Oppen Porter, a self-described slow absorber, thinks he's dying. He's not, but from his hospital bed, he unspools into a cassette recorder a tale of self-determination, from village idiot to man of the world, for the benefit of his unborn son. Written in an astonishingly charming and wise voice, Panorama City traces forty days and nights navigating the fast food joints, storefront churches, and home-office psychologists of the San Fernando Valley. Ping-ponging between his watchful and sharp-tongued aunt and an outlaw philosopher with the face of a newly hatched crocodile, Oppen finds himself constantly in the sights of people who believe that their way is the only way for him.?