True Grit (Center Point Premier Western (Large Print)) Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Dec 2010
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Charles Portis is perhaps the most original talent overlooked by literary culture in America. --Esquire
It is a pleasure to be able to recommend a novel wholeheartedly... an instant classic. --Newsday --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
The new Coen brothers' film, starring Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges, in cinemas from February 2011 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is simply the best book I have read this year with possibly the best first paragraph of any book I have ever read . Here Charles Portis sets the scene with clean , direct prose and in a few sentences has the reader hooked and wanting to learn more .
The story is not complicated . A piece of evil trash Tom Chaney kