Charles Portis has long been acclaimed as one of America's foremost comic writers. True Grit is his most famous novelfirst published in 1968, and the basis for the movie of the same name starring John Wayne and now the film by the Coen brothers starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.
It tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by...more
Great Title: “True Grit”– a concrete phrase in simplified English that captures ideas—courag...more
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.
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
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
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 the...more
Yarnell said, "You can't stay in this city by yourself."...more
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
Mattie, who recounts the story from her perspective an elderly woman, is a teriffic invention--a smart, gutsy young girl who's cool under pressure, who takes no...more
Favorite laugh out loud moment: When a ferry operator forces Mattie and her pony off the boat against her will and is leading her up a hill, i...more
With the release of the new movie, I returned to the book, and also determined to read the rest of Portis’s oeuvre, as well as to see the first movie.
A number of reviews of the recent movie and articles about it referred back to...more
I loved Mattie. A perfect character. She is brazen, stoic, vengeful, she is a force...more
Who is Mattie?
Mattie Ross is 14-year-old, but she's no child. She's capable. More responsible than most of the adults I know, she maintains the family budget and helps keep the...more
|Kansas City Publi...: Three faces of Mattie||1||11||Oct 18, 2013 11:54AM|
|Kansas City Publi...: True Grit: A reliable narrator?||2||11||Oct 14, 2013 04:55PM|
|Kansas City Publi...: True Grit: Justice or Retribution||3||17||Oct 06, 2013 05:37AM|
|Two film adaptations; one great and the other not?||5||51||Sep 29, 2013 05:46AM|
|Mattie Ross & what makes her so wonderful||6||34||Sep 27, 2013 11:23AM|
|Kansas City Publi...: The Big Read 2013: True Grit||36||33||Sep 23, 2013 06:39AM|
His journalistic career included work at the Arkansas Gazette before he moved to New York to work...more