Panorama City (Paperback)
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.
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2012"Antoine Wilson's delightful Panorama City is a transcript of 10 tapes recorded over one long night in the hospital by Oppen Porter, a 28-year-old, 6’6" ‘slow absorber’ who fears he won't live until morning, laying out for his unborn son an account of his life . . . With very dry wit, a cockeyed tolerance for human foibles and a goofy idealism, Oppen painstakingly records his journey, helped along the way by bus drivers, a pretty police officer, a collector of abandoned shopping carts, and Carmen, the Mexican prostitute who's carrying his child. Long before the last tape begins, readers will have grown to love Wilson's earnest, well-meaning protagonist, who just wants to learn what it means to be a man of the world." — Shelf Awareness "Charming and oddball . . . A bracingly humane story whose narrator’s wisdom and forbearance make you see the world afresh . . . A delightful performance, a winning and warm story whose success can be credited to Wilson’s canny and often piercing use of Oppen’s sensibility . . . Like Oppen, the reader concludes his story feeling something akin to joy." — Adam Ross, New York Times Book Review "Clever and wisely funny." — Ellissa Schappell, Vanity Fair "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 . . . [Panorama City is] worth cheering for taking a route rare in serious contemporary fiction: finding a way to a happy ending." — Cleveland Plain Dealer "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." — Los Angeles Review of Books "A crisp comic novel . . . 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 . . . Wilson’s [novel] is a trot and a treat." — San Francisco Chronicle "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." — Flavorwire "Fresh and flawlessly crafted as well as charmingly genuine . . . Untouched by cynicism, Oppen’s interpretation of the world around him evokes both the sublime and the ridiculous . . . framing a classic coming-of-age story in an unexpected way." — Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Candid and perceptive . . . Readers who enjoyed Mark Haddon and Greg Olear will appreciate Wilson’s authorial voice . . . A funny, heartfelt, and genuine novel." — Booklist "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, author of Parrot and Olivier in America "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, heart-rending flames. This is precisely (and artfully) because he does not judge them. Panorama City is charming, absurd, very funny, and best of all, humane through and through." — Paul Harding, author of Tinkers
"This funny and wise novel reminds us 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