Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “True Grit” as Want to Read:
True Grit
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

True Grit

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  23,740 Ratings  ·  3,283 Reviews
Mattie Ross, 14, from Dardanelle, Arkansas, narrates half a century later, her trip in the winter of 1870s, to avenge the murder of her father. She convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshall, to tag along, while she outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten types in her path. Basis of John Wayne movie and re-make.
Paperback, 231 pages
Published 2011 (first published May 21st 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about True Grit, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about True Grit

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Paul Bryant
Apr 30, 2016 Paul Bryant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Finding a novel which you can recommend to everybody is really not easy. Look at these totally five-star novels :

Lolita? nah, it’s about a paedophile

Ulysses? absolutely not, too hard, and no plot

Moby Dick? you kidding? recommend this and lose your friends!

A Clockwork Orange? – it’s not even in English!

Trainspotting? – see Clockwork Orange

Memoirs of Hadrian? See Ulysses, only also, it’s Roman

Blindness? it’s horrible!

But here is True Grit, which I recommend to all goodreaders. (Are there any badre
...more
David
Jan 26, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: portishead
On the whole, the western genre doesn't inherently appeal to me. I'm not a modern emasculated male yearning wistfully for a time 'when men were men, and dames were etc.' I am relatively content being a gangly Gentile nebbish afraid of his own shadow and estranged from his natural heritage of hunting, foraging, and defecating unashamedly in a shallow hole behind a cactus. Nothing at the heart of my being cries out for a pistol, a lariat, or a fitful night on the prairie punctuated by the wails of ...more
karen
Nov 28, 2010 karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grit-lit
this book is wonderful in a lot of ways. the last fifty or so pages alone are intense and scary and my mouth did that thing where it just falls open and makes me look totally doofy but i couldn't care because i was frantically reading to find out what would happen. that is some seriously good writing.

and if i had read this when i was younger and it had been part of my life for a long time, or even if i had read it before winter's bone, it would probably have attained the five stars.

but. narrato
...more
Alejandro
I love this book!

I was barely starting to read it and I was already amazed of how much I was enjoying the reading experience and how much I like the way how it was written.

Definitely I want to read other books by Charles Portis and I hope to do it in the near future.

I wasn't ignorant about the story due I remember that I watched the film with John Wayne at some moment and definitely I watched the recent remake with Jeff Bridges.

I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains.

I chose t
...more
Nancy
Aug 20, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nancy by: Evan
Wow, what a great story! Mattie Ross is just 14 years old when she hooks up with Rooster Cogburn, the “meanest” U.S. Marshal, to avenge her father, killed by an outlaw who took advantage of his good nature.

Mattie endures bad weather, illness, grueling hours on horseback, runs into outlaws, and fights off rattlesnakes. She’s tough-talking, honest, loyal, fearless, and I enjoyed every moment with her. I also loved the realistic historical details and well-drawn secondary characters. The gruff and
...more
Kemper
Treasure of the Rubbermaids: The Dude Vs. The Duke

Sometimes you get very clear signs that you should read or re-read a specific book. Earlier this year, my friend Nancy had read True Grit and recommended it to me. I’d seen the John Wayne movie version a couple of times, and I had a hazy memory that I’d read it at some point. The more I thought about it, I was pretty sure that I’d even owned a very old copy of the book once upon a time.

Months later, I heard that the Coen brothers were doing a new
...more
Warwick
Mar 10, 2016 Warwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I write this from the little town of Fort Smith, Arkansas – the place where Arkansans go if they can't take the heaving, helter-skelter metropolis of Little Rock. It seemed at first to be a rather unliterary place: when I asked around for a local bookshop, passers-by could direct me only to the Revelation Christian Bookstore, which seems to have staked its business model on bland modern Bible translations and pro-life bumper stickers. So it was quite a pleasant surprise finally to hit upon True ...more
Michael
A timeless classic of heroism, adventure, and coming of age that I found to be both thrilling and funny. The tale of how a 14-year old girl from Arkansas comes to avenge the murder of her father in 1878 is so pure and elegant, it can’t help but make you believe in the power of righteous determination to right the ills of the world. Told from the perspective of a straitlaced spinster decades later, we get a jaundiced eye on the human condition that puts human weakness and courage in a wonderful p ...more
Carol
I have always loved the old True Grit movie with John Wayne, and now I can say I love the novel too!

