The Dog of the South
AbeBooks Seller Since May 10, 2010Quantity Available: 1
AbeBooks Seller Since May 10, 2010Quantity Available: 1
About this Item
Title: The Dog of the South
Publication Date: 1979
Dust Jacket Condition: Fair
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
When his wife, Norma, runs off with her lover, taking with her Ray's credit cards and his Ford Torino, Ray sets off in pursuit, journeying from Arkansas through Texas and Mexico to a remote plantation in HondurasReview:
Charles Portis may be the sneakiest comedian in American letters, not to mention one of the funniest. And there's no better specimen of his double-edged art than The Dog of the South, which Overlook Press has recently rescued from a long, cruel, out-of-print limbo. As usual, the narrator is a down-at-the-heels Southerner with an eye for the homely detail and a mission to accomplish. What Ray Midge means to do is track down his significant other: "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." In another author's hands, this opening sentence might lead straight to a bloody, noir-ish denouement. Here it's merely the excuse for a meandering, semi-pointless quest, during which the fussbudget protagonist is assailed by tropical storms, grifters, hippies, car trouble, and even an assortment of airborne trash: "I had to keep the Buick speed below what I took to be about sixty because at that point the wind came up through the floor hole in such a way that the Heath wrappers were suspended behind my head in a noisy brown vortex."
Hapless, rhetorically challenged Ray Midge would more than fulfill any novel's quota for comic creation. But Portis pairs him with another indelible nutter, Dr. Reo Symes. A font of dubious financial schemes, Symes attaches himself to Ray like a peevish, passive-aggressive Pancho Sanza, and his non-sequitur-studded riffs must be heard to be believed:
I always tried to help Leon and you see the thanks I got. I hired him to drive for me right after his rat died. He was with the Murrell Brothers Shows at that time, exhibiting a fifty-pound rat from the sewers of Paris, France. Of course it didn't really weigh fifty pounds and it wasn't your true rat and it wasn't from Paris, France, either. It was some kind of animal from South America. Anyway, the thing died and I hired Leon to drive for me. I was selling birthstone rings and vibrating jowl straps from door to door and he would let me out at one end of the block and wait on me at the other end.The vibrating jowl straps are the kicker here, of course. But it's the overall futility of the enterprise that gives Symes his comic potency, and makes him Ray's natural companion in arms. Neither of these guys is going to accomplish anything: they're Beckett clowns in Sansabelt trousers, too enervated by the heat even to agonize. Still, you won't find a more delicious (or less reliable) narrator in contemporary fiction, and Charles Portis's genius for inventing all-American eccentrics is anything but futile. --James Marcus
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Purchase is by prepayment. I consider myself a conservative grader and strive to provide complete and accurate independent description (i.e. condition, defects, etc.) of each book. I also take great care in packaging your order for shipment. I guarantee the condition of every book as described. I am so confident that I will issue a full refund, when initiated within 30 days of the estimated delivery date, for any reason detailed under AbeBooks' Return Policy, with refund amounts based on the ret...More Information
Book(s) will be packaged and shipped within two business days from confirmation of receipt of payment. All shipping costs are in addition to the price of the book, paid by the buyer. *Please note: The shipping cost quoted on AbeBooks.com may vary from the actual shipping cost depending on final parcel size & weight, buyer location and shipping mode selected. Shipping costs are for the final weight of the parcel (book size/weight plus packaging materials).
For Australian (Domestic) Customers: Domestic orders are shipped via Australia Parcel Post. Shipping costs are based on package size/weight, destination and speed (standard or priority). The shipping charges quoted at time of sale are for standard shipping for a parcel weighing less than 3kg and less than 40 x 31 cm in size. Heavier and/or larger sized parcels may require additional postage charges. You will be notified via email if additional charges are warranted at which point you can elect to accept or reject the extra charges requested. However, parcels weighing less than 500g may be subjected to lower postage costs (reduction will occur when order is processed).
For Overseas (International) Customers: I encourage you to contact me via email using the 'Ask the Bookseller a Question' link to obtain an accurate postage quote prior to making your purchase as Australia Post shipping costs vary considerably depending on buyer's location, parcel weight and speed. Overseas orders are normally dispatched via Australia Post Standard International (which offers online tracking). The amount quoted for shipping is based on Australia Post rates for a parcel weighing between 500g-1kg (approximately 1.1-2.2 lbs) and ultimate destination. The cost increases considerably for every 500g (1.1lb) increment increase in weight. Express options are not recommended as the are very expensive and are normally not much faster than one of the other modes outlined above. Extra shipping costs may be requested for parcels exceeding 1kg. Conversely, lighter parcels may be subjected to lower postage costs based on actual size/weight and ultimate destination. Any shipping cost increase/decrease will occur when the order is processed. You will have the option to 'accept' or 'reject' any increase requested before the transaction can be finalized.
accepted by seller
Direct Debit (Personally Authorized Payment) Money Order PayPal Bank Draft Bank/Wire Transfer