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The Dog of the South (1979)

by Charles Portis

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8374126,317 (3.81)21
Charles Portis has drawn widespread critical acclaim for his inventive prose. In The Dog of the South, Ray Midge is on the trail of his wife Norma, who's headed for Mexico with her ex-husband. On the way Ray meets the eccentric Dr. Reo Symes, a man with more get-rich-quick schemes than common sense. Together, they'll have to overcome tropical storms, grifters, and plenty of car trouble en route to their destination-wherever that may be.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
3.5 stars for Portis and "The Dog of the South", the author of "True Grit", who creates a humorous tale of a man in search of his car and the wife who stole it. ( )
  ben_r47 | Feb 22, 2024 |
This book starts off very well and is quite funny. The problem is it just goes on and on, generating no real suspense about whether the protagonist will find his eloped wife, but containing some very well-written scenes as he journeys through Mexico and Central America to arrive in British Honduras (now Belize; this is a pretty old book) where he encounters even more odd people than those he met on the way. It's always fairly enjoyable, and the audiobook narrator David Aaron Baker is fabulous. This one is probably best as an audiobook, since Baker's wide range of voices brings the story to life--at least as much as possible given the shortcomings of the story to begin with. ( )
  datrappert | Jan 23, 2024 |
The story is moderately funny and the characters are quite goofy. I would equate it to reading a script for the Abbott and Costello "Who's on First" routine. It would read funny, but not nearly as funny as the performance.

It was difficult dealing with all the overt racism. I understand it's from a different time, but that doesn't make it any easier or ok. ( )
  grandpahobo | Aug 18, 2023 |
Lots of funny lines. ( )
  Mcdede | Jul 19, 2023 |
Humorous, sometimes deadpan, sometimes silly. The hero goes on a road trip into Mexico to retrieve his car, wife who has run away with her ex-husband, credit card, most importantly his car. He's traced her whereabouts from credit card statements. He travels with an eccentric doctor, who lives in an old, converted school bus, the "Dog of the South." They travel in a lemon of a car, not in the bus, which I thought they would. The bus was only given a couple of mentions; I don't see why the novel was given that title. I loved the dialogue and some of the descriptions. ( )
  janerawoof | Jun 15, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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...Even Animals near the Classis of plants seem to have the most restlesse motions. The Summer-worm of Ponds and plashes makes a long waving motion; the hair-worm seldome lies still. He that would behold a very anomalous motion, may observe it in the Tortile and tiring stroaks of Gnatworms.

-Sir Thomas Brown
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My wife Norma had run off with Guy Dupree and I was waiting around for the credit card billings to come in so I could see where they had gone.
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Charles Portis has drawn widespread critical acclaim for his inventive prose. In The Dog of the South, Ray Midge is on the trail of his wife Norma, who's headed for Mexico with her ex-husband. On the way Ray meets the eccentric Dr. Reo Symes, a man with more get-rich-quick schemes than common sense. Together, they'll have to overcome tropical storms, grifters, and plenty of car trouble en route to their destination-wherever that may be.

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