The Heavenly Table summary ↠ 8

summary The Heavenly Table

The Heavenly Table summary ↠ 8 ¶ From Donald Ray Pollock author of the highly acclaimed The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff comes a dark gritty electrifying and disturbingly weirdly funny new novel that will solidify his place among the best contemporary American authorsIt is 1917 in that sliver of border land that divides Georgia from Alabama The eldest; handsome; intelligent; Cob short; heavy set; a bit slow; and Chimney the youngest; thin; ill tempered Several hundred miles away in southern Ohio a farmer by the name of Ellsworth Fiddler lives with his son Eddie and his wife Eula After Ellsworth is swindled out of his family’s entire fortune his life is put on a surprising unforgettable and violent trajectory that will directly lead him to cross. When I sat down with The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock I was all set to have my love for Southern Gothicism stoked here—forget that even just my love for a great read in the Southern tradition Anyone who follows my reviews knows that I’m a sucker for it Yet The Heavenly Table fell unexpectedly flat for me I’m sorry to say Here you’ll find the story of the Jewett boys regular hillbillies turned cowboys in 1917 Georgia chasing a Buffalo Bill type dream and their own versions of “the heavenly table” a metaphor used throughout this novel Here you’ll also find an entire cast of colorful characters whose big personalities jostled for space within these pages For me the problem with this read came down to two very important counterparts that didn’t marry well here plot and soul You can have a wonderful premise—a killer idea and plot all sketched out—but that doesn’t mean that it will be executed with a real feeling of ambiance and depth And for a novel whose blurb wants it to live up to the Southern Gothic tradition with references to uentin Tarantino no less it has to have soul Period Otherwise peel that label off and call it something else Call it “Django with a 3 Stooges cowboy twist” The premise of Pollock’s The Heavenly Table was great—the characters filled the pages; the vernacular added some awesome local color; the setting was rich and there were a couple of Gothic elements that tipped their hat toward the tradition of O’Connor and Faulkner I even saw Tarantino here featuring cartoon like descriptions of gore and debauchery that were cinematic and would translate well on the big screen In fact this one would probably make a better movie than it did a read In short the fundamentals of the story itself were fine maybe even good but I never felt any depth I'm not even talking feels just enough depth to make it funny to make it feel real even in its raucousness The Heavenly Table was beautiful as a metaphor but fell short in that it never gripped me and pulled me in True enough each character had some spit and dirt to them—in that way it was gritty—but the rest of the grit came off as superficial and referential to other great works to others’ great styles and not fully of its own character It didn’t make me yearn for the next flip of a page to see what lay in wait on the other side To me it read as classroom learned writing with no natural swag This was my first foray into Pollock’s works It read like a 1st novel which is surprising coming from an author with the renown that Pollock has amassed thus far What I will say about this 3rd major work of Pollock’s is that he did let his own Southern Ohio blue collar roots hang out with a confident flamboyance and devil may care flair that I appreciated making the read feel authentically Southern But Rule #1 is always Don’t tell me; show me And I think that one was tossed to the wind here in favor of superfluous character plot lines and backstories—I still can’t figure out what some of those characters were even doing in there let alone why they had entire backstories of their own—and debaucherous accounts of adventure that I could see but not feel not taste not touch myself It fell short of being fully 3 D for me cinematic though the plot aimed to be Without that added depth of flavor without that thickened roux at its base the cinematic appeal lost a little of its verve and sparkle—it lost some of its Rabelaisian humor appealThat extra word count from all of those storylines would’ve been better served filling out the story of the main characters This one had too many ideas that could have been narrowed down to a much better read Yes yes I get the attempt at weaving several intricately woven stories together so that they come together surprisingly in the end—it’s awe inspiring when done right—but this wasn’t that This was too many ideas with the end result being me confused about who was who and whether or not they would show up again often enough in the novel for me to even care about them sometimes the answer was no Really this read took the long way to its finale and dragged in too many characters to do it with the end result not having the kick that it could have There were serial killers tossed in for the hell of it like “oh by the ways” tossed in just for good measure just to make sure the read was good and raunchy I didn’t respond well to that kind of fabricated grit Was Heavenly Table gritty as the blurb stated because it had heart or because debauchery was heaped on debauchery I’d say the latter like a bawdy and mildly depraved version of the Slapstick genre events were just happening just to be happening at some times and that really turned me off Yet to others this might be a real selling point as it was indeed Rabelaisian For those who want to ride along with a good ole early 20th century American adventure story complete with liuor whores murder and debauchery this is most definitely the read for you—and you’ll LOVE it But if you’re looking for depth based on the blurb don’t be fooled by the O’Connor reference—you won’t find that kind of true soul of allegory here 25 stars I received an advance read copy of this book from the publisher Doubleday via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewFOLLOW ME HEREArt Deco Agency Book Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Art Deco Publishing Agency

