I grew up only knowing of True Grit from the John Wayne western. Didn't have a clue it was based on a book until the Coen Bros remade the movie a fewI grew up only knowing of True Grit from the John Wayne western. Didn't have a clue it was based on a book until the Coen Bros remade the movie a few years ago. I really loved their version (being a pretty big Coen Bros fan to begin with), and I was particularly interested to hear how much they liked the novel. I filed that away, thinking I might give it a chance sooner or later.
Having just finished it last night, it's officially become one of my favorite books. I loved it from beginning to end, and I would recommend it to just about anyone out there.
What's so great about it? First and foremost, the narrator. It's told from the point of view of Mattie, the young girl who goes looking for someone to help bring her father's murderer to justice. But it's an elderly Mattie actually telling the tale. She's looking back at events much earlier in her life, and she can't resist inserting little lectures and sermons now and then to try and convince her audience of the errors of their ways. It's a very straightforward, no-nonsense kind of a voice, and it's amazingly consistent. Even better, it's able to pull off some great humor by contrasting what's being described and the way it's described. There's a scene in the Coen Bros movie where Mattie is negotiating with a horse dealer. I loved it in the film, thinking the Coens had inserted some of their quirky flair into the movie.
It's all lifted straight from the book, folks. The Coens didn't have to insert anything.
So the dialogue is great and the voice is one of the best I've ever read (seriously). Beyond that, the plot is simple, straightforward, and still unexpected. It drives the book forward from one adventure to the next. The climax is edge of your seat exciting, and yet still the voice continues in that no-nonsense fashion. Nothing's over-hyped. Everything's said with a straight face.
Speaking as someone who'd like to think he can write some interesting voices, I was blown away by Mattie. I wish I could ever write a character like that. The book is worth it for her alone, but there's so much else there to be found. It's a fast read, and it's 100% worth every minute.
This has been a book that's been kicking around my "to read" shelf for quite some time. It looked quirky and fun, but you never know with those sort oThis has been a book that's been kicking around my "to read" shelf for quite some time. It looked quirky and fun, but you never know with those sort of books if you'll really like them or not. After all, what's quirky and fun to one person can be confusing and lame to another. So it kept getting bumped back behind other books, until at last I was really in the mood for quirky and fun, and willing to take a chance on it. I'm very glad I did. I loved this book from beginning to end. Of course, I'm probably right in the middle of the book's target audience, as well. It's the story of a guy who loses his web design job and ends up working at a 24 hour bookstore in San Fran, instead. But it's a bookstore with hardly any good books in it, and a slew of strange customers who come late at night. Also, the owner has asked the guy not to open or look at any of the books . . . It's a cool, strange journey from there, involving everything from Google to codebreaking to historical facts about publishing. Also, long black robes. Pretty much any book plot could be improved with a few good long black robes, right? In any case, it was a breeze to read, and fun from start to finish. It kept me turning pages while at the same time helped me think about things in a way I haven't before. Not many books can do that for you. If you're looking for some good clean book-ish fun, look no further....more
I've always heard about quantum physics, but up until I finished Unforgettable (by Eric James Stone), it was just a general abstract thought to me. ItI've always heard about quantum physics, but up until I finished Unforgettable (by Eric James Stone), it was just a general abstract thought to me. It didn't really mean anything other than "something really difficult to understand." How strange is it that this science fiction book helped me to completely understand the concept in a way I'd never been able to before? The story is pretty simple to describe: The main character is a person who no one can remember for longer than 60 seconds. Once he's out of sight and ear shot, 60 seconds later, your brain just pretends he wasn't around at all. And he's a spy, because why in the world would you be anything else? The great thing is, he's just a normal guy for the most part. No ninja assassin skills. No elite training. He's just this guy who has a special power, and he's using that power to do some good. Stone takes this character and throws him into a fight for the future of the world, using quantum physics as the battleground. And somehow, it all works wonderfully. I found myself learning things and turning pages at a frenetic rate--a combination you just don't find every day. In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It sounds like a concept that would be really hard to pull off, but Stone did just that. Maybe this is a "great for Bryce" kind of book, since I'm a sucker for sci-fi and a sucker for learning new things, but if any of this sounds remotely appealing to you, you should give this book a shot. Well done....more