Monday, September 06, 2004

Masters of Atlantis...

I just finished reading "Masters of Atlantis" by Charles Portis. The first Portis novel I've read, but not the last. The experience of reading Portis was like discovering another hobby.

Unfortunately he has written only five novels thus far, and it has been awhile since the last. The movie "True Grit" is an adaptation of one of his five novels. I never thought about reading it, but now I certainly will. While I was reading I could only think of "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" by Vonnegut, and "Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. Both of those books were poignantly told stories of misfit individuals who tried to make a world while somehow shining a light on our world. The difference is that, while the two novels above were funny, Portis is hilarious. I mean I actually hurt from laughing at the ludicrous statements, the sudden surprise twists and the just plain silly nonsense this book offers from cover to cover. All told in the tale of a secret society of very few whose origin was the scamming of our innocent central figure by a con artist he met after leaving the Army. Mr. Jimmerson never realizes he was conned, and he succeeds in gathering a coterie of faithful to the Gnomen Society, and there begins the epic which ends years later in a mobile home in Texas. The years between are a story you should not miss.

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