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Hapless, rhetorically challenged Ray Midge would more than fulfill any novel's quota for comic creation. But Portis pairs him with another indelible nutter, Dr. Reo Symes. A font of dubious financial schemes, Symes attaches himself to Ray like a peevish, passive-aggressive Pancho Sanza, and his non-sequitur-studded riffs must be heard to be believed:
I always tried to help Leon and you see the thanks I got. I hired him to drive for me right after his rat died. He was with the Murrell Brothers Shows at that time, exhibiting a fifty-pound rat from the sewers of Paris, France. Of course it didn't really weigh fifty pounds and it wasn't your true rat and it wasn't from Paris, France, either. It was some kind of animal from South America. Anyway, the thing died and I hired Leon to drive for me. I was selling birthstone rings and vibrating jowl straps from door to door and he would let me out at one end of the block and wait on me at the other end.The vibrating jowl straps are the kicker here, of course. But it's the overall futility of the enterprise that gives Symes his comic potency, and makes him Ray's natural companion in arms. Neither of these guys is going to accomplish anything: they're Beckett clowns in Sansabelt trousers, too enervated by the heat even to agonize. Still, you won't find a more delicious (or less reliable) narrator in contemporary fiction, and Charles Portis's genius for inventing all-American eccentrics is anything but futile. --James Marcus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Really odd, in a good way. Portis is funny while being serious about the fact that we don't really know anything. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Dean Miller
So intersting and quirky. This is my first Charles Portis book if you can believe it. Some of the things he comes up with are priceless. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Inspir8tion
Another masterpiece from the greatest unknown American author. Charles Portis is an author to savor and my number one literary crush. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Rudge
I want to read everything this man has written. It is a great bookPublished 2 months ago by Janie Crew
When I read the first page of Dog of the South I screamed out loud and thumped my foot on the floor like a mad rabbit. I was reading something I'd never read before. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ann R. Brown
I first read this book at a library sale, and I realized I had read several chapters standing at the table where I picked it up, laughing out loud. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Robert F. Pope Jr.