is about the town of Knockemstiff, Ohio and there just isn't anything happy about the place.

    This book has a little bit of everything: drugs, rape, murder, incest, sex, corruption, addiction, love, racism, steroids, domestic abuse, theft, fishsticks and a whole lot of other things I would rather not mention in my review!

    It's a very gritty but quick read, only 203 pages. Their are 18 individual stories with some reaccuring characters throughout it. The stories, if not true, could easily be true and most likely have happened sometime / somewhere out there!

    Many of the things these unruly characters in the book do, would make most of us cringe (or gag, faint or run away), but hey, this is Knockemstiff, you gotta do, what you gotta do to get by and it "ain't" pretty!

    You've been warned.....

    The 18 stories in the book are:

    Real Life (5/5 stars)
    Dynamite Hole (5/5 stars)
    Knockemstiff (3/5 stars)
    Hair's Fate (5/5 stars)
    Pills (4/5 stars)
    Giganthomacy (3/5 stars)
    Schott's Bridge (4/5 stars)
    Lard (3/5 stars)
    Fish Sticks (4/5 stars)
    Bactine (5/5 stars)
    Discipline (5/5 stars)
    Assailants (5/5 stars)
    Rainy Sunday (3/5 stars)
    Holler (3/5 stars)
    I Start Over (4/5 stars)
    Blessed (5/5 stars)
    Honolulu (4/5 stars)
    The Fights (4/5 stars)

    Good luck and enjoy.......

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2009

    From someone originally from Knockemstiff, OH..

    I would just like it to be known that this book is strictly fiction. I grew up in Huntington Twp. right next to Knockemstiff, while the area really is populated with high school drop outs and small town country folk, the darker side of this book holds no actual merit. This was an amazing book and would recommend it to friends.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A strong debut

    Knockemstiff is an excellent collection of short stories, and its author, Donald Ray Pollock, is a rising star in modern fiction. Each story is unique, but they all have a common theme; the stories are always very dark and often quite funny. The writing is brave and uncompromising, and the author has a voice that is sharp and entertaining. This is a strong debut, and I can't wait to see what Pollock will do next.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A must read

    First of all, if you are easily offended, find violence offensive, or any other thing along these lines... this is probably not the book for you. With that said, Knockemstiff is a great read. The characters range from misguided to psychopathic, and really it's easy to see how they got that way. A boy beats another boy to a bloody pulp for his fathers acceptance, a wife sells her blood to blood banks to support the family, a boyfriend sticks by his girlfriend, even when she draws her ideal boyfriend, which is not him. Pollock unifies his cast of characters around a single location, some are recurring, some are only shown once. what truly shows in the novel is the suffering and sadness of a small town, the failings of people who want to change, yet don't know how. Beneath every character's crazy deeds is a completely human person, who hurts, longs, and does things they regret. In the end Knockemstiff is really just a portrait of humanities failings, written as masterfully as Da Vinci painted.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2009

    creepy, nasty, hokey

    I agree with the last reviewer...save yer money folks!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Dark and gritty

    Here's one town you don't want to live in! Knockemstiff, Ohio is a small town populated by high school drop outs, drunks, and chain smoking folks living in beat up trailors (think "hillbillies"). The book is written as a series of entertwined short stories, with the same characters often popping up through out the book.

    Pollock does an outstanding job of making the characters seem so real. I guarantee it that you'll spot a bit of an annoying in-law, or that mouthy, gossiping neighbor in this book. Be forewarned, the book does contain some violence and, well, some just plain disgusting moments. It's also not a "feel good" type of book; avoid if you don't like dark and disturbing. But if you do occasionally like to take a walk on the dirty and gritty side of things, you will be unable to put this one down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Mosquito man

    I love this book. I only read the first five pages then i found myself unwlable to put it down. But i personaly love books like these. Although, because of the language, i would not recomend it to every one especially those under fourteen. So if you like dark first person books then this is the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    Somewhat recommended

    This book read like a collection of short stories. The 'stories' were highly interesting, however they ended before I felt a connection with any of the characters or the time frame in which the story was taking place.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2011

