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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Compressed air is something else again. It packs a real punch.", 14 May 2008
By 
Mark O'Neill (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Masters of Atlantis (Paperback)
Charles Portis is a great writer and this is a truly excellent, hilarious and strangely poignant novel concerning the attempt by a group of oddballs to preserve the supposed wisdom of Atlantis. The man who passes on the ancient 'Codex Pappus' text to Lamar Jimmerson may be called Nick, Mike, Jack, Robert or none of the above and is almost certainly a conman, yet this does not stop Jimmerson from appointing himself Master of Gnomons and starting a bizarre cult.

The book's true joy, like with all of Portis's novels, lies in its inexhaustible humour sprinkled generously over every page. The dialogue is a series of masterpieces of crossed wires and purposes, going off on some of the funniest tangents committed to print. The characters are joyfully misguided but all propelled by the sincere belief in their courses of action. Point of view switches between them as the so-called Gnomon Society becomes more fractious and fractured by the day, and if you delight in eccentricities as much as Portis evidently does there is so much here to love.

I would recommend all of Portis's wonderful books; if this one sounds a little too wacky to start with, go for The Dog of the South.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely outstanding. A tour de force., 10 Feb 2014
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This is a brilliant extended whimsy full of invention and colour, with some utterly compelling dialogue and characterisation. I commend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portis can do no wrong, 8 Dec 2011
By 
Mr. J. Cook - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Masters of Atlantis (Paperback)
Portis seems incapable of writing anything other than a perfect sentence. Pure effortless comic genius. Why is he not better known? Perhaps because he refuses at any point to take anything at all seriously. Embodiment of the principle voiced by Evelyn Waugh I think that "seriousness is a form of stupidity". Hugely and dizzyingly entertaining.
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Masters of Atlantis
Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis (Paperback - 28 Jan 2011)
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