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Rooster: The Life and Time of the Real Rooster Cogburn, the Man Who… (edition 2012)

by Brett Cogburn

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2211476,730 (3.14)3
Member:anotherjoy
Title:Rooster: The Life and Time of the Real Rooster Cogburn, the Man Who Inspired True Grit
Authors:Brett Cogburn
Info:Kensington (2012), Edition: First Paperback Edition, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
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Rooster: The Life and Time of the Real Rooster Cogburn, the Man Who Inspired True Grit by Brett Cogburn

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True Grit is one of my favourite movies, and the book is excellent as well, so naturally I gravitated to this account of the real-life Rooster Cogburn. The author is Rooster's great-grandson and has done a good job looking through historical records and mining family lore to tell the story of the man who lent his name to the "one-eyed fat man" played by John Wayne and Jeff Bridges. His name may be the only thing that real Rooster and fictional Rooster shared -- fictional Rooster is supposed to be a composite of several men -- but his true story is no less interesting. The book also comes with a set of photographs, including one of Rooster himself staring steadily (and somewhat unnervingly) at the camera.

Overall I liked this book as it met my expectations. It's short, but no longer than it has to be. It contains a lot of endnotes explaining which information came from records and which from family history (although Cogburn also does a good job of providing in-text commentary to separate fact from legend), a chapter featuring a point-by-point comparison of characters from True Grit and their real-life counterparts, and a lengthy preview of one of Brett Cogburn's Western novels, Panhandle, in case you have a hankering for more tales of the Old West. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Nov 26, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"Rooster: The Life and Times of the Real Rooster Cogburn" is an interesting read, especially if you're after information on Arkansas history. It describes several individuals, places, and intertwined families; so maps and family trees would have been really helpful to keep the details straight. Brett Cogburn's writing style is folksy in keeping with the characters he describes, but some of his sentences need to be whittled down. ( )
  nancyjune | Aug 11, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A book titled 'Rooster: The Life and Times of the Real Rooster Cogburn, the Man Who Inspired True Grit' creates certain expectations that it may not be able to fulfill. Keeping that in mind, I kept my expectations low for this book. I was neither disappointed nor impressed.

This is quite an interesting book, and I would recommend it to those who are interested in the history of the American West, particularly Arkansas and the 'Indian Territory' of the nineteenth century. As interesting as it is, however, the book is not very captivating. It reads a bit like a collection of notes that somebody has made while doing historical research. A narrative never really takes shape to keep the interest of somebody who isn't reading it just for the facts and folklore.

The style is competent, if a bit dry, and the book is an easy read. There are several pages of photographs and a lithograph from the era, which is always nice in a book like this. Overall, it's not a bad book, but neither is it anything spectacular. ( )
1 vote Whatnot | Dec 22, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an interesting read if you're looking for tales of the life and times of the era from which "Rooster Cogburn" of True Grit fame was created. This is not, however, a book about the life and times of "Rooster Cogburn" himself -- at least, not the one of True Grit fame.

The descendant of Franklin "Rooster" Cogburn tells a sprawling tale of his ancestor's family, and what made them the men that they became. I found that fascinating, although it was also somewhat distracting, as each new character introduced into the narrative was explained with their own back story, which sometimes took up whole chapters. That meant that sometimes I would forget just who's story I was there to read, and then forget why I was reading the book at all. It takes much longer to get through because of the tangents.

But if you are fascinated by the period setting of the True Grit drama, this book will hold your interest. If your focus was more of the characters of True Grit themselves, you won't really find them here. ( )
  anotherjoy | Nov 27, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In his book, Rooster: The Life And Times OF The Real Rooster Cogburn, The Man Who Inspired True Grit; Brett Cogburn tells the true story of his great-grandfather, John Franklin “Rooster” Cogburn. The author paints an honest, straight forward, unflinching and not always so flattering portrait of his ancestor set against the backdrop of the Old West. Cogburn sets aside the legend of Rooster Cogburn, immortalized first in Charles Portis’s book and later made famous in films starring John Wayne; instead giving readers an intimate glimpse into the life and often hard times of the real man who would became an American icon.

Born in the aftermath of the violent and bloody American Civil War, young Franklin Cogburn would grow up in the rocky mountains of western Arkansas; often finding himself on the “wrong” side of the law. Combing rare never-before-seen photographs, oral family history, original documentation, and fifteen years of research; Brett Cogburn separates the True Grit myth of the cantankerous one-eyed Old West Marshal, thus providing readers with the true story of the life and times of the real John Franklin “Rooster” Cogburn. Truly this is a must read for anyone who is a fan of the Old West, the True Grit films, or for those simply interested in reading the true story of the real man behind the legend.
This book is a definite must read for Western and Americana fans alike! ( )
  daffodile | Nov 4, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758274947, Paperback)

Franklin "Rooster" Cogburn was born in 1866 in Fancy Hill, Arkansas, the descendant of pioneers and moonshiners. Six foot three, dark eyed, and a dead shot with a rifle, he was as hard as the rocky mountain ground his family settled. Though he never packed a badge, Rooster meted out his own brand of justice, taking on a posse of U.S. deputy marshals in a blazing showdown of gunfire and blood. A wanted man with a $500 reward on his head, Rooster would ultimately have to defend himself before a hanging judge. Rooster incorporates never-before-seen photos and documents that bring the legend to life for the very first time. History buffs, movie fans, and western aficionados will relish this fascinating portrait of a true American icon.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:39 -0400)

Rooster Cogburn's great-grandson reveals the truth behind the fiction and the man behind the myth.

(summary from another edition)

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