Hardcover è Norwood eBook Þ

Hardcover è Norwood eBook Þ


Norwood ✫ [PDF] ✑ Norwood By Charles Portis ✸ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Ex Marine Norwood Pratt of Ralph, Texas, accepts an offer to deliver a car to New York and takes the Trailways bus back to Texas The story is told in the language of the rural South, in conversation t Ex Marine Norwood Pratt of Ralph, Texas, accepts an offer to deliver a car to New York and takes the Trailways bus back to Texas The story is told in the language of the rural South, in conversation that sounds like Country Western music.

  • Hardcover
  • 190 pages
  • Norwood
  • Charles Portis
  • English
  • 05 September 2018

About the Author: Charles Portis

Charles McColl Portis was an American author best known for his novels Norwood and the classic Western True Grit , both adapted as films The latter also inspired a film sequel and a made for TV movie sequel A newer film adaptation of True Grit was released in Portis served in the Marine Corps during the Korean war and attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville He graduated with a degree in journalism in His journalistic career included work at the Arkansas Gazette before he moved to New York to work forThe New York Herald Tribune After serving as the London bureau chief for theThe New York Herald Tribune, he left journalism in and returned to Arkansas to write novels.



10 thoughts on “Norwood

  1. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell 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 novel by Charles Portis features 23 year old guitar pluckin ex marine Norwood Pratt who lives if you call this living way down in the grit of rural East Texas For me, when it co 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 novel by Charles Portis features 23 year old guitar pluckin ex marine Norwood Pratt who lives if you call this living way down in the grit of rural East Texas For me, when it comes to road novels the spice is in what prompts hitting the road in the first place and all the encounters on the trip This one penned by Sir Charles is a real doozy Since so much of the color and texture of reading Charles Portis is in his homespun, down to Texas earth language, by way sampling Daddy s literary cookin , here are a few direct quotes from the beginning of the book along with my comments On The Visitors Norwood Invites To Stay At His House For A Couple Of Days Sometime during the night the Remleys decampted, taking with them a television set and a 16 gauge Ithaca Featherweight and two towels You have to love those Remleys, dirt poor husband and wife with a baby, steeling the Red River Texas version of the basic human necessities of food, clothing and shelter a TV, shotgun and towels On One Of The Houses Where Norwood Grew Up Once near Stamps, they lived in a house between a Tasee Freez stand and a cinder block holiness church There had been a colorful poster on the side of the house that said ROYAL AMERICAN SHOWS OCT 6 12 ARKANSAS LIVESTOCK EXPOSITION LITTLE ROCK On the other side of the house somebody with a big brush and a can of Sherwin Williams flat white had painted ACTS 2 38 Great combination go see all the horses, cattle, sheep and pigs and an in your face reminder of what you need to believe to get your ass into heaven On A Feature Attraction At The Gas Station Where Norwood Works On top of the station there was a giant billboard showing a great moon face with eyeglasses A little cartoon body had been painted on beneath the face, with one hand holding a gas hose and the other extending to the public in a stage gesture, palm outward, something like Porky Pig when he is saying, That s all folks Such a billboard is a clear, bold expression of American freedom No wonder communism or socialism could never take hold imagine living in a land where you can t display your very own version of Porky Pig to sell gas Impossible On Norwood Making Home Improvements He ripped off the imitation brick siding on the house Norwood s father had called it nigger brick and slapped two coats of white paint on the walls in three days But one example of racism in the book Racism is so much taken for granted by Norwood and others that, in a way, it isn t even seen as racism rather, it is viewed as simply the way things are On Norwood s Sister s New Husband Coming To Live In Norwood s House Then with absolutely no warning Vernell married a disabled veteran named Bill Bird and brought him home to live in the little house on the highway Vintage poor people Vernell does what she damn well pleases and now that she s married, she has her new husband move in, Norwood be damned On What Drives Norwood To Hit The Road Norwood did not like the sound of Bill Bird s voice Bill Bird was originally from some place in Michigan and Norwood found his brisk Yankee vowels offensive They argued about the bathroom Bill Bird had made himself a little home in that bathroom He used all the hot water He filled up the cabinet with dozens of little bottles with typing on them, crowding Norwood s shaving gear out and onto the windowsill He used Norwood s blades He left hairs stuck around in the soap short, gray, unmistakable Bill Bird hairs Norwood had built the bathroom, it was his, and the thought of Bill Bird s buttocks sliding around on the bottom of the modern Sears tub was disagreeable Turns out, not only disagreeable but completely and totally unlivable Just think of having a Bill Bird plop his Bill Bird buttocks in your house, speaking with an annoying accent, using all your hot water and taking over your bathroom Again, all these quotes are from the first pages The story only gets better, including the part where a shyster businessman talks Norwood into driving a car to New York City When Norwood shows up, the car smells of fresh paint, is towing a second freshly painted car and there is a young lady Norwood is obliged to take with him on his drive But Norwood is no fool Although he agrees, once on the road, the whole shyster plan is turned on its head when Norwood senses serious danger Very entertaining read

