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True Grit by Charles Portis
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True Grit (original 1968; edition 1968)

by Charles Portis

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,0161043,329 (4.16)1 / 201
Member:mrspeabody68
Title:True Grit
Authors:Charles Portis
Info:Editions du Rocher, Edition: SERPENT A PLUMES, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:crime, 2013, male, USA, 60s

Work details

True Grit by Charles Portis (1968)

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English (101)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
A strong, intense novel about Mattie Ross and her search for justice. The movie is amazingly true to the story, in form, in voice, in flavor. Mattie is a force to be reckoned with. ( )
  bgknighton | May 11, 2015 |
Arkansas in the United States in the years when the west was still wild. Mattie Ross, a 14-year old girl, receives news that her father has been killed by Tom Chaney, one of his employees. She wants to set matters right and have revenge for her father's death. That is the outset of Charles Portis' novel True Grit. While the plot that unfolds is quite simple and contains few surprises, the real charm of the book is the narration. Narrated in the first person by the now old spinster Mattie Ross, the events of Mattie's story are recounted in retrospect. The 14-year old girl looks for someone with 'true grit' and soon finds a marshal by the name of Rooster Cogburn who has a reputation of shooting first and asking questions later. Just the person Mattie needs to get her revenge on Tom Chaney. When Mattie finally manages to employ Cogburn for her services, a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf arrives at the scene, also in pursuit of Tom Chaney. Cogburn and LaBoeuf team up, not wanting Mattie to come along on the hunt for Tom Chaney.

I always try to make out what I like most about the books I read. In the case of True Grit this is the narration. The narrator is Mattie Ross who recounts the events that happened to her in her childhood in retrospect. Portis manages to capture actual feelings and thoughts and makes the reader believe to be part of the story. At the same time the fact that the story is told not by a teenage girl but by a mature woman looking back at her life gives the story more credibility. The first sentence of the novel pretty much captures this and is to me one of the best beginnings of a novel:

"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 that it did not happen every day."

Generally, I liked this novel a lot which is partly due to the writing style and partly to the story itself. True Grit is highly recommendable and deserves at least 4 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | Mar 28, 2015 |
True Grit is the epic tale of fourteen year old Mattie Ross' quest to avenge the murder of her father. Enlisting the help of U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, they track down the murder Tom Chaney with the help of a Texas Ranger. The heart of this novel belongs to the teenage Mattie, who has more grit then any of the lawmen or outlaws she encounters. ( )
  queencersei | Mar 20, 2015 |
i found myself feeling sad that all these characters were dead now. of course they were never alive! ( )
  mahallett | Mar 6, 2015 |
If the Coen brothers turned it into a movie, it must be a good novel, I thought. (To be honest John Wayne made the first True Grit movie in 1969)
And it is indeed a good story, well told and with strong characters. So read this novel and watch the Coen movie. You will not be disappointed. ( )
  chrisgalle | Mar 5, 2015 |
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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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