Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Report: Norwood by Charles Portis

An easy read, Norwood, is the first novel by American author Charles Portis. The title character of Norwood is honorably discharged from the Marines to care for his sister after his father dies. As the story starts Norwood is going about his life in Ralph, Texas, and working to keep busy--he has a job at a gas station, cleans up family's house and yard, and fixes up an old car. In getting his sister out of the house and into a job waitressing, he inevitably gets a brother-in-law when his sister weds a customer she waits on. From there life in Ralph goes from restless to revolting, and Norwood leaves looking for adventure under the thin guise of getting money back from a Marine buddy to whom he loaned $70. He believes his buddy, Joe William Reese, is living in New York City, but after getting there he is told by Joe's neighbor, a lazy travel writer who does not leave his apartment, that he has gone back home to Arkansas. 

Norwood the novel is fun and humorous with great dialogue and interesting side characters, such as Grady Fring (the Kredit King) and Edmund (the world's smallest perfect fat man). Norwood the man is not particularly nice but is full of integrity and heart. After eventually collecting his $70 from Joe William Reese he nearly immediately loans the money to Edmund for his travels to L.A. 

I would recommend this book to borrow or loan from the library. Read it. You'll grin through most of the book. Oh, and there is love on a bus, but you'll have to read it to find out more. 

If you've read this book, please leave a comment letting me know what you thought of it too...

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I can't wait to read this book! By the way, if you haven't watched the "True Grit" Blu-ray/DVD special feature on Charles Portis, it's awesome.