  2. David David says:

    I agonized over whether to give Norwood three or four stars which tells me three things 1 I m prone to exaggeration 2 I really need to get a life and 3 Goodreads should add half star ratings instead of worrying about retarded mascot contests and adding mostly pointless Facebookish features to the site which inevitably cause that damnable Alice picture Bertrand Russell quote to show up again Get your act together, Goodreads This site is too big now to be run out of somebody s garage I agonized over whether to give Norwood three or four stars which tells me three things 1 I m prone to exaggeration 2 I really need to get a life and 3 Goodreads should add half star ratings instead of worrying about retarded mascot contests and adding mostly pointless Facebookish features to the site which inevitably cause that damnable Alice picture Bertrand Russell quote to show up again Get your act together, Goodreads This site is too big now to be run out of somebody s garage with a week old burrito oozing into the ventilation slits on the server This is the big league, and the big league demands fractional stars which brings me back to point number two above Norwood is another triumph of characterization, knee deep in Texarkana white trash color These are people who still pepper their speech with nigger and wear outlandish cowboy accoutrements unironically Norwood Pratt, the protagonist, like other Portis protagonists, is a few incrementsthoughtful and broad minded than his peers, as liable to befriend an overweight showbiz midget and a frizzy New York Jew which he does as a huckster in a Stetson trafficking stolen cars or a freeloading redneck army veteran He also seems to prefer the word Negro And the only evidence we really need to prove Norwood s moral worth is that he liberates a fortune telling chicken from its entrepreneurial captivity, motivated by pity for the harried creature Did I mention the chicken is college educated and wears a mortarboard So from this we can surmise that Norwood isn t prejudiced against intellectuals either.I know It sounds a little quirky, doesn t it In the disparaging, Little Miss Sunshine sense of the word Lots of eccentrics crowded into a single phone booth to see what comes of it Usually that kind of stuff sends me clambering for something dry as a bone maybe a book on Basque history or some cute thing by Immanuel Kant But Portis wisely treats all his eccentrics as just run of the mill anybodies, so it doesn t grate on your nerves I imagine that could be Portis s point if he in fact has one, other than mere yarnspinning Depeche Mode said itsuccinctly, but alsoembarrassingly People are people Even if people happen to travel from Texas to New York City, in stolen cars and, later, freight trains, to collect a debt of seventy bucks If you re as poor and principled as Norwood, it s not an inconsequential matter And it s not an exceptional thing either It s just what anybody should or might do.So what s the problem with Norwood Well, do you know those times when the wine or other libation has been flowing around a dinner table and you re with friends or serviceable acquaintances, and all of a sudden one or another of them starts in on a loooong but entertaining story about some strange or noteworthy occurrence There are usually a lot of laughs in such stories abetted by the liquor, maybe and you have no problem keeping interested, but sometimes when the end arrives, you end up thinking, So what In other words, why was the story told at all, how was it relevant to any conversation that preceded it, and what in the name of Sweet Jeezus was the point of the whole thing The point is clearly in just the storytelling for Portis, but I kind of wanted a little somethingthan just mindless entertainment Not much, just a littleThe Norwood who finishes up the story, you see, is the same Norwood who starts it Maybe that s another point of the story People like these are impervious and indomitable Perhaps Or maybe the point was just to amuse me All the same, I m still suspicious

