Affliction is a 1989 novel by Russell Banks.
from the back of the book:
Wade Whitehouse is an improbable protagonist for a tragedy. A well-digger and policeman in a bleak New Hampshire town, he is a former high-school star gone to beer fat, a loner with a mean streak. It is a mark of Russell Banks' artistry and understanding that Wade comes to loom in one's mind as a blue-collar American Everyman afflicted by the dark secret of the macho tradition. Told by his articulate, equally scarred younger brother, Wade's story becomes as spellbinding and inexorable as a fuse burning its way to the dynamite.
The New York Times calls it "psychological portraiture of a high order". BrothersJudd says, "Wade's struggle to gain some control over his life is nearly heroic and we root for him top succeed. But Banks piles on such melodramatics that we anticipate that he is doomed."
I have also read his Continental Drift, but it was long ago and I don't still have that book.