Gloria's Reviews > The Dog of the South

The Dog of the South by Charles Portis
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May 12, 2011

it was ok
Read from May 09 to 12, 2011

I'm not even sure where to start on this one.
*sigh*
Okay ... jumping in:

First person narrative can be tough to pull off. I think Portis does a credible job here. I have to give him that. And his style is interesting-- funny in so many places where you don't expect it to be. Little unexpected gifts of a chuckle in his descriptions or dialogue.
So, I can't demean his writing.

But, admittedly, I had to literally draaaaaaag myself through the last half of this book (and the first half wasn't read at breakneck speed...).
It comes down to the characters.
I quite literally didn't like any of them.
At all.
One doesn't have to "like" a character, but there should be at least facets of them which are likeable. Even a good bad guy has likeable traits.

There is a difference between quirky (which can be endearing) and odd (which often comes off as annoying).
Think Ignatious in A Confederacy of Dunces (annoying)vs. Daniel in Steve Martin's The Pleasure of My Company (endearing).
The characters in here definitely come across as "odd."
Even Midge (the narrator), whom you think at first is pretty normal (despite his penchant for being too languid), gradually loses his appeal.
By mid-book, I no longer cared about the host of other characters introduced, nor if Midge ever tracked down his wife, who'd run off with her first husband. Actually, at that point, I kind of understood why she'd left him.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Eddie (new)

Eddie Let me know what you think when through. Well...I'm sure your review will do just that. Duh! I'm currently reading True Grit and thoroughly enjoying it. Should finish by this afternoon.


Gloria Yay, how special ... we're reading Portis together. ;) Yep, I'll let you know. Only one chapter in and, thus far, doesn't have quite the same verve as True Grit, but it may improve. Enjoy finishing today! I love that story...


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