If character development is your thing, this book will not do for you By the end of the book, I was quite certain that Norwood Pratt will be essentially unchanged at 75 I suspect that is one of the main points of the book.
This is a great road story about a Texarkanan Odysseus Some of the prose is memorable they had moved a lot, back and forth along U.
S Highway 82 in the oil fields and cotton patches between Stamps, Arkansas, and Hooks, Texas There was something Mr Pratt dearly loved about that section of interstate concrete They clung to its banks like river rats.
Phenomenal I don t really know what to say I ve been struggling to find a novel lately that completely captured my attention and pulled me fully into its world This one did the trick Norwood hooked me from the first page and never let go The characters are quirky without being stupidly over the top The dialogue is wonderfully Southern without being overwrought It s a perfect little novel you really could read in a single sitting It took me two sittings One thing that struck me about this novel I must say is its prodigious yet fascinatingly casual use of the n word for a book published in 1966 I nkow the book is set in the mid 1950s, but I still found it to be a bold but to my mind certainly not racist move during the as Here s an eerie coinkydink I finished this almost exactly a year to the day that I finished The Dog of the South Even stranger, two years ago at this time, I was reading True Grit I guess there s just something about the month of May that makes me yearn for a Portis tale This one, Portis s first novel, reminded me SO much of The Dog of the South Our hero, Norwood Pratt, could have been the prototype for Dog s Raymond Earl Midge Both men are earnest and plain spoken, single minded in their determination to retrieve what s rightfully theirs Norwood s seventy dollars, owed to him by a military buddy and Raymond Earl s runaway, cheating wife Both men embark on memorable road trips, peopled by eccentric and colorful characters The humor here is fairly subtle and stems mostly from Norwood s personality Here he is showing h What can I say about Norwood I simply adored it Portis writes the most uncluttered prose imaginable and employs a deceptively simple style, yet he has the eye of a poet The writing flows with such ease it can sometimes deceive the reader into thinking that the author doesn t seem to be working very hard at all Simple stream of consciousness stuff you may think think again Portis use of language is masterly, the characterisations are wonderful and the dialogues his cast enter into, sublime It strikes me as verging on the criminal that Norwood was actually out of print for a while Hurumph I suspect that Charles Portis is underrated because his instinct as a writer is always to make us smile, and it seems to be the way that the literati only truly respect and value a writer if by the end of their novels the main characters are either dead, dying, or so utterl Õ Norwood Õ I read this book in three sittings, the longest while getting some shading work done a large side piece The three things that stand out is the specificity of the language, the dryness of the humor, and the protagonist s heroic transformation in spite of making bad decisions at every turn Norwood conducts himself with propriety, which, sad to say, makes him something of a throwback, yet one would be hard pressed to call him good natured In life, I run from these kinds of people guided by other people s perceptions of the right thing to do, but it s this rightness that makes the story taut A looser moral register and the story falls apart I like characters that are unnecessarily formal to the point of fussiness These kinds of characters present countless opportunities for humor This is where Charles Portis is a master There were places where I chuckled out loud,
This is the best one to read if you only read one other Portis novel besides True Grit Everyone should read True Grit In a charming first novel, Portis establishes his mastery of language, in particular the Texarkana vernacular, of well chosen detail that goes beyond apparent mundane triviality and really captures the American ambience as well as the human condition, and of pitch perfect dialogue.
Norwood Pratt another one of Portis s strengths is names is the title character, a poor, ignorant redneck who s also a philosopher and philanthropist After getting a hardship discharge from the Marines when his daddy dies in the early 1960s, the disappointed Norwood returns to his lackluster life in Ralph, Texas, as a Nipper gas station attendant and caretaker for his sister Vernell, whose lack of get up and go is either the result of social an been on my rear end with a herniated disc for a week so i turned to my version of comfort food i can see a criticism of portis that experiences his books as really well turned shaggy dog stories a boob wanders off in the world, bumps into things, wanders home that sor less what happens in all of his novels, with some tweaks to the formula although i haven t read Gringos yet but that s all that really happens in the odyssey what portis shares with homer is the pure beauty of his language, although portis beauty is this perfected mid century american arkansas parking lot fatalism i dont know how charles portis will sound read to someone not as proximate to the world his characters move through, but god damn i love the dude.
some illustrative joy Tilmon said Tee hee hee His tongue fell out as if to receive a co Another comic highlight Portis is wonderful, inimitable He can tell a story about nothing like no one else I know George Saunders has inherited some of this, but Saunders can be a littlebrittle and mannered, his characters and situationssurreal Portis is interested in all the little details of ordinary, not always so bright folks struggling with their drives and limitations, their idees fixes and confusion about the world Like many of his other books True Grit, Dog of the South , this is a story about a quest Norwood s quest to find the man who owes him seventy dollars That seventy dollars drives the story all the way to New York and back, through a cast of Portis s usual vivid, hilarious characters This one is a little slighter than Dog of the South, and a little lighter That s okay it s a great novel with Portis s stamp all over it.