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Extended Audio Sample The Dog of the South, by Charles Portis Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,405 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Portis Narrator: David Baker Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Charles Portis has drawn widespread critical acclaim for his inventive prose, and this wild adventure once again justifies that praise.

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—as well as with Ray’s cards, shotgun, and car. 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “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 … 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.”


  • “One hot summer we rented this house near Austin, Tex., that was on a river with natural springs where you could swim. I found a paperback copy of Charles Portis’s Dog of the South in the house, which I’m ashamed to say I stole because it was so funny. I had to have it! Since then I’ve bought other copies of that book and left them at people’s houses in an attempt to reverse the karma.”

    Arthur Bradford, New York Times Book Review

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Danielroffle | 2/17/2014

    " Funny reading this right after Muriel Spark's "The Ballad Of Peckham Rye", as both books seem to represent certain literary humor traditions from their native lands; the characters in "Peckham Rye" are angry, bawdy and jauntily bleak, while "The Dog Of The South" is written from the viewpoint of a likeable dullard, a polite, none-too-bright narrator who seems to speak the same sort of parody of adulthood that you can see the kids in Wes Anderson's "Moonlight Kingdom" employing. One day, our narrator wakes up to find that his wife has run away with another man, and they have taken his car. Using the purchases made with his American Express card (which they have also stolen) to trace the couple, he sets off in pursuit. As he travels from America to Mexico and then Belize, he falls into a crowd of progressively more bizarre burn-outs, hucksters and general weirdoes; much of the novel's strenght lies in the absurdist dialogues between these crazies and the defiantly stick-in-the-mud protagonist. Imagine if "On The Road", or some of Hunter S. Thompson's work, had been written by a total square and you're starting to approach "Dog Of The South"'s flavour. The Coen Bros recently tackled "True Grit", by the same author - I think "The Dog Of The South"'s mix of weirdness, mundanity and melancholy makes it more than ripe for a similiar treatment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brian | 2/13/2014

    " If it is true that casting is 65% of directing, the choice of narrator for a book must be somewhere north of that. Edward Lewis reads this rambling, adventurous, broadly comic Portis novel and does a fine job with it. The book is the most consistently funny since Crocker's The Old Limey and well worth a listen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Scott | 2/6/2014

    " Unusual characters take a strange ride to South America. The protagonist is rat-faced and prissy; and the "villain" is an aspiring political writer. Didn't like the ending because it seemed forced, just wrapping up loose ends. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Christine | 2/1/2014

    " Loopy Southern fiction set in the Sixties. A kind of quest novel. Desired objects: Ford Torino and adultress wife. Protagonist is described as "Don Quixote meets Buster Keaton" and I would add maybe Harry Crews into the mix. Not as funny as the dust jacket asserted, but maybe I just wasn't in the mood. I would read another of his books. "

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About the Author
Author Charles Portis

Charles Portis lives in Arkansas, where he was born and educated. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. As a reporter, he wrote for the New York Herald-Tribune and was also its London bureau chief. His first novel, Norwood, was published in 1966. His other novels are True Grit, Masters of Atlantis, The Dog of the South, and Gringos.