by Charles Portis


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585670932
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication date: 05/01/2000
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 512,880
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Charles Portis lives in Arkansas, where he was born and educated. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, was the London bureau chief of the New York Herald-Tribune, and was a writer for The New Yorker.

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Gringos 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Hagelstein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jimmy Burns is a former marine living in Merida, Mexico. He makes a living doing some trucking and locating bail jumpers and missing persons. He used to deal in artifacts but got out of the business. Jimmy is a clear-headed veteran that can take care of himself - and others that need it - without getting too conscience-stricken afterwards. His character is revealed slowly and skillfully. Like two of Charles Portis¿ other novels, Norwood and Dog of the South, a large portion of Gringos consists of a road trip. Jimmy takes his confidant, Refugio, and two archeologists to find the husband of a friend who has wandered off toward Guatemala in search of UFOs and an unspecified New Year cosmic gathering. Portis keeps the story moving with exceptional details and observations supplied by Jimmy. Every character is vivid and unique unless there¿s a reason for them not to be, as in the case of two baldheaded henchmen (henchboys really) of an ex-convict fake hippie shaman. Gringos, like other Portis novels, is about as good as fiction gets.
OccassionalRead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My sense is that Gringos is a guys' novel, like the work of Cormac McCarthy, and I'm curious to see if my wife will get past the first 25 pages. It lacks deep character development and a strong plot. These aren't necessarily criticisms. I found it a quick and enjoyable read. The writing is brisk and Portis writes wittily about a caste of misfit American expatriates living and working in Merida, Mexico: "hippies", archeological professors, UFO hunters, retirees, new age types, grave robbers, etc. As a former Peace Corps volunteer I'm familiar with people that feel more "at home" abroad than in the U.S. It's hard to sort out the caste of supporting characters but that's not really the point. I believe Portis sketched a world he knows (he frequently travels to Mexico) in a light and lively way. If you can enjoy his dry humor and appreciate the steamy third world conjured in these pages you'll enjoy the trip.
SamSattler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jimmy Burns is an ex-Marine, an ex-dealer in stolen pre-Columbian artifacts, and an American expat living the simple life deep inside Mexico in a little town called Merida. He does manage to make a living using his old beat up truck to do small hauling jobs to the jungle for archaeologists and others seeking to exploit the country¿s buried past, but he is easily distracted. Jimmy enjoys his down time and is not overly concerned about his future, contented to take life one day at a time.While he may be an idler, Jimmy does care about the people closest to him and he has a keen sense of the absurd. This is a good thing since his little corner of Mexico is about to be invaded by some of the most absurd Americans imaginable, a group of hippies and slackers who barely know where they are, much less why they are. Gringos centers around Jimmy¿s search for Rudy Kurle, a young man for whom Jimmy feels responsible after allowing him to wander away from a dangerously isolated dig site. Jimmy¿s search takes him and his crew to an ancient holy site just when dozens of the worthless hippies converge there in expectation of some major revelation. Here the search grows complicated, and changes focus entirely, when Jimmy is forced to rescue two children who will not otherwise survive the night¿s weirdness.Gringos is one of those novels that suffer from a lack of likable characters to such a degree that it is difficult to care what happens to any of them, including the novel¿s supposed hero/narrator. The whole novel, at times, seems as tired and pointless as the lives led by its characters, making its ending, in which Jimmy unresistingly drifts into the next phase of his life, unsurprising.Readers captivated by the renewed interest in Charles Portis novels (following the recent success of the movie remake of True Grit) will want to take a look at Gringos since Portis has written so few books. I would, however, suggest that they might want to read this one after having first sampled other Portis novels.Rated at: 2.0
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are complaining in the comments about a 10 dollar nook book price or calling anyone greedy for charging any amount for books, you are a sad person. Do you know what goes into writing a book? Whether the content is printed or put into digital format should not matter. The nook was made for convenience, not to cheapen artistic expression. By the way. Amazing book. I paid the price. It was worth it.
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AXLP More than 1 year ago
Nookbook price is too high! B&N and the greedy, tree-killing, paper-loving, neandrathal publishers are just missing the whole point of the ereaders. It's 2011, people. Librarys are renting these ebooks for FREE. You are all going to go out of business if you don't change your business model!