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summary Norwood author Charles Portis

Norwood author Charles Portis

Out of the American Neon Desert of Roller Dromes chili parlors The Grand Ole Opry and girls who want to live in a trailer and play records all night comes ex marine and troubadour Norwood Pratt Sent on a mission to New York by Grady Fring the Kredit Kin. Here s an eerie coinkydink I finished this almost exactly a year to the day that I finished The Dog of the South Even stranger two years ago at this time I was reading True Grit I guess there s just something about the month of May that makes me yearn for a Portis tale This one Portis s first novel reminded me SO much of The Dog of the South Our hero Norwood Pratt could have been the prototype for Dog s Raymond Earl Midge Both men are earnest and plain spoken single minded in their determination to retrieve what s rightfully theirs Norwood s seventy dollars owed to him by a military buddy and Raymond Earl s runaway cheating wife Both men embark on memorable road trips peopled by eccentric and colorful characters The humor here is fairly subtle and stems mostly from Norwood s personality Here he is showing his suave sophisticated side as he converses with a young woman he meets on a busNorwood stirred his coffee and talked to her with his head turned just slightly he knew he wouldn t be able to talk straight if he looked directly into her face What a honey It might even knock him off his seat This ain t a bad looking bus station for Richmond he said You d be surprised how little that one is in New YorkI know a girl that went to New York and got a suckruhturrial job right off making ninety five dollars a week She was the FHA Charm ueen two years running And smart She didn t know what a B wasThey put butter on ham sandwiches up there he saidSmooth Norwood She ll be putty in your hands after that butter commentThe back cover of my copy mentions a Portis fan who couldn t decide decide whether to marry the woman he loved until she read Norwood I think that s an excellent idea All potential mates should have to pass a literary standard Don t you agree

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D has met his true love Rita Lee on a Trailways bus; befriended Edmund B Ratner the second shortest midget in show business and the world's smallest perfect fat man; and helped Joann the chicken with a college education realize her true potential in lif. been on my rear end with a herniated disc for a week so i turned to my version of comfort food i can see a criticism of portis that experiences his books as really well turned shaggy dog stories a boob wanders off in the world bumps into things wanders home that s or less what happens in all of his novels with some tweaks to the formula although i haven t read Gringos yet but that s all that really happens in the odyssey what portis shares with homer is the pure beauty of his language although portis beauty is this perfected mid century american arkansas parking lot fatalism i dont know how charles portis will soundread to someone not as proximate to the world his characters move through but god damn i love the dudesome illustrative joyTilmon said Tee hee hee His tongue fell out as if to receive a coinThe bread man began to rumble with uiet laughter That coyote or whatever he is a wolf or something every time he gets up on a clift or somewhere with a new plan why the Road Runner comes along on some skates or has him some new invention like a rocket or a big wrecker s ball and just busts that coyote a good one He laughed some then fell into reposeIn a minute or two his face clouded with a darker memory Noveltoons are not any good at all he said It s usually a shoemaker and a bunch of damn mice singing When one of them comes on I get up and go get me a sack of corn or something Soon it was so thick with flour dust in the car that he had to slam one of the doors back and stick his head out for air The trouble was two of the sacks had broken After he caught his breath he dragged them over and pushed them out The second one snagged on the bad door and hung there for a moment blowing flour up in his face Then he began flinging sacks out good ones till he got a cramp in his neck The train entered theA bow tied man across the aisle not much himself but maybe some pretty girl s father was watching him Norwood stared back The man looked up at the light fixture on the ceiling to calculate its dimensions and efficiency There were no girls on the train no women at all only these clean men They bathed every day every morning He caught another one looking at him down the wayShe had black hair piled up high and dark tiger eyes She came back and gave the counter a uick wipe with a blue sponge that had one cornflake riding on the stern She looked at the dime and nickel in his handThere was a man in a Mr Peanut outfit in front of the Planters place but he was not giving out sample nuts he was just walking back and forth The Mr Peanut casing looked hot It looked thick enough to give protection against small arms fire Do they pay you by the hour or what Norwood said to the monocled peanut face Yeah by the hour said a wary muffled voice inside I bet that suit is heavy It s not all that heavy I just started this morning How much do you get a hour You ask a lot of uestions don t you Do you take the suit home with you No I put it on down here At the shop The one in Dallas gives out free nuts I don t know anything about that They didn t say anything to me about it He don t give you many just two or three cashews I don t know anything about that I work at the post office at night Well I ll see you sometime Mr Peanut You take it easy Okay You too The air smelled of electricity and dirtFatigue and unhappiness were in their faces as of young men whose shorts are bunching up He has little pig eyes that glitter and burn with malice

