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True Grit

A book by Charles Portis

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Mattie & Rooster

  • Jan 28, 2011
Having seen both the old and new movie versions of "True Grit" I decided to read the book and see how faithful each was to the original work. Surprisingly, I found that each in its own way followed the book, although there were subtle differences, especially the endings.

That being said, I must confess to have enjoyed this book tremendously. The writing was excellent (the language especially), and the plot kept the reader moving along. The device of using the grown-up Mattie as the narrator works extremely well, especially when she talks about events that occur after the end of the book.

Even though, from the two films, I had a pretty good idea of what was potentially going to happen to the main characters, I read on avidly, and grew to love this classic Western work. Even if you've seen one or both of the movies I highly recommend that you read the book. There is more depth to it than a movie can ever bring, and you will discover little nuggets that will make you happy you read it.

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review by . December 04, 2010
I read True Grit, Charles Portis's short novel that provided the basis for the John Wayne/Glenn Campbell movie in 1969, in preparation for the soon to be released Coen Brothers remake.   I can't remember if I saw the original, but I am definitely looking forward to the latest from the Brothers, as I have seen and reviewed all their movies in the last year.      If the book is any measure of the movies, they must be classics.  :Portis writes in a spare matter-of-fact …
review by . April 19, 2012
A Western novel written in the form of a first-person account from a grown-up Mattie Ross, TRUE GRIT is kind of a 19th century version of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, but instead of Atticus Finch there's Rooster Cogburn and instead of Bob Ewell there's Tom Chaney. Speaking from the present of 1928, Mattie recalls the story of an adventure she took in 1875 when she was only fourteen. Her beloved father was murdered senselessly at the hands of a drifter and former ranch hand named Tom Chaney. Mattie …
About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka ()
Ranked #93
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
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About this book


True Grit by Charles Portis first appeared as a 1968 serial in The Saturday Evening Post. Portis subsequently re-issued it in book form with a somewhat changed storyline. In 1969, True Grit was adapted for the screen as an American Western film starring John Wayne, which spawned a sequel in 1975 entitled Rooster Cogburn. Another adaptation, also called True Grit, was made in 2010 by the Coen Brothers, starring Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross and Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn.

"Tom Wolfe, who worked with Portis as a reporter at theNew York Herald-Tribunein the early 1960s called him 'the original laconic cutup.' A generation of novelists since then have simply regarded him as a writers' writer and have made his name a sort of secret password. Soon, they'll no longer have him to themselves." --Rolling StoneMagazine

"An epic and a legend."--The Washington Post

"Like Mark Twain'sHuckleberry Finnand Thomas Berger'sLittle Big Man, Charles Portis'sTrue Gritcaptures the naïve elegance of the American voice."--Jonathan Lethem

"An instant classic... Read it and have the most fun you've had reading a novel in years, maybe decades."--Newsday

"Skillfully constructed, a comic tour de force."--The New York Times Book Review

"Charles Portis details the savagery of the 1870s frontier through an astonishing narrative voice: that of the 14-year-old Mattie Ross, a flinty, skeptical, ...
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ISBN-10: 159020459X
ISBN-13: 978-1590204597
Author: Charles Portis
Genre: Western
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date Published: 1968
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