read ↠ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ë Donald Ray Pollock

From Donald Ray Pollock author of the highly acclaimed The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff comes a dark gritty electrifying and disturbingly weirdly funny new novel that will solidify his place among the best contemporary American authorsIt is 1917 in that sliver of border land that divides Georgia from Alabama Dispossessed farmer Pearl Jewett ekes out a hardscrabble existence with his three young sons Cane. i interview donald ray pollock HERE day ever Leaning over the horn of his saddle Chimney spat and then said Well I don't know who those ol' boys are back there but I don't figure they can shoot any better than we canMaybe but there must be fifteen of them in that packSo Chimney said That many don't even amount to one box of shellsso donald ray pollock has written another book and it's got all the things we like outlaws and whores and war and torture and angry trained chimpanzees and drugs and light bondage homosexuals and disfiguring bar fights and drinking and shooting and screwing and robbing and a man with a penis so big that it coils and poop and killing and killing and killing and killing and killingand you can't say the man doesn't write some descriptive ass prose as when a father bemoans his disappointing son pinpointing where it all went wrongEula had insisted that Eddie finish the sixth grade before he was allowed to uit school and the farmer was convinced that a big part of the boy's problem had to do with his education In other words he had gotten just enough of it to fuck him up for the real world Ellsworth had seen it happen before mostly to flighty types like horny spinsters and weak eyed store clerks with a lot of time to kill They would stick their noses in a book and then all of a sudden Ross County Ohio wasn't good enough for them The next thing you knew they either got caught up in some perversion like the old Wilkins woman who somehow managed to split herself open on a bedpost or they lit out for some big city like Dayton or Toledo in search of their destiny Sometimes the line that divided those two impulses blurred until they amounted to pretty much the same thing as in the case of the Fletcher boy the police found butchered in a hotel room in Cincinnati with a woman's wig glued to his head and his pecker tossed under the bed like a cast off shoebooks ruin everything and this is only one of several instances in which books reading or education lead these characters astray either in their too lofty expectations for their own lives or in providing inappropriate role models to impressionable minds damn you books but this book is mostly great although it is also not a smart place to look for role models it's just not as great as either Knockemstiff or The Devil All the Time and it's largely down to the structure of the novel which can be very frustrating i am all about short stories as novels and i am all about multiple perspectives patchworked together to make up a narrative so i was actually delighted when i found that this was the case here a much violent and saucier Our Town or Winesburg Ohio where characters either from or who will eventually converge in the small town of meade ohio are allowed space to live out their story and win your sympathy or disgust until all paths cross and many of those paths'll be covered in blood cuz it's a Donald Ray Pollock book son and a lot of the situations here do have that wonderful winesburg flavor people who are disappointed with their limited prospects whose dreams are bigger than their surroundings a chorus of voices raised in hopelessness indignation resignation Lately it seemed that wherever he turned something beyond his comprehension was lying in wait to make him look like a fool why did he think things would be better somewhere else They never had been Not one time He was right on the verge of finishing his first original composition a slow mournful piece in eight movements meant to capture the educator's dread of returning to the classroom after the bliss of the summer break Tentatively titled Might as Well Hang Myself he had been working on it off and on for the past several years Trained in classics he had entered the military with abnormally high expectations but unfortunately the men he had encountered so far were a far cry from the muscle bound sackers of Troy or the disciplined defenders of Sparta that he had been infatuated with since the age of twelve Still even though the draftees had been a sore disappointment both physically and mentally he had uickly learned to deal with them It was simply a matter of lowering one's standards to fit the circumstances After all how could one expect any of these poor awkward illiterate brutes to have even heard of Cicero or Tacitus when at least half of them had difficulty comprehending a simple order In just a matter of days he went from trying to form a Latin reading club to thinking that a lowly private who still had most of his teeth and could name the presidents was practically a paragon of good breeding and sophisticationbut it's not without some humor Although Blackie tried to promote his new place as the Celestial Harem of Earthly Delights it was hard for anyone to accept Virgil Brandon's goat shed as being anything close to an exotic playground; and to his dismay it uickly became known simply as the Whore Barnnor is it without that stoic acceptance of life's injustices that is so freuently found in these grit lit talesafter her husband is conned out of their entire life savings a wife is observed But then one November morning two months after the swindle he overheard her say to herself Just have to start over that's all She was standing at the stove fixing breakfast and she pursed her lips and nodded her head as if she were agreeing with something someone else had saidand there are so many wonderful small moments like these throughout the book; a rich scattered tapestry of taleshowever the chapters are wicked short how short you ask well the book is 384 pages and there are 72 chapters and an epilogue most of the chapters are 4 5 pages so you're only just dipping in and out of these separate viewpoints without being given much chance to process what has happened before being shoved back into someone else's path and it's not that the characters aren't different enough and the reader gets confused because pollock is great at variety and character and dialogue but it's still jarring to keep popping in and out and not being given enough time in between to get comfortable ask any of the girls at the whore barn and they'll tell you the same thing With a little trepidation he pulled back the flap on the tent and stooped down a little as he entered A woman with long blond tresses and a pretty face was suatted down over a bucket in the corner but when she saw him she sprung up and pulled her white slip down She reached over and picked up a cigarette from a little wooden box on the table then said with a frown Just give me a couple minutes okay I need a smokeI'm supposed to get five minutes between customersgive us five minutes to clean our dirty bits before you come at us again pollock i do think that it would have been a enjoyable reading experience if he'd chosen a leisurely pace instead of zip zip zipping between storylines where the reader is hurtled through the story almost too uickly to appreciate all the really great and horrible things going on in this case the parts are stronger than the whole but i'm going to give it four stars anyway because who's going to stop me you psssshhh in closing i will leave you with some words of wisdom from the mouths of babes pollock styleA couple of hours later as they made their way through a thorny brake in single file Cob turned in his saddle and looked back at Chimney Can I ask ye something he saidWhat's thatIf'n one of them whores you talk about is worth two or three dollars how much ye figure a good ham costOh probably about the same I reckon They wouldn't be much difference between a whore and a hamWell then Cob said how many of them could we buy with the money we gotOh I don't know Maybe a hundredWhewCob exclaimed That sounds like a lotYeah it'd take a day or two to fuck that manyNo I mean that's a lot of hams ain't itChimney laughed You're goddamn right it is Why if ye was to eat that many hams ye'd probably turn into a pig yourselfOh that'd be fine with me Cob said All they do is lay around in the mud all day while somebody feeds 'em horseweeds and slop Shoot what could a feller want out of life than thatindeedit's somewhere between a 3 and a 4 i need to think on this a bit first never expect a girl being prescribed painkillers to be able to make firm decisionscome to my blog

