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True Grit by Charles Portis

True Grit (original 1968; edition 1968)

by Charles Portis

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2,2711262,815 (4.16)1 / 214
Title:True Grit
Authors:Charles Portis
Info:Editions du Rocher, Edition: SERPENT A PLUMES, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:crime, 2013, male, USA, 60s

Work details

True Grit by Charles Portis (1968)

  1. 40
    Warlock by Oakley Hall (rickyrickyricky)
    rickyrickyricky: Another far-out, not-so-traditional western (and, incidentally, one of Thomas Pynchon's driving influences!).
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    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (ShelfMonkey)
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    Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down by Ishmael Reed (rickyrickyricky)
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-- Mattie Ross is a 14 yr. old girl from Arkansas who tracks down her father's killer with help of a U.S. marshal. Story takes place in early 20th century. Characters ride horses not all-terrain vehicles. They carry guns & rifles not wireless phones. TRUE GRIT is classic story of good guys vs. outlaws. -- ( )
  MinaIsham | Jun 7, 2016 |
Sometimes I wish I had some training in how to read literature. ?Then I might be able to figure out what makes this book successful. ?áI never once thought of DNFing, even though I only picked it up because I wanted to try something completely unlike any of the genres I normally read. ?áI *think* for me it was the voice that appealed. ?áTold in first person, but as a memoir - we could tell all along that Mattie's quest was going to be resolved, and that she'd survive to a ripe old age to tell her story to some whipper-snapper writer. ?áSo it was fun imagining what kinds of things were going on behind the scenes, and what kinds of things old Mattie changed a bit to tell the story somewhat more the way she wanted it to have happened. ?áBut don't get me wrong - mostly it probably did happen just the way it's told (remembering of course it's fiction thru&thru). ?áYoung Mattie is thoroughly believable, though amazing. ?áIt's a short book, exciting and funny, try it yourself!

Btw, I've not seen either movie version, and only bits of the other movie, Rooster Cogburn w/ Kate Hepburn. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
The recent movie was much better. ( )
  Foghorn-Leghorn | Jun 5, 2016 |
way better than both movies! ( )
  Rich_B | Jun 2, 2016 |
True Grit by Charles Portis

Interesting fictional narrative account of 14-year-old Mattie Ross, who leaves her Arkansas home and heads toward Oklahoma and the Choctaw Indian Territory during an 1870s winter, searching for the "cowardly" Tom Chaney, the man who robbed and killed her father in cold blood. It is her intention to capture him and bring him back to Arkansas where justice will be served. To help her accomplish this feat, she hires the meanest federal marshal she can find: the rarely sober Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn, a man with a dark past, a bad reputation, and a lot of enemies.

Mattie is a truly interesting character. She is incredibly hardheaded and expects to get her way no matter the situation. She doesn't give an inch. I think she often succeeds because she is intelligent, tenacious, doesn't care what other people think, has absolutely no self doubts, and is a master at wearing people down. From the get-go after her father's death, she is making decisions for her family, handling the money, telling her grieving mother not to sign anything until she returns home, directing her family attorney on which documents he should draw up, what they should say, etc. She doesn't ask his advice, she just tells him what to do. She even steamrolls Rooster. She is infuriating but her audacity is hilarious. At 14, she already is set in her opinions and isn't afraid to share them--and is able to back them up with scripture. She's a hoot and a brat.

They are joined by a Texas Ranger, Mr. LaBoeuf, who has spent months himself trying to track down Chaney. He and Rooster both grouse about Mattie's presence, but after several attempts to lose her, they inevitably resign themselves to the fact that she'll be with them when they capture their man. In the end, they make a good team and rely on each other to get out of multiple dangerous situations.

After their journey together and an exciting climax to the story, I was surprised by what was, to me, a sad ending to the tale. It stirs up questions and emotions and what ifs and whys. I think their adventure was just the tip of the iceberg of why this book is considered a classic. ( )
1 vote AddictedToMorphemes | Jun 2, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Portis, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Asmussen, DesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tartt, DonnaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159020459X, Paperback)

Charles Portis has long been acclaimed as one of America's foremost comic writers. True Grit is his most famous novel--first published in 1968, and the basis for the movie of the same name starring John Wayne. It tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shoots her father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 in cash money. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father's blood. With the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side, Mattie pursues the homicide into Indian Territory.

True Grit is eccentric, cool, straight, and unflinching, like Mattie herself. From a writer of true cult status, this is an American classic through and through. This new edition, with a smart new package and an afterword by acclaimed author Donna Tartt, will bring this masterpiece to an even broader audience.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:52 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Mattie Ross is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shoots her father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 in cash money. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father's blood. With the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side, Mattie pursues the homicide into Indian Territory.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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