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Knockemstiff  By  cover art


By: Donald Ray Pollock
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne, Mark Bramhall, MacLeod Andrews, full cast, David Garelick, Matt Godfrey, Dan Woren, Rob Shapiro, R. C. Bray, Amy Landon, Joe Ochman
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Publisher's summary

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-'60s to the late '90s, 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 listener 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. Donald Ray Pollock presents his characters and the sordid goings-on with a stern intelligence, a bracing absence of value judgments, and a refreshingly dark sense of bottom-dog humor.

With an artistic instinct honed on the works of Flannery O’Connor and Harry Crews, Pollock offers a powerful work of fiction in the classic American vein. Knockemstiff is a genuine entry into the literature of place.

Audiobook Cast of Narrators:

"Real Life" read by Kirby Heyborne

"Dynamite Hole" read by Mark Bramhall

"Knockemstiff" read by Macleod Andrews

"Hair’s Fate" read by Andrew Eiden

"Pills" read by Kirby Heyborne

"Gianthomachy" read by David Garelick

"Schott’s Bridge" read by Matt Godfrey

"Lard" read by Macleod Andrews

"Fish Sticks" read by Dan Woren

"Bactine" read by Rob Shapiro

"Discipline" read by R.C. Bray

"Assailants" read by Dan Woren

"Rainy Sunday" read by Amy Landon

"Holler" read by Andrew Eiden

"I Start Over" read by Joe Ochman

©2008 Donald Ray Pollock (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“More engaging than any new fiction in years.... Knockemstiff gives us the impossible - fast, funny stories about the saddest people you’ll ever meet in fiction.” (Chuck Palahniuk)

“Pollock’s voice is fresh and full-throated.... His steely, serrated prose...calls to mind Harry Crews.” (The New York Times Book Review)

Knockemstiff is a powerful, remarkable, exceptional book.... Pollock knows these people, what they want and think and feel, and he takes us there without flinching.” (Los Angeles Times)