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Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany Hardcover – October 1, 2012
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-John Powers, NPR's "Fresh Air"
"I tore through Escape Velocity and then went back and read most of the works again, because they are that compelling."
-Alex Balk, The Awl
"The overviews, tributes, and selections from Portis's work make this book just right for any reader.... His satire sings without condescension. ... He's a kind of American Chaucer."
--Clyde Edgerton, Garden & Gun
"Escape Velocity is a major Portis event."
--Alex Heard, The New Republic
"Jay Jennings has done a great service in putting together Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany and providing it with an excellent introduction and appreciation.... Delray's New Moon, the single example here of Portis as a dramatist, is a wonderful black comedy and tour de force of inspired dialog."
--Katherine A. Powers, The Barnes & Noble Review
--Carlo Rotella, The New York Times Book Review
"The book's introduction, which notes the hallmarks of Mr. Portis's brand of humor without talking them to death, provides an ideal primer for readers coming to Mr. Portis fresh.... His newspaper writing is as richly textured as any of the New Journalism that emerged in the 1960s but with none of the fireworks that betray the writer's effort at innovation."
--Wes Davis, Wall Street Journal
"The comparison [with Mark Twain] is apt -- more than for any other writer I can think of, including Kurt Vonnegut and H. L. Mencken."
--Maud Newton, The New York Times
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Top Customer Reviews
The book also contains a full-length, three-act play, "Delmar's New Moon", previously unpublished, which shows off Portis's trademark dead-pan style. Especially interesting are the non-fiction pieces, including some he wrote for newspapers during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and a long essay, "Combinations of Jacksons". These early pieces show the writing style that later shaped his fiction.
This is a must-have book for Portis fans and a thoughtful introduction for those new to the work of Charles Portis.
If you haven't read Portis then: What is wrong with you? Have you no sense of humor? Get the novels and read them right now. Then get "Escape Velocity". If you have read Portis, then have no fear. The short pieces in "Escape Velocity" contain plenty of his great prose style and humor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As of 2015 Charles Portis is best known for his comic-tragic novel True Grit. Mattie Ross, the lady with grit, has a voice that, once read, is unlikely ever to be forgotten. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Chris C. Hill
Excellent review of Portis' career. I really liked this book. I purchased two, one for me , one for a gift to some lucky person. Price was good.Published 9 months ago by flem j connell
I've read all of Charles Portis' books, and was therefore pleased to find this additional material. Not only is the reader treated to the author's unique first person voice, he... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Luckydawg
In the world of Charles Portis' fiction, odd characters are a given, indeed a necessity. You wonder where he got the inspiration for some of those people. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Trevor Seigler
I never knew much about Portis' career. A lot of very good stuff here, mostly solid, simple reporting on the newspaper articles, and the bits of fiction were typically subtle,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by MotoJoe
There is no one like Charles Portis in American letters.
He wrote five novels, all of which are revered in different orders of preference by his ardent fans. Read more
Charles Portis has always had a small group of fans but after the early success of True Grit, most of the reading public lost track of him. Read morePublished 19 months ago by D. Ashbaugh