  3. Melki Melki 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 Midge Both men are earnest and plain spoken, single minded in their 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 bus Norwood 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 honeyIt 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 York I 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 Queen two years running And smartShe didn t know what a B was They put butter on ham sandwiches up there, he said Smooth, Norwood She ll be putty in your hands after that butter comment The 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

  4. M.J. Johnson M.J. Johnson 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 Simple stream of consciousness stuff you may think think again Portis use of language is masterly, the characterisations are wonderful and the dialogues his cast enter into, sublim 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 Simple stream of consciousness stuff you may think think again Portis use of language is masterly, the characterisations are wonderful and the dialogues his cast enter into, sublime It strikes me as verging on the criminal that Norwood was actually out of print for a while Hurumph I suspect that Charles Portis is underrated because his instinct as a writer is always to make us smile, and it seems to be the way that the literati only truly respect and value a writer if by the end of their novels the main characters are either dead, dying, or so utterly devastated by their experiences that we understand they ll never manage to smile again Portis is a dead loss when it comes to dishing up pain and angst he only ever seems to want to nudge his characters along with gentle nurturing He can however paint a picture with a very few words Vernell was Norwood s sister She was a heavy, sleepy girl with bad posture I m not going to give a blow by blow account of what happens in Norwood, how it starts and ends in Ralph, Texas and all the humorous stuff that happens in between it s a slim read, find out for yourself For my money this is a superbly crafted book and deserves its place on my favourites shelf I feel a lightening of the heart and a turning up at the corners of my lips just thinking about Norwood Pratt I will most certainly be re reading this again very soon

  5. Brad Brad 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 quirky 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 thi 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 quirky 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

  6. Lars Guthrie Lars Guthrie 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 ambience as well as the human condition, and of pitch perfect dialogue.Norwood Pratt another one of Portis s strengths is names is the title character, a poor, ignora 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 ambience as well as the human condition, and of pitch perfect dialogue.Norwood Pratt another one of Portis s strengths is names is the title character, a poor, ignorant redneck who s also a philosopher and philanthropist After getting a hardship discharge from the Marines when his daddy dies in the early 1960s, the disappointed Norwood returns to his lackluster life in Ralph, Texas, as a Nipper gas station attendant and caretaker for his sister Vernell, whose lack of get up and go is either the result of social and cognitive impairment or just plain old absence of motivation.Norwood finds some purpose in sprucing up the dilapidated family property and getting his sister working, but his life is empty until a shady entrepreneur Grady Fring the Kredit King employs him to transport some automobiles of shady provenance they turn out to be stolen to New York Norwood jumps at the opportunity to collect on a seventy dollar loan from a Marine friend who s supposed to be in Gotham, and maybe the chance to become a country music star For Portis, it s an excuse to dive into what will become his trademark, a rambling and disjointed Odyssey stuffed with witty, sly, homespun observation that manages to be at once sardonic and sympathetic Echoes of Mark Twain and other great American writers.In New York, Norwood finds his service buddy has gone back south On a homeward bound Trailways bus, he runs into a pretty little girl with short black hair and bangs and bejeweled harlequin glasses Of course he falls in love with Rita Lee.She isn t his only traveling companion There s also Edmund B Ratner, a British midget, the second shortest in show business and the world s smallest perfect fat man Not to mention Joann, the Wonder Hen, the College Educated Chicken, rescued by Norwood from a penny arcade These delightful oddballs compose only the core of Portis s eccentric and motley cast Norwood, like all of Portis s work except True Grit is hardly earthshaking But it s still one heck of a novel