    Gritty, crazy good fiction

    This collection of short stories was crazy good. Loved author's latest book, Devil All the Time, so wanted to read this as well. Does not disappoint. Tough, gritty and fantastic. Loved it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Gritty but Interesting

    Okay first of all, I grew up in Knockemstiff, my dad even knows the author, and these stories are fiction. The town isn't as bad as the book leads you to think and a lot of the people in Knockemstiff are decent people (though every town has its flaws). How ever the writing is good and the stories are interesting. I would recommend it, but purely on the writing and not the truth of the stories and what it says about the town.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2009

    Knockemsick = Ick Lit, not Literary Fiction

    Gross; weak writing

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    I liked it

    Not as good as Devil all the time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Excellent writing - a deep dive into dirty life style

    The stories are not your usual fare. Extremely well written to the point where you feel like you've lived the lives described. I liked the way the individual stories loosely tied with each other. But beware...you might feel like you need a shower to get clean after reading of the low down, dirty, ignorant dregs of society who care about nothing but themselves and can't seem to do anything right except get their next drug fix or drink. You feel that there are no depths to which a person can sink, with some being seemingly helpless or clueless against the force. But, the stories make you think and are engaging to the point of not wanting to stop reading. This book is not for everyone, but if you can stand a walk through the sewer, you will find an incredible fictional description of a side of life you'll never want to live.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2008

    The Bruised, Vulnerable, Ill-Starred Inhabitants of Knockemstiff, Ohio

    Donald Ray Pollock is talented. His style of writing is one that feels like spontaneous impressions of a tribal people from which he takes the reader by the collar and spins wild tales, all the while making us believe each of his weirdly comic/tragic characters actually exists. Pollock's vantage is not unlike the gopher who happens to burrow up into a strange neighborhood, glances about is total disbelief, then scurries back down in wonder about the current state of the world: the mound he leaves behind is this highly entertaining book. Though Knockemstiff is an actual place in the remnants of a once settled and civilized Ohio, Pollock uses the place as the matrix from which he devises some of the strangest stories in literature. Though the book is a collection of short stories, Pollock ties some of the characters together in different stories giving the reader the idea that the number of creatures who populate this degenerate town are so few that they must serve as actors more than once. These people are often disabled by drugs, alcohol, physical abnormalities, mental derangements, or the products of barely together couplings that mutually drive partners into bizarre behaviors. Pollock can create suggestive sexual scenes only to remind the reader with the use of brittle descriptions that the surroundings are peppered with detritus, enough to keep the lights on. Each of the aimlessly unhappy folks we encounter retains an edge of humor (despite some impressively dour physical attributes) and that is in the end what keeps the reader engaged. To retain interest in these folks through eighteen varied (but not dissimilar) stories Pollock is forced to occasionally rely on fantasy episodes out of town, but he deftly keeps his characters in the dirt/mud/snow of Knockemstiff in a manner that keeps the thwarted dreams grounded. Pollock uses a language that is rich and colorful, and even while his characters seem to be disengaged from a happy life, he manages to take some flights into the beauty of nature - yes, even in Knockemstiff, Ohio the land can be beautiful. The stories he has written can be read quickly, but the metaphors each carry need some time to absorb. There is a little of each of us somewhere in Knockemstiff, whether we admit it or not. For a first novel, this is a winner! Daniel Ray Pollock IS talented. Grady Harp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2008

    Great new book from a real guy.....about real life!

    What a gripping read! Had to finish it in one sitting! So very real, creepy, sad, and entertaining! Just what I love!

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An amazing debut...

    Knockemstiff is one of the best books that I have ever read, period. These shocking stories follow right after each other, never giving the reader a chance to catch his or her breath. I read this entire novel in one sitting because I just did not want to stop. Knockemstiff is that good, well worth your money and time. The future is bright for Donald Ray Pollock. Pollock has joined my small list of favorite authors. A+ for Knockemstiff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

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    Posted September 2, 2011

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    Posted September 13, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2009

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