David's Reviews > The Dog of the South

The Dog of the South by Charles Portis
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's review
Oct 09, 11

bookshelves: fiction
Read in October, 2011

Now Charles Portis is an interesting fellow indeed. Reclusive. Media shy. And something of a literary throwback. The howling success of the Coen Brothers film True Grit has put the spotlight back on Mr. Portis somewhat and it caused me to take a look at The Dog of the South.

The Dog of the South in a nutshell: It is annoying that so many people are crazy. In fact, most people are crazy. What's really interesting is when someone describing their annoyance with crazy people turns out to be pretty darned crazy themselves. (Writer of this review obviously excepted.)

Also, it is unfair to blame either Braxton Bragg or Joseph E. Johnston entirely for the defeat of the Confederacy.

This novel contains one of the best, funniest, quirkiest. Americana (and Mexicana and Central Americana) road trip narratives since Lolita.

So yeah, if you've got Walker Percy on your shelf. Or J.P. Donleavy. Or Martin Amis. Or really just about anybody else who is terminally ironic, you'll want to lie down with The Dog of the South.

Spoiler: the aforementioned Dog is not a sled but a school bus. You'll see.


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