This entertaining 1870's Wild West adventure begins when a formidable and funny 14 year old Mattie Ross hires the fat and fearless one-eyed Sheriff Rooster Cogburn to track down outlaw Tom Chaney who gunned down her beloved father in cold blood. With the assistance of a Texas Ranger and repeated threats of retaliation from Mattie's relentless lawyer Daggett for anyone who gets in her way, the cont

...more
Steve
Dec 20, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, this is one of the most enjoyable novels that I've ever read. It really should be a part of any American Lit. survey, because as a piece of Americana, it easily holds it's own against novels like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Red Badge of Courage, and The Scarlet Letter. This novel contains some of the best dialogue that I have ever read, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the original True Grit movie lifted, verbatim, large chunks of passages from the book. Portis' ear for dia ...more
Tfitoby
Dec 06, 2012 Tfitoby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit, favourites, western



True Grit by Charles Portis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ranked #3 on my Top 10 Reads in 2012

"True Grit is the best novel to come my way in a very long time...One of those rare sweet delights...one can recommend it to inveterate fiction readers and to those who read only one or two novels a year." - taken from the back of the book.

Blurb: True Grit tells the story of Mattie Ross, a fourteen-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, who sets out in the winter of eighteen seventy-something to avenge th
...more
Tatiana
Apr 08, 2016 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 2016
4.5 stars

This was a great pleasure. Rarely do books come with as strong a voice as Mattie Ross's.
seak
Jul 05, 2013 seak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross's father is shot and she heads out to find the culprit. It's as direct and upfront as that and the writing is the same. For example (demonstrating both the straightforward prose and directness of the main protagonis, Mattie Ross):
Yarnell said, "You can't stay in this city by yourself."

I said, "It will be all right. Mama knows I can take care of myself. Tell her I will be stopping at the Monarch boardinghouse. If there is no room there I will leave word with the sher
...more
Paul Capps
Feb 16, 2016 Paul Capps rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s tough for me to not just stop here and tell you to read this book and be done with this review. Even if you’ve seen either film adaptation of True Grit, the classic John Wayne film, or the equally excellent 2010 Coen brothers film, if you haven’t read Charles Portis’ original novel, you’re really missing out.

Every single thing about this book was utterly delightful. I found myself enjoying every single page. I’ve never read any of Charles Portis’ novels, but now I intend to get to them all.
...more
Candi
Sep 13, 2015 Candi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
"People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the winter-time to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day."

This is exactly what Mattie Ross, now on my list of all-time favorite narrators/protagonists, sets out to do in this entertaining and adventure-filled western. The industrious Mattie hires Deputy Marshall Rooster Cogburn to search for her father’s killer in the formidable Ind
...more
Stephanie
Feb 01, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, western, 2011
Several things drew me to this book. First, the Coen brothers decided to do an adaptation of this book and second, some good friends wrote some fantastic reviews of it.

Because they did such a good job of telling what the book was about, I won't go into much detail, but I will talk a little bit about something I observed about the main character Mattie Ross.

Mattie Ross makes the decision, at the age of fourteen, to avenge her fathers murder. She hires "Rooster" Cogburn, a federal marshal with tru
...more
Lou
The story opens with a grand paragraph of affairs..
"PEOPLE DO not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off into the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by name of Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California good pieces that he
...more
Henry Avila
Jul 30, 2011 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Mattie Ross,a spunky 14 year old girl, from Yell County Arkansas.Who seeks justice ,when her father is murdered, by the outlaw Tom Chaney in Fort Smith.Set in the late 1870's ,the kid soon understands ,that nobody wants to risk their life for free,to capture the fugitive .Informed that Rooster Cogburn, is the toughest marshall ,working for the famous hanging Judge Isaac Parker.He shoots first and asks questions later!Cogburn will track down the criminal for a generous fee.Mattie sel ...more
Amanda
Jun 26, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: Chose to read after watching the movie about a dozen times
Shelves: blog, arkansas
I recently reread this book for a book club meeting and was just as struck by Portis's prose as I was the first time I read it. The movie version (which I watched repeatedly as a teenager) is surprisingly faithful to the book's narrative.

The story of the headstrong (sometimes obnoxiously so) Mattie's quest to kill the coward Tom Chaney is every bit as entertaining to me now as it was then. Of course, the real star of the book is the brutish and brash Rooster Cogburn, the U. S. Marshal Mattie hi
...more
El
Apr 07, 2015 El rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
People seem to have been raving about this book for some time, even before the Coen brothers did that movie back in 2010, so when I finally saw a cheap copy someplace I picked it up so I could check it out for myself.

As much as I'm all rah-rah for good, strong female characters in literature, I'm a bit more hesitant about precocious female characters that really don't do much besides be... well... precocious. I worried that this would be similar and frustrate me, but I actually didn't get that i
...more
Catie
True Grit is a very simple and efficiently told tale of revenge and adventure. It has no frills or poetry, and the ebook that I read is less than one hundred and fifty pages. What makes this very short work exceptional are the completely original and entertaining characters.

