belize city
Photo of Belize City by scaturchio used under a Creative Commons license.

Charles Portis, The Dog of the South (Overlook, 1999).
When Ray Midge finds that his wife has run off with his friend in his Grand Torino, he takes the man’s car and drives south after them.  This chase takes him from Little Rock to the British Honduras, now better known as Arkansas, as he searches for answers.  Portis is a comic genius who writes like no one else, this overlooked masterpiece is worth reading wherever you are.  I’ve tagged it under Arkansas because Portis is one of that state’s top writers, and Belize because that’s where Midge ends up.

Here is Wikipedia’s Portis page. Alex T. Moore’s Unofficial Charles Portis Website has an impressive wealth of information.  Vered Kleinberger of Emory University also created a great Portis website.  Scott McLemee appreciates Portis. So does Ed Park, in The Believer. Mark Garvey has an excerpt. Scott McLemee has a couple. Ron Rosenbaum (New York Observer), a big fan, was thrilled. Walter Clemons (Newsweek) says reading it is like being held down and tickled. Patrick Kurp laughed out loud. Benjamin Lytal (New York Sun) says it’s hilarious. Joseph McLellan (Book World) says if it weren’t so darned funny, it would be tragedy. Charles Michaud (Library Journal) calls it a wildly funny book. Roy Blount, Jr., says no one should die without reading it. Christopher Lehmann-Haupt (New York Times) liked it, I think. Greg Purcell recommends it. So does Dylan Hicks. CL says you need it. Earlier this year it was optioned. In 2001, Roy Reed interviewed Portis

Buy it at Amazon.com.

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