rmn's Reviews > The Dog of the South

The Dog of the South by Charles Portis
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Jul 03, 11

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction
Read in June, 2011

Hmmmm. Here is what I didn’t like:

1. The protagonist. He’s detached, unquestioning, buffoonish, annoying, marginally intelligent, and well, just kind of dull.

2. The supporting characters: They are all kind of mentally challenged and Portis, the author, somehow wants us to think this is funny. For instance, the sidekick and comic relief Dr. Symes (the Dog of the South if you will) is clearly mentally unstable and his bizarre personality shifts and lack of ability to take care of himself (which is pretty much 2/3 of the book) are really sad and uncomfortable, not funny. To enjoy this book you have to be laughing at him, not with him, and that kind of humor is just not that entertaining to read. The novel has all of the unlikeable parts of A Confederacy of Dunces (ie. characters as annoying and boorish as Ignatius Reilly), without any of the good parts.

3. The plot. Eh.

Here is what I liked:

1. Finishing it.

2. See point 1.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Josh The protagonist should be quite familiar to most of us; atleast those are buffoonish, annoying, marginally intelligent... which I would say is most of us. A reader will either connect, and get a good laugh out of it because of that personal recognition... others simply don't perceive themselves as an "Everyman" type.


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