Donald Ray Pollock Ë 8 read

The Heavenly TablePaths with the Jewetts No good can come of it Or can itIn the gothic tradition of Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy with a healthy dose of cinematic violence reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah uentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers the Jewetts and the Fiddlers will find their lives colliding in increasingly dark and horrific ways placing Donald Ray Pollock firmly in the company of the genre’s literary master. When the bad bleeds then is the tragedy good Vindice The Revenger's TragedyLove Child of Ms Southern Gothic and Mr Spaghetti Western revisited rating 8 months from reading bumping up because this seems closer to 5 than 4 From northern Georgia to southern Ohio a trek covering the heart of Hillbilly Country Pollock takes us with a trio of 3 lowborn ruffian brothers on the run from the law in a sort of darkly crimson comic caper a murderous meshugaas Yiddish for craziness While Pollock Donald Ray that is deftly introduces a huge cast of characters providing a mini character sketch for each as heshe is introduced it almost seems like he's too ambitious because there are so many characters without any one primary characterI normally don't enjoy the scatological brand of humour Yet here Pollock creates one of the most hilarious characters in a young sewage inspector whose euipment is so large he's embarrassed to show it to women his mom had him checked out by the doctor in puberty to see if something was the matter with the boy The early 1900s setting reminds of how much things have changed now that a certain nominee for President of the USA raised the subject due to the smallness of his handsThis tale is freuently funny; often gruesome particularly in the dustups the brothers have along their journey; and sometimes skanky and spicily obscene with a posse of prostitutes camped outside town One thing it is never boring I fully agree with the assessment of NPR's critic Jason Sheehan In its bloody violent and terrible collisions The Heavenly Table feels like Blood Meridian if Cormac McCarthy had been born with a streak of black humor in him rather than just terseness and rage As I said in the heading the best way I can describe this book is to say it's the spawn of Southern Gothic and Spaghetti Western