Last weekend I read Norwood by Charles Portis on a Peter Pan Bus from NYC to Northampton, Massachusetts. Tremendously funny and sharp, a pre-cursor to the Coen Brothers. And not just hee-haw, but vivid to the point of effortless grace: one man is described as “holding out his tongue like he was waiting for a coin.” Everyone in Norwood is breezy and distinct, even the people “driving the conflict,” which makes it kind of avant-garde, right? For one or two sentence characterization and all-around deft awesomeness, I’ve not read much better recently than Charles Portis. Why is this post a snippet? Because Ed Park already wrote an awesome essay about Portis. Now let’s all read everything Portis has written and gab about it.