Panorama City (Paperback)
Oppen Porter thinks he’s dying. (He’s not.)
From his hospital bed, with tape recorder in hand, he unspools his tale for the benefit of his unborn son, the tale of his forty-day journey from innocence to experience, from self-described “slow absorber” to man of the world.
This is his “astonishing,”* “laugh-aloud funny,”** “crisp,”*** “delightful,”**** “indelible”***** story.
*Los Angeles Review of Books
**Cleveland Plain Dealer
***San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
ANTOINE WILSON is the author of the novel The Interloper and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is a contributing editor of A Public Space and lives and surfs in Los Angeles. Visit www.antoinewilson.com.
“Clever and wisely funny.”—Ellissa Schappell, Vanity Fair "A gift . . . An astonishing narrative that offers the pleasures of irony without the sting . . . Nowhere in [Oppen's] purview is there blame or regret. He travels from innocence to experience without falling into disillusionment. The great triumph of the book is that Oppen matures without spoiling. He comes to affirm the integrity of his innocence, which is its own wisdom."—Amy Parker, Los Angeles Review of Books "A crisp comic novel...This isn't, by heritage, a California book....Panorama City's spent quality, its ruminative room, recalls some of the best of the mid-century South, New Orleans specifically, The Moviegoer and A Confederacy of Dunces, particularly. Those books never mistook time spent seeing through a cracked idea for a loss of urgency. Their absurdism was a claim on the page, a strong-arm of a story from the concluders...Wilson's [novel] is a trot and a treat."—Theo Schell-Lambert, San Francisco Chronicle "In his second novel, Antoine Wilson brings much comedic grace and a sure feel for Southern California. In spots, Panorama City is laugh-aloud funny, building toward a slapstick climax that the Marx Brothers might have relished . . . Wilson has said his aphoristic, funny novel is meant to make a case for direct observation over ideology. It does. It is also worth cheering for taking a route rare in serious contemporary fiction: finding a way to a happy ending."—Cleveland Plain Dealer “As enjoyable a comic novel as I have read all year, a coming of age story that vividly captures the modern world through innocent eyes.”—Largehearted Boy “Idiosyncratic…Charming…Indelible.”—Josh Mak, Flavorwire "Oppen Porter is an American original, an innocent who believes he's bursting with wisdom. The funniest thing is that, despite himself, he actually is. Though it takes place in down-at-heel Panorama City with its crappy burger franchises and abandoned shopping carts, The World According to Oppen is full of wonders and mysteries." —Stewart O’Nan " This funny and wise novel reminds one that the best fiction often treads the subtle line between tragedy and comedy. With ears keenly tuned to the music of language, and a limpid mind slyly hidden behind a persistent soliloquist, Antoine Wilson has written an intricate novel that makes us laugh and cry. "— Yiyun Li, author of Gold Boy, Emerald Girl "God bless Oppen Porter! His innocence and lack of pretense are our good fortune and our delight. Under his observation, our follies and schemes and manias go up in the brightest, funniest, heartrending flames. This is precisely (and artfully) because he does not judge them. Panorama City is charming and absurd, very funny and, best of all, humane through and through." —Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers "This is a book you will hold in your head all day long, a book you will look forward to when you get home from work, a book you will still be savoring as you drift into sleep. Panorama City is often very funny. It is filled with joy and wonder, and a sort of goodness you had stopped believing might be even possible. Antoine Wilson’s sentences are like diamond necklaces but his greatest treasure is his human heart." —Peter Carey "Antoine Wilson draws us in to the weird, wonderful world of Oppen Porter, whose advice and lessons are jarringly original, funny, and moving." —Steve Hely, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist, Winner of the Thurber Award
"Wilson’s Panorama City is a candid and perceptive exploration of how families connect and how society’s most popu —