Mattie Ross is one of my all-time favorite narrators. She straightforwardly recounts her adventure as a fourteen year old girl, determined to track down and wreak vengeance on the man who murdered her father. The narration i
...more
Steve Lowe
Jan 06, 2011 Steve Lowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The words True Grit have always conjured up one image for me. A chubby John Wayne taking one last shot at an Oscar by playing... John Wayne taking one last shot at an Oscar. But the novel True Grit is so much more than one gruff, memorable character like Rooster Cogburn. The narrator, Mattie Ross is just as much the hero.

Sure, as a 14-year old, she's a mouthy brat, especially for that time period, but she displays just as much grit as her hired hand, Cogburn. The power of the narrative (or monol
...more
Annet
A beautiful classic and a true example of (young) woman power and courage in the 'wild west'... Just love this stubborn kid.
Now I need to see the movie(s)-old and new. Seems interesting, John Wayne versus Jeff Bridges.
More to follow.
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Really enjoyed this! Review coming eventually.
Melanie
Jan 18, 2014 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Well, Rooster, I am shot to pieces!'

Yes, I like Westerns. I like the tough, plain speaking characters, the desolate terrain, the blood thirsty fight for territory, outlaws vs lawmen and best of all: the morally ambiguous and fallen hero.

This is my first Charles Portis. Charles McGrath put it this way: 'Mr. Portis evokes an eccentric, absurd world with a completely straight face....instead of shooting off fireworks the books shimmer with a continuous comic glow'. Sounds like my kind of world.
...more
Howard
"People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band."

So begins Charles P
...more
Evan
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Wonderful, just wonderful. So, maybe this short western novel is not one of the high achievements of the literary canon. On the other hand it does what a good book should do: tells a great story in fully realized settings with authentic physical and historical detail, vivid and flavorful characters along with the bonus of very smart wit. And does so in clear, perfectly penned prose. The chemistry between little Mattie Ross and gruff Marshal Rooster Cogburn is palpable and
...more
Jason Alexander
Apr 06, 2016 Jason Alexander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band.
Here is what happene
...more
Book Concierge
UPDATED: 03June15 - second reading
5***** and a

Audiobook performed by Donna Tartt


Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle Arkansas, sets out in the winter of Eighteen-Seventy-something to avenge the murder of her father. The story is narrated by Mattie some 25 years after the events she relates occurred. She hires Marshall Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available US Marshal, to track the murderer and insists that she will go along. They are further accompanied by LeBeouf, a Texas Ranger (s
...more
Chrissie
Nov 05, 2012 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Joanne
Shelves: usa, hf, humorous, audible
How often are the book descriptions here at GR really true? Go and read the one for this book. It is true! Every word of it. Nothing is exaggerated, as is so often the case! It gives you all the necessary facts you need to know. As it says, this is a book of humor. This book will make kids laugh, adults laugh and the elderly laugh. This book is for everyone. It is definitely for Americans because it depicts their not so recent past. It is for all those who are not American too, because everyone ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: # 10 True Grit 1 3 May 05, 2016 09:06AM  
Choose Your Own A...: One of, if not THE, strongest voice I've ever encountered in literature. 2 10 Feb 23, 2016 11:50AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Original Publication 3 18 Oct 18, 2015 11:04AM  
The Better Book C...: True Grit 1 3 Aug 01, 2015 08:31AM  
Two film adaptations; one great and the other not? 7 98 Feb 04, 2015 07:04PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: True Grit by Charles Portis 4 31 Jan 19, 2015 01:37PM  
  • Deadwood
  • The Shootist
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
  • Little Big Man
  • The Searchers
  • Shane
  • The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard
  • Horseman, Pass By
  • Gone to Texas
  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • Butcher's Crossing
  • Warlock (Legends West, #1)
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • The Good Old Boys
  • Woe to Live On
  • Appaloosa (Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch, #1)
  • Welcome to Hard Times
  • The Big Sky
27034
Charles McColl Portis was born in 1933, in El Dorado Arkansas and was raised in various towns in southern Arkansas. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean war and after his discharge in 1955 attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He graduated with a degree in journalism in 1958.

His journalistic career included work at the Arkansas Gazette before he moved to New York to work
...more
More about Charles Portis...

Share This Book



“You must pay for everything in this world one way and another. There is nothing free except the Grace of God. You cannot earn that or deserve it.” 146 likes
“Lookin' back is a bad habit.” 64 likes
More quotes…