  7. Jim Jim 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 transformation in spite of making bad decisions at every turn Norwood conducts himself with propriety, which, sad to say, makes him something of a throwback, yet one would be hard pressed to call him good natured In life, I run from these kinds of people guided by othe 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 transformation in spite of making bad decisions at every turn Norwood conducts himself with propriety, which, sad to say, makes him something of a throwback, yet one would be hard pressed to call him good natured In life, I run from these kinds of people guided by other people s perceptions of the right thing to do, but it s this rightness that makes the story taut A looser moral register and the story falls apart I like characters that are unnecessarily formal to the point of fussiness These kinds of characters present countless opportunities for humor This is where Charles Portis is a master There were places where I chuckled out loud, which means something, I think, when someone is jabbing a needle in you There s a long conversation toward the end where Norwood tactfully recounts his adventures on the road from Texas to New York City and back again However, his clumsy attempts at summarizing make the trip seem even stranger than it was, which his friend pounces on We ve all known people like this, who make us see the humor in our situations when we can t The humor is lost on poor Norwood, but not on the reader

  8. Pete Pete 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 experiences his books as really well turned shaggy dog stories a boob wanders off in the world, bumps into things, wanders home that sor 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 la 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 sor 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 sound read to someone not as proximate to the world his characters move through, but god damn i love the dude.some illustrative joy Tilmon said Tee hee hee His tongue fell out as if to receive a coin.The bread man began to rumble with quiet 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 repose.In 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 way.She had black hair piled up high and dark tiger eyes She came back and gave the counter a quick wipe with a blue sponge that had one cornflake riding on the stern She looked at the dime and nickel in his hand.There 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 questions, 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 dirt.Fatigue 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

  9. Karen Karen 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 littlebrittle and mannered, his characters and situationssurreal 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 the world Like many of his other books True Grit, Dog of the South 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 littlebrittle and mannered, his characters and situationssurreal 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 the world Like many of his other books True Grit, Dog of the South , this is a story about a quest Norwood s quest to find the man who owes him seventy dollars That seventy dollars drives the story all the way to New York and back, through a cast of Portis s usual vivid, hilarious characters This one is a little slighter than Dog of the South, and a little lighter That s okay it s a great novel with Portis s stamp all over it

  10. Bfisher Bfisher says:

    If character development is your thing, this book will not do for you By the end of the book, I was quite certain that Norwood Pratt will be essentially unchanged at 75 I suspect that is one of the main points of the book.This is a great road story about a Texarkanan Odysseus Some of the prose is memorable they had moved a lot, back and forth along U.S Highway 82 in the oil fields and cotton patches between Stamps, Arkansas, and Hooks, Texas There was something Mr Pratt dearly loved a If character development is your thing, this book will not do for you By the end of the book, I was quite certain that Norwood Pratt will be essentially unchanged at 75 I suspect that is one of the main points of the book.This is a great road story about a Texarkanan Odysseus Some of the prose is memorable they had moved a lot, back and forth along U.S Highway 82 in the oil fields and cotton patches between Stamps, Arkansas, and Hooks, Texas There was something Mr Pratt dearly loved about that section of interstate concrete They clung to its banks like river rats

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10 thoughts on “Norwood

  1. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell 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 novel by Charles Portis features 23 year old guitar pluckin ex marine Norwood Pratt who lives if you call this living way down in the grit of rural East Texas For me, when it co 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 novel by Charles Portis features 23 year old guitar pluckin ex marine Norwood Pratt who lives if you call this living way down in the grit of rural East Texas For me, when it comes to road novels the spice is in what prompts hitting the road in the first place and all the encounters on the trip This one penned by Sir Charles is a real doozy Since so much of the color and texture of reading Charles Portis is in his homespun, down to Texas earth language, by way sampling Daddy s literary cookin , here are a few direct quotes from the beginning of the book along with my comments On The Visitors Norwood Invites To Stay At His House For A Couple Of Days Sometime during the night the Remleys decampted, taking with them a television set and a 16 gauge Ithaca Featherweight and two towels You have to love those Remleys, dirt poor husband and wife with a baby, steeling the Red River Texas version of the basic human necessities of food, clothing and shelter a TV, shotgun and towels On One Of The Houses Where Norwood Grew Up Once near Stamps, they lived in a house between a Tasee Freez stand and a cinder block holiness church There had been a colorful poster on the side of the house that said ROYAL AMERICAN SHOWS OCT 6 12 ARKANSAS LIVESTOCK EXPOSITION LITTLE ROCK On the other side of the house somebody with a big brush and a can of Sherwin Williams flat white had painted ACTS 2 38 Great combination go see all the horses, cattle, sheep and pigs and an in your face reminder of what you need to believe to get your ass into heaven On A Feature Attraction At The Gas Station Where Norwood Works On top of the station there was a giant billboard showing a great moon face with eyeglasses A little cartoon body had been painted on beneath the face, with one hand holding a gas hose and the other extending to the public in a stage gesture, palm outward, something like Porky Pig when he is saying, That s all folks Such a billboard is a clear, bold expression of American freedom No wonder communism or socialism could never take hold imagine living in a land where you can t display your very own version of Porky Pig to sell gas Impossible On Norwood Making Home Improvements He ripped off the imitation brick siding on the house Norwood s father had called it nigger brick and slapped two coats of white paint on the walls in three days But one example of racism in the book Racism is so much taken for granted by Norwood and others that, in a way, it isn t even seen as racism rather, it is viewed as simply the way things are On Norwood s Sister s New Husband Coming To Live In Norwood s House Then with absolutely no warning Vernell married a disabled veteran named Bill Bird and brought him home to live in the little house on the highway Vintage poor people Vernell does what she damn well pleases and now that she s married, she has her new husband move in, Norwood be damned On What Drives Norwood To Hit The Road Norwood did not like the sound of Bill Bird s voice Bill Bird was originally from some place in Michigan and Norwood found his brisk Yankee vowels offensive They argued about the bathroom Bill Bird had made himself a little home in that bathroom He used all the hot water He filled up the cabinet with dozens of little bottles with typing on them, crowding Norwood s shaving gear out and onto the windowsill He used Norwood s blades He left hairs stuck around in the soap short, gray, unmistakable Bill Bird hairs Norwood had built the bathroom, it was his, and the thought of Bill Bird s buttocks sliding around on the bottom of the modern Sears tub was disagreeable Turns out, not only disagreeable but completely and totally unlivable Just think of having a Bill Bird plop his Bill Bird buttocks in your house, speaking with an annoying accent, using all your hot water and taking over your bathroom Again, all these quotes are from the first pages The story only gets better, including the part where a shyster businessman talks Norwood into driving a car to New York City When Norwood shows up, the car smells of fresh paint, is towing a second freshly painted car and there is a young lady Norwood is obliged to take with him on his drive But Norwood is no fool Although he agrees, once on the road, the whole shyster plan is turned on its head when Norwood senses serious danger Very entertaining read

  2. David David says:

    I agonized over whether to give Norwood three or four stars which tells me three things 1 I m prone to exaggeration 2 I really need to get a life and 3 Goodreads should add half star ratings instead of worrying about retarded mascot contests and adding mostly pointless Facebookish features to the site which inevitably cause that damnable Alice picture Bertrand Russell quote to show up again Get your act together, Goodreads This site is too big now to be run out of somebody s garage I agonized over whether to give Norwood three or four stars which tells me three things 1 I m prone to exaggeration 2 I really need to get a life and 3 Goodreads should add half star ratings instead of worrying about retarded mascot contests and adding mostly pointless Facebookish features to the site which inevitably cause that damnable Alice picture Bertrand Russell quote to show up again Get your act together, Goodreads This site is too big now to be run out of somebody s garage with a week old burrito oozing into the ventilation slits on the server This is the big league, and the big league demands fractional stars which brings me back to point number two above Norwood is another triumph of characterization, knee deep in Texarkana white trash color These are people who still pepper their speech with nigger and wear outlandish cowboy accoutrements unironically Norwood Pratt, the protagonist, like other Portis protagonists, is a few incrementsthoughtful and broad minded than his peers, as liable to befriend an overweight showbiz midget and a frizzy New York Jew which he does as a huckster in a Stetson trafficking stolen cars or a freeloading redneck army veteran He also seems to prefer the word Negro And the only evidence we really need to prove Norwood s moral worth is that he liberates a fortune telling chicken from its entrepreneurial captivity, motivated by pity for the harried creature Did I mention the chicken is college educated and wears a mortarboard So from this we can surmise that Norwood isn t prejudiced against intellectuals either.I know It sounds a little quirky, doesn t it In the disparaging, Little Miss Sunshine sense of the word Lots of eccentrics crowded into a single phone booth to see what comes of it Usually that kind of stuff sends me clambering for something dry as a bone maybe a book on Basque history or some cute thing by Immanuel Kant But Portis wisely treats all his eccentrics as just run of the mill anybodies, so it doesn t grate on your nerves I imagine that could be Portis s point if he in fact has one, other than mere yarnspinning Depeche Mode said itsuccinctly, but alsoembarrassingly People are people Even if people happen to travel from Texas to New York City, in stolen cars and, later, freight trains, to collect a debt of seventy bucks If you re as poor and principled as Norwood, it s not an inconsequential matter And it s not an exceptional thing either It s just what anybody should or might do.So what s the problem with Norwood Well, do you know those times when the wine or other libation has been flowing around a dinner table and you re with friends or serviceable acquaintances, and all of a sudden one or another of them starts in on a loooong but entertaining story about some strange or noteworthy occurrence There are usually a lot of laughs in such stories abetted by the liquor, maybe and you have no problem keeping interested, but sometimes when the end arrives, you end up thinking, So what In other words, why was the story told at all, how was it relevant to any conversation that preceded it, and what in the name of Sweet Jeezus was the point of the whole thing The point is clearly in just the storytelling for Portis, but I kind of wanted a little somethingthan just mindless entertainment Not much, just a littleThe Norwood who finishes up the story, you see, is the same Norwood who starts it Maybe that s another point of the story People like these are impervious and indomitable Perhaps Or maybe the point was just to amuse me All the same, I m still suspicious

  3. Melki Melki 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 Midge Both men are earnest and plain spoken, single minded in their 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 bus Norwood 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 honeyIt 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 York I 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 Queen two years running And smartShe didn t know what a B was They put butter on ham sandwiches up there, he said Smooth, Norwood She ll be putty in your hands after that butter comment The 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

  4. M.J. Johnson M.J. Johnson 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 Simple stream of consciousness stuff you may think think again Portis use of language is masterly, the characterisations are wonderful and the dialogues his cast enter into, sublim 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 Simple stream of consciousness stuff you may think think again Portis use of language is masterly, the characterisations are wonderful and the dialogues his cast enter into, sublime It strikes me as verging on the criminal that Norwood was actually out of print for a while Hurumph I suspect that Charles Portis is underrated because his instinct as a writer is always to make us smile, and it seems to be the way that the literati only truly respect and value a writer if by the end of their novels the main characters are either dead, dying, or so utterly devastated by their experiences that we understand they ll never manage to smile again Portis is a dead loss when it comes to dishing up pain and angst he only ever seems to want to nudge his characters along with gentle nurturing He can however paint a picture with a very few words Vernell was Norwood s sister She was a heavy, sleepy girl with bad posture I m not going to give a blow by blow account of what happens in Norwood, how it starts and ends in Ralph, Texas and all the humorous stuff that happens in between it s a slim read, find out for yourself For my money this is a superbly crafted book and deserves its place on my favourites shelf I feel a lightening of the heart and a turning up at the corners of my lips just thinking about Norwood Pratt I will most certainly be re reading this again very soon

  5. Brad Brad 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 quirky 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 thi 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 quirky 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

  6. Lars Guthrie Lars Guthrie 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 ambience as well as the human condition, and of pitch perfect dialogue.Norwood Pratt another one of Portis s strengths is names is the title character, a poor, ignora 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 ambience as well as the human condition, and of pitch perfect dialogue.Norwood Pratt another one of Portis s strengths is names is the title character, a poor, ignorant redneck who s also a philosopher and philanthropist After getting a hardship discharge from the Marines when his daddy dies in the early 1960s, the disappointed Norwood returns to his lackluster life in Ralph, Texas, as a Nipper gas station attendant and caretaker for his sister Vernell, whose lack of get up and go is either the result of social and cognitive impairment or just plain old absence of motivation.Norwood finds some purpose in sprucing up the dilapidated family property and getting his sister working, but his life is empty until a shady entrepreneur Grady Fring the Kredit King employs him to transport some automobiles of shady provenance they turn out to be stolen to New York Norwood jumps at the opportunity to collect on a seventy dollar loan from a Marine friend who s supposed to be in Gotham, and maybe the chance to become a country music star For Portis, it s an excuse to dive into what will become his trademark, a rambling and disjointed Odyssey stuffed with witty, sly, homespun observation that manages to be at once sardonic and sympathetic Echoes of Mark Twain and other great American writers.In New York, Norwood finds his service buddy has gone back south On a homeward bound Trailways bus, he runs into a pretty little girl with short black hair and bangs and bejeweled harlequin glasses Of course he falls in love with Rita Lee.She isn t his only traveling companion There s also Edmund B Ratner, a British midget, the second shortest in show business and the world s smallest perfect fat man Not to mention Joann, the Wonder Hen, the College Educated Chicken, rescued by Norwood from a penny arcade These delightful oddballs compose only the core of Portis s eccentric and motley cast Norwood, like all of Portis s work except True Grit is hardly earthshaking But it s still one heck of a novel

  7. Jim Jim 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 transformation in spite of making bad decisions at every turn Norwood conducts himself with propriety, which, sad to say, makes him something of a throwback, yet one would be hard pressed to call him good natured In life, I run from these kinds of people guided by othe 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 transformation in spite of making bad decisions at every turn Norwood conducts himself with propriety, which, sad to say, makes him something of a throwback, yet one would be hard pressed to call him good natured In life, I run from these kinds of people guided by other people s perceptions of the right thing to do, but it s this rightness that makes the story taut A looser moral register and the story falls apart I like characters that are unnecessarily formal to the point of fussiness These kinds of characters present countless opportunities for humor This is where Charles Portis is a master There were places where I chuckled out loud, which means something, I think, when someone is jabbing a needle in you There s a long conversation toward the end where Norwood tactfully recounts his adventures on the road from Texas to New York City and back again However, his clumsy attempts at summarizing make the trip seem even stranger than it was, which his friend pounces on We ve all known people like this, who make us see the humor in our situations when we can t The humor is lost on poor Norwood, but not on the reader

  8. Pete Pete 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 experiences his books as really well turned shaggy dog stories a boob wanders off in the world, bumps into things, wanders home that sor 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 la 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 sor 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 sound read to someone not as proximate to the world his characters move through, but god damn i love the dude.some illustrative joy Tilmon said Tee hee hee His tongue fell out as if to receive a coin.The bread man began to rumble with quiet 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 repose.In 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 way.She had black hair piled up high and dark tiger eyes She came back and gave the counter a quick wipe with a blue sponge that had one cornflake riding on the stern She looked at the dime and nickel in his hand.There 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 questions, 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 dirt.Fatigue 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

  9. Karen Karen 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 littlebrittle and mannered, his characters and situationssurreal 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 the world Like many of his other books True Grit, Dog of the South 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 littlebrittle and mannered, his characters and situationssurreal 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 the world Like many of his other books True Grit, Dog of the South , this is a story about a quest Norwood s quest to find the man who owes him seventy dollars That seventy dollars drives the story all the way to New York and back, through a cast of Portis s usual vivid, hilarious characters This one is a little slighter than Dog of the South, and a little lighter That s okay it s a great novel with Portis s stamp all over it

  10. Bfisher Bfisher says:

    If character development is your thing, this book will not do for you By the end of the book, I was quite certain that Norwood Pratt will be essentially unchanged at 75 I suspect that is one of the main points of the book.This is a great road story about a Texarkanan Odysseus Some of the prose is memorable they had moved a lot, back and forth along U.S Highway 82 in the oil fields and cotton patches between Stamps, Arkansas, and Hooks, Texas There was something Mr Pratt dearly loved a If character development is your thing, this book will not do for you By the end of the book, I was quite certain that Norwood Pratt will be essentially unchanged at 75 I suspect that is one of the main points of the book.This is a great road story about a Texarkanan Odysseus Some of the prose is memorable they had moved a lot, back and forth along U.S Highway 82 in the oil fields and cotton patches between Stamps, Arkansas, and Hooks, Texas There was something Mr Pratt dearly loved about that section of interstate concrete They clung to its banks like river rats

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