"It's a relentlessly fun novel, the literary equivalent of a country-punk album that grabs you and refuses to let go. Wilkes has a perfect ear for the dialect of Kentucky, and his writing is so bright, you can almost see every abandoned shack, every kudzu-covered tree. Sure, it's bizarre, and at points almost gleefully obscene, but it's undeniably one of the smartest, most original Southern Gothic novels to come along in years."
"Kentuckians Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp would be cackling to beat the devil over this brazen tribute to folklore, tradition, and hillbilly rituals. Wilkes' debut is a rich and heartfelt yarn that resonates as deeply as his music."
"Wilkes has a unique voice that sounds like the best dirty songs of a gun-toting madman obsessed with keeping listeners glued to his every word. This is a hell of a book, and it will undoubtedly become part of the list of best, and weirdest, Southern literary gems."
"It takes a master storyteller to craft a novel that is sure to be an instant Southern classic, and JD Wilkes is most certainly that."
―Deep South Magazine
“A sly, rollicking Southern phantasmagoria that finds the sweet spot between tall tale and something more dangerous and psychological. Hilarious, profane, entertaining, and sneakily written. The illustrations are brilliant, too.”
―Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times-bestselling author of The Southern Reach Trilogy
"Put away whatever "southern" books or regional "literary" knick-knacks you've been messing with. The Vine that Ate the South is a wild Kentucky vampire of a book and will wash you in the power of the blood. When scholars from the future come to study the crazy country myths of the melungeons and moth man, Daniel Boone and the secret rural heart of our invisible republic―this book will be their Rosetta stone."
―Scott McClanahan, author of Crapalachia
"J.D. Wilkes’s southern gothic masterpiece of front porch storytelling flows with the rhythms and ethos of Lightnin’ Hopkins or Ray Wylie Hubbard, delivering a sharp comedic detail and vernacular that only your grandfather would speak way back when you were a kid on his farm, offering a strong sense of his people, their ups and down and their terrain, making him the Townes Van Zandt of southern literature."
―Frank Bill, author of Donnybrook and Crimes in Southern Indiana