ONE OF THE BEST REVIEWED BOOKS OF 2012
BOOK OF THE YEAR, BOOKS & CULTURE
"My heart soared when I learned about Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany. It brings together pieces that we cultists have been passing around like samizdat literature.... He's our funniest living write
-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
Escape Velocity is "a thoughtfully composed selection of published work spiced with rare and fresh material.... Portis really shines in this collection as an essayist, especially as a travel writer...."
--Carlo Rotella, The New York Times Book Review
"Escape Velocity pays off in more ways than I could have dreamed.... Oh my. Let's get this out of the way: it's hard to tell how it would stage, but as a read, Delray's New Moon is a fitting addition to the canon. I'd dare to call it his sixth major work. It's that funny."
--Glen David Gold, The Los Angeles Review of Books
"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
From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR CHARLES PORTIS
"Mr. Portis is a soft-spoken American genius and his work breathes pure decency. They ought to name a hotel after him, or at least a bus station." -Garrison Keillor
"Charles Portis is the goods: a deadpan reporter of human folly, a master of pathos, a compassionate portrayer of life's absolute absurdity, and a man with a voice." -Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Globe
"No living Southern writer captures the spoken idioms of the South as artfully as Portis does." -Donna Tartt
"His fiction is the funniest I know, but the last thing in the world his characters have in mind is putting themselves across as comical. They are taking on the world in earnest. ... Lesser comic writers drag their characters onstage and say, 'Get a load of this guy!' Portis's characters just show up." -Roy Blount Jr.