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G Norwood has visions of speeding across the country in a late model car seeing all the sights Instead he gets involved in a wild journey that takes him in and out of stolen cars freight trains and buses By the time he returns home to Ralph Texas Norwoo. Phenomenal I don t really know what to say I ve been struggling to find a novel lately that completely captured my attention and pulled me fully into its world This one did the trick Norwood hooked me from the first page and never let go The characters are uirky without being stupidly over the top The dialogue is wonderfully Southern without being overwrought It s a perfect little novel you really could read in a single sitting It took me two sittings One thing that struck me about this novel I must say is its prodigious yet fascinatingly casual use of the n word for a book published in 1966 I nkow the book is set in the mid 1950s but I still found it to be a bold but to my mind certainly not racist move during the ascendancy of the Black Power movement It certainly would have been the way these characters would have talked and it s fascinating to see the moments when certain characters stray from the word I m trying to imagine this book on a reader s nightstand with Stokely Carmichael on the evening news Maybe it didn t even register at the time but I have to say it struck me in its historical context of a literary book from the mid 1960s Highest recommendation Charles Portis is a badass Please write another book

  • Paperback
  • 190
  • Norwood author Charles Portis
  • Charles Portis
  • English
  • 10 March 2017
  • 9780879517038

About the Author: Charles Portis

Charles McColl Portis was an American author best known for his novels Norwood 1966 and the classic Western True Grit 1968 both adapted as films The latter also inspired a film seuel and a made for TV movie seuel A newer film adaptation of True Grit was released in 2010 Portis served in the Marine Corps during the Korean war and attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville He gra



10 thoughts on “Norwood author Charles Portis

  1. says:

    Charles Portis born in 1933 in the state of Arkansas one time Marine sergeant is an American author best known for his classic Western novel True Grit Such a darn good writer who created eccentric characters and comic plots Part of the American Vintage Contemporaries series published back in the 1980s this road

  2. says:

    I agonized over whether to give Norwood three or four stars—which tells me three things 1 I’m prone to exagger

  3. says:

    Here's an eerie coinkydink I finished this almost exactly a year to the day that I finished The Dog of the South Even stranger two years ago at this time I was reading True Grit I guess there's just something about the month of May that makes me yearn for a Portis tale This one Portis's first novel reminded me SO much of The Dog of the South Our hero Norwood Pratt could have been the prototype for Dog's Raymond Earl M

  4. says:

    What can I say about Norwood? I simply adored it Portis writes the most uncluttered prose imaginable and employs a deceptively simple style yet he has the eye of a poet The writing flows with such ease it can sometimes deceive the reader into thinking that the author doesn’t seem to be working very hard at all

  5. says:

    Phenomenal I don't really know what to say I've been struggling to find a novel lately that completely captured my attention and pulled me fully into its world This one did the trick Norwood hooked me from the first page and never let go The characters are uirky without being stupidly over the top The dialogue is wonderfully Southern without

  6. says:

    This is the best one to read if you only read one other Portis novel besides ‘True Grit’ Everyone should read ‘True Grit’In a charming first novel Portis establishes his mastery of language in particular the Texarkana vernacular of well chosen detail that goes beyond apparent mundane triviality and really captures the American ambien

  7. says:

    I read this book in three sittings the longest while getting some shading work done a large side piece The three things that stand out is the specificity of the language the dryness of the humor and the protagonist's heroic transform

  8. says:

    been on my rear end with a herniated disc for a week so i turned to my version of comfort food i can see a criticism of portis that ex

  9. says:

    Another comic highlight Portis is wonderful inimitable He can tell a story about nothing like no one else I know George Saunders has inherited some of this but Saunders can be a little brittle and mannered his characters and situations surreal Portis is interested in all the little details of ordinary not always so bright folks struggling with their drives and limitations their idees fixes and confusion about t

  10. says:

    If character development is your thing this book will not do for you By the end of the book I was uite certain that Norwood Pratt will be essentially unchanged at 75 I suspect that is one of the main points of the bookThis is a great road story about a Texarkanan Odysseus Some of the prose is memorable they had moved a lot back and forth along US Highway 82 in the oil fields and cotton patches between Stamps A

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