Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Finished "The Dog of the South"...

Charles Portis writes the straightforward stories of the mundane. Except that mundanity doesn't exist in his character's worlds. The regular guy who dreams big, the guy we might call a loser, who dreams some crazy dream or obsesses on a weird society of kindred spirits, as in "Masters of Atlantis" in the Atlantians and their secret knowledge. But then, all of our ideologies are about "secret knowledge", are they not? Maybe that's what makes Portis resonate with some of us. Portis creates a subculture out of the most poignant, funny and just plain outrageous characters ever assembled. And for some reason a good deal of the time they're on road trips. A rollicking gas of a trip all around, and about the best literary voice I've come across in years. Can't read just one!

"The Dog of the South" is the road trip from hell. Down through Texas from Arkansas and into Mexico and British Honduras. In an old Buick. After the wife who ran away with the co-worker and worse yet, in poor Ray's own car. Well, no need to tell it all, since AMAZON reviews do a pretty fair job of that. I recommend reading the book, not reading ABOUT the book. Just like Ray Midge would.

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