Claudia's Reviews > True Grit

True Grit by Charles Portis
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's review
Apr 21, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011-book-challenge-150-books, historical-fiction
Read in April, 2011

Oh my, did I end up loving this first, Mattie's voice was off-putting to me. So "deadpan, flat" as Donna Tartt said in the afterword...but that's who Mattie is. NO contractions for this girl. Why utter a complete sentence if a phrase will do. And every move she makes is just as deliberate as her words. She makes up her mind and she never wavers.

Mattie's dad is killed by a low-down no-account bounder, and she is determined to avenge the death. She asks a lawman about the Marshals who might help her -- one always gets his man, one is a master tracker. But she picks Rooster Cogburn, the meanest marshal. She knows she'll need this uncouth lawman. He never realizes he'll need her just as much.

Along with La Boeuf, pronounced "La Beef", Rooster never stood a chance. The three travel through Oklahoma, to McAlester's Store, they seem to wander all over the southwest. Mattie gets both men talking, and she proves herself to be a worthy companion as each of the trio hunts Chaney for his and her own reasons.

Some violent action, lots of rambling conversation, and at the heart, there's Mattie, using whatever tools of persuasion she needs to--money, threats of legal action, or her father's gun. The climax is absolutely harrowing, probably more so because of Mattie's refusal to descend into self-pity.

I will long remember this amazing voice, this amazing girl.

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