Thursday, January 25, 2024

Eleven top weird and wild books of Texas

Elizabeth Gonzalez James is the author of the novels Mona at Sea (2021) and The Bullet Swallower (f2024), as well as the chapbook, Five Conversations About Peter Sellers (2023).

Originally from South Texas, she now lives with her family in Massachusetts.

At CrimeReads the author tagged eleven "books that complicated my picture of the American west, specifically Texas (my home state), and delighted my taste for the weird." One title on the list:
Charles Portis, The Dog of the South

Most people have heard of True Grit, Portis’s blockbuster novel of how much butt fourteen-year-old girls can kick, even in the wild west. But The Dog of the South, which is begging for a Coen brothers adaptation, is equally funny and surprising. Ray Midge drives across Texas and all the way into Belize to chase after the Ford Torino his wife took when she ran off with her ex-husband. On the way Midge thinks about the Civil War, and runs across a bizarre cast of characters, including Dr. Reo Symes, a leech and extraordinary bullshitter. Come for the journey; stay for the prodigious use of exclamation marks.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Dog of the South is among Bob Odenkirk's six favorite books and the Star Tribune's eight funny books for dire times.

--Marshal Zeringue