HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock
Loading...

The Heavenly Table (edition 2017)

by Donald Ray Pollock (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1841394,884 (3.8)15
Member:rlsalvati
Title:The Heavenly Table
Authors:Donald Ray Pollock (Author)
Info:Anchor (2017), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages
Collections:To read
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 15 mentions

English (10)  Spanish (2)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I was let down by this book. I really wanted to enjoy the simple-yet-complex characters and interwoven stories but I could not get past how unnecessarily crass it was. I'm not a total prude; I can overlook some R-rated content if it assists the story. This was not the case in Pollock's The Heavenly Table. In fact, this was the first book I've ever elected to stop reading due to content. I picked it back up to limp along the last 10% or so, but I was wincing all the way. ( )
  walnutbrowniebrain | May 22, 2018 |
In 1917, three brothers, the sons of a poor, widowed sharecropper hit the road when he dies and commence a robbing and killing spree from Georgia to Ohio. With the only book they own, The Life and Times of Bloody Bill Bucket, as a talisman and guide they try to make up for lost time in their lives of poverty. Their distinct personalities make for an interesting dynamic as they wend their way north, trying for Canada.

An earthy, amusing, brutal story with finely drawn characters and a plot that keeps things moving. ( )
  Hagelstein | May 5, 2018 |
In Donald Ray Pollock's novel “The Heavenly Table,” Cane, Chimney and Cob Jewett don't have much after their father dies suddenly, but their meager possessions do include two books. One is their father's Bible, from which Pearl Jewett had assumed came his theology that by working hard and suffering one will one day sit at the heavenly table with all the other hard-working, suffering saints. Thus Pearl and his boys had worked hard for little reward. The reward, Pearl insisted, would come later.

When Pearl dies, Cane and Chimney decide they favor the gospel found in the second book, “The Life and Times of Bloody Bill Bucket,” an old dime novel about a former Confederate soldier who turns bank robber. Cane, the smartest of the brothers (which isn't saying much), argues that if they can rob a bank, then flee to Canada (they live in Georgia), they will have enough money to live comfortable and respectable lives.

They don't plan on hurting anyone, but things happen in robberies, and soon the Jewett Gang is wanted, dead or alive, for multiple robberies and murders. The year is 1917, but like desperadoes in the Old West, they head for the border on horseback.

Meanwhile Pollock introduces us to a variety of characters in Ohio, more characters than you might think he could possibly need. Yet skillfully he gives each of these people a purpose when the brothers finally reach Ohio.

“The Heavenly Table,” although a terrific novel, is the kind of book that once might have been sold under the counter. It is as full of sex, violence and vulgar language as any you might find anywhere. So be forewarned. Much of it is also hilarious.

Still the novel has a heart, and that heart belongs to Cob, the simplest and most innocent of the brothers. The question of whether he will ever sit at the heavenly table remains unanswered, but Pollock shows how, for him at least, a place at an earthly table might seem like heaven. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Mar 2, 2018 |
Oh, well, either way, the sooner he took care of their questions, the sooner he could get back to his music. 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.

Brace yourselves, because this is not a novel for the faint of heart. Set in 1917, it tells the story of the Jewett Gang, three brothers living in excruciating poverty on the Georgia-Alabama border until events send them on a bloody crime spree, and they move ever northwards, hoping to escape into Canada. In their path lies the farm of the hapless Ellsworth Fiddler and his wife, Eula, who are struggling to get by after being swindled out of their savings and their son ran off to join the army, which is establishing a base in the nearby town of Meade, Ohio, preparing volunteers to fight in Europe.

Donald Ray Pollock has never been a writer who shields his readers from the world he's creating and in The Heavenly Table he describes every smell, every misdeed and every bodily fluid with a vividness that makes even ordinary daily activities less than pleasant. And here he's written a book full of less than pleasant individuals, most of whom spend their days involved in vile and/or unhygienic activities, all of which Pollock describes in a sort of cinematic technicolor. But don't let the violence fool you; Pollock is a talented writer and here he's also humorous. It's a fine tightrope to walk, to write a book that can make the reader cringe and laugh in the same paragraph, but Pollack has done it.

This book is a bloodbath, and it's a bloodbath where a serial killer who tortures his captives to death and collects their teeth in a jar is a minor player. And yet Pollack also manages to add just enough heart and grace to humanize this novel. A killer who finds terrorizing a lone black man entertaining is the same person who realizes that the prostitute he visits has had a harder life than himself and who pitches in to help an old man with the harvest. The characters here may be very bad men, but you can't help pulling for them, or at least seeing them as people. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Oct 24, 2017 |
“That’s the one good thing about this here life. Nothin’ in it lasts for long.”

It is 1917, in the deep south. We are introduced to the Jewett family. Pearl Jewett, a widower, with a God complex and his three young sons, Cane, Chimney, and Cobb. They are dirt poor and struggling but Pearl tells the boys, their reward, will be a seat at the “Heavenly Table”, if they live a straight and narrow life. The father suddenly dies, they lose the farm and the boys are adrift. Of course, they turn to a life of crime.

The second narrative, follows Ellsworth Fiddler, a farmer from Ohio, who also is leading a hardscrabble life and has been recently swindled out of his life savings.

The third narrative, is a wealthy young man, who becomes an officer in the military, gearing up for WWI. He is also struggling with his sexual identity.

How the author ties these stories together, is one of the joys of this novel. He also populates the book with a vast array of quirky and dangerous characters. There is plenty of dry humor here and sudden bursts of violence. It has it all. This is my third Pollock read and he never disappoints. This one has not caught fire, like his first two, but it deserves wider recognition. If you liked The Sisters Brothers, you will like this one. ( )
3 vote msf59 | Aug 31, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donald Ray Pollockprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rooy, Luc DeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385541295, Hardcover)

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 authors.

It 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 (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 paths with the Jewetts. No good can come of it. Or can it?

In the gothic tradition of Flannery O'Connor and Cormac McCarthy with a healthy dose of cinematic violence reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah, Quentin 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 masters.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 22 Jan 2016 05:04:32 -0500)

It 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 (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 paths with the Jewetts. No good can come of it. Or can it? In the gothic tradition of Flannery O'Connor and Cormac McCarthy with a healthy dose of cinematic violence reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah, Quentin 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 masters.--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.8)
0.5 2
1
1.5
2 3
2.5 2
3 6
3.5 3
4 20
4.5 11
5 7

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 133,461,771 books! | Top bar: Always visible