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Masters of Atlantis

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Overview

Back in print, Charles Portis's brilliant "white comedy" —an unforgettable tale of secret societies, lost cities, and sacred texts.

Following last year's enthusiastically received reissue of Charles Portis's novels The Dog of the South and Norwood comes the republication of The Masters of Atlantis, the third in Overlook's reissues of the novels of this American master. This unforgettable novel centers on Lamar Jimmerson, a man in the front ...
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The Masters of Atlantis

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Overview

Back in print, Charles Portis's brilliant "white comedy" —an unforgettable tale of secret societies, lost cities, and sacred texts.

Following last year's enthusiastically received reissue of Charles Portis's novels The Dog of the South and Norwood comes the republication of The Masters of Atlantis, the third in Overlook's reissues of the novels of this American master. This unforgettable novel centers on Lamar Jimmerson, a man in the front ranks of the modern-day Gnomon Society, the international fraternal order dedicated to preserving the arcane wisdom of the lost city of Atlantis. Stationed in France in 1917, Jimmerson comes across a little book crammed with Atlantean puzzles, Egyptian riddles, and extended alchemical metaphors, the Codex Pappus—said to be the sacred Gnomonic text. Soon he is basking in the lore of lost Atlantis, convinced that his mission on earth is to administer and expand the ranks of this noble brotherhood. Taking us through the entire New Cycle of Gnomonism—through the publication of Jimmerson's own Gnomonic texts, through the scandalous schism that rocks the Gnomonic community, through Jimmerson's disastrous bid for the governorship of Indiana, to the fateful gathering of Gnomons in a mobile-home park in East Texas—Masters of Atlantis is a cockeyed journey into an America of misfits and con men, oddballs and innocents. It is quintessential Portis.

"Much as I love Charles Portis's other books, I believe Masters of Atlantis takes off even higher into the comic empyrean." — Roy Blount, Jr.

"[Portis is] the least known great writer in America." — Ron Rosenbaum, Esquire

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, The Dog of the South, and Gringos.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Conmen, crazies, and the super-credu lous rush madly about in Portis's newest novel, which concerns the es tablishment of the order of Gnomons, a secret society purporting to teach the hidden knowledge of Atlantis. The ac tion begins in 1917, when soldier Lamar is relieved of $200 by a fast-talking stranger in exchange for the key to Gnomonism. The plot spins dizzily along as sly Sydney Hen and antic Aus tin Popper are drawn into the society, engineer a farcical schism, and espouse assorted crackpot causes. In perhaps the book's funniest episode, Popper teams up with a Roumanian alchemist to refine gold from the leaves of the noxious bag plant. Those who enjoy deadpan comedy should get a good laugh here, but others may find it hard to care about what happens to Portis' madcap misfits. Suggested for large fic tion collections. Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y.
Library Journal
Portis is on a roll thanks to Overlook's rejuvenation of several of his older titles in recent months. This 1985 book "concerns the establishment of the order of the Gnomons, a secret society purporting to teach the hidden knowledge of Atlantis." Though LJ's reviewer found the book a tad over the top, he commented that "those who enjoy deadpan comedy should get a good laugh here" (LJ 10/15/85). Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585670215
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 265,446
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 22, 2011

    What's so funny?

    I don't know why I like this book. It has all the trappings of being horrifically dull and seemed overly long. But, it has a certain Mark Twain quality about it. If you only know Mark Twain by the movies and cartoons made out of his books, then you won't get it. Avid Twain readers will. It's sort of like a Robert Altman film, more about characters than story arc. That's about all the analogies I can come up with. I often laughed out loud, which is a great annoyance. People ask you: "What's so funny?" There usually isn't a short answer. The best response is: "You have to read this book!"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2011

    A bit dull and stupid.

    Wish I could get my money back. Downloaded it to my Nook and couldn't believe how ridiculous this book is I'm three quarters through it and I hate it. I just feel I have to finish it. I can't believe I bought it without more research now.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

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    Posted May 17, 2011

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    Posted January 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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