by Charles Portis

Reviewer Rating:
3

Review

The Dog of the South has the best opening line I've read in a long time: "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."

From those credit card billings, narrator Ray Midge, 26, of Little Rock, Arkansas, is able to track Norma and Dupree first to Mexico and from there on to Belize (known as British Honduras at the time).  Along the way he encounters some interesting characters, including Dr. Reo Symes, a discredited M.D. also heading to Belize to try to con his elderly mother into giving him some land in Louisiana.  Once Midge and Symes meet up, the focus of the novel shifts from Midge's quest to find his wife to exploring Symes's eccentricities.  I really enjoyed the first half of this book and felt it lost a lot of steam when Symes came on the scene, but it was still an entertaining and humorous road trip novel.  Portis is great with dialogue, and this one's worth checking out if you like quirky characters.

 

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