Thursday, February 19, 2009

Review: Knockemstiff

This collection of short stories details the lives of the residents of the southern Ohio town of Knockemstiff. A working class region of Appalachia, each story details the life of one of the residents of Knockemstiff. What these people share is few opportunities, a world full of frustrated violence, and the hope-crushing realities of poverty. There's much that's depressing about Knockemstiff, Ohio. Characters with good hearts repeatedly find themselves trampled by others' greed and violence. Knockemstiff is a tough and lonely town, and yet, this is a collection of stories well worth reading. Pollock's characterizations are deep and complex. This is a world foreign to many of us, but one effectively created by Pollock.


teaescapade said...

Thanks for sharing. I live in Ohio and have never heard of Knockemstiff. What a name! Just one clarification - are the short stories true stories? I assumed so based upon your review. While not my typical genre, I may have to purchase and read. Even though sad, the stories sound intriguing.

Laurie said...

No, they're not true stories, but supposedly they are based on the author's childhood, at least loosely. I had a really hard time believing that Knockemstiff was a real place, but the author's bio says he grew up in Knockemstiff, OH!