Nine years after publishing his debut novel The Devil All the Time to critical acclaim, author Donald Ray Pollock’s “sickly beautiful” (New York Times) story of the lonesome and depraved barely surviving in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia after World War II is now a feature film, available for streaming on Netflix.
Bestselling author Wiley Cash (The Last Ballad) moderated a conversation between Pollock, The Devil All the Time director Antonio Campos, and Paulo Campos who co-wrote the screenplay with Antonio. They dove into the surprises and challenges of adapting Pollock’s grim noir tale and what they want audiences to gain from viewing the movie and reading the book.
Presented in collaboration with Netflix.
The Devil All the Time
By Donald Ray Pollock
Published by Anchor Books
Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrificial blood he pours on his “prayer log.” There’s Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial killers, who troll America’s highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. There’s the spider-handling preacher Roy and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but also violent man in his own right.
Donald Ray Pollock braids his plotlines into a taut narrative that will leave readers astonished and deeply moved. With his first novel, he proves himself a master storyteller in the grittiest and most uncompromising American grain.