HHS Staff's Reviews > The Dog of the South

The Dog of the South by Charles Portis
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Sep 11, 2009

really liked it

An eccentric novel by the reclusive author from Eldorado, Arkansas (he also wrote TRUE GRIT, from which the award-winning film starring John Wayne was adapted and which I also read this summer). A fussy small-time journalist with way too much starch in his shorts (also, he is mad for military history) awakens to find that a co-worker and acquaintance has left town with his (the journalist's) wife and immaculate Gran Torino. The chase leads through Mexico to South America, and collects some...unusual characters along the way. Uniquely funny and wonderfully anticlimactic. My choice to read the book is a great example of how I read: I was reading an article on filmmaker Errol Morris' website in which Morris mentioned Ron Rosenbaum as one of his favorite authors; I then read EXPLAINING HITLER by Rosenbaum and liked it so much I picked up his feature collection THE SECRET PARTS OF FORTUNE, in the introduction of which Rosenbaum sang the praises of Charles Portis; after picking through SECRET PARTS, I checked out both TRUE GRIT and THE DOG OF THE SOUTH and loved them. Chance discovery and random direction--I wouldn't have it any other way!

Reviewed by:
Phil Overeem
Language Arts teacher
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