Tyler Jones's Reviews > Norwood

Norwood by Charles Portis
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's review
Dec 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: southern-fried-fiction
Read in January, 1994

Norwood is one of those rare books will leave its reader feeling either enraptured or cheated. There is no middle ground. You will either find you have a new addition to the handful of books you count as your personal favourites, or you will feel like you have wasted your time and there is no telling into which camp you, gentle reader, will fall into.

Intricate plotting; fully developed interior lives of characters; a detailed examination of the human condition- you will find none these things in Norwood. You will find (should you be so lucky as to be a Norwood-positive) an almost pure entertainment. The plot is a perfect American picaresque; Norwood Pratt, discharged Marine, leaves his home in Ralph,Texas to track down an old buddy who owes him seventy dollars. The comic series of mis-adventures, while very amusing on thier own, are not nearly as amusing as the large cast of misbegotten souls Norwood meets along his way. It will not do to give away too much but at least two minor characters (Grady Fring, the Kredit King and Edmund Ratner, the Second Smallest Midget in the World) are so good that they have been ripped-off in many comic novels since the publication of Norwood.

But you can't do justice just talking about Norwood. You can only read it and hope you are one of the people who are right for it.

Good luck to you.


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Kevin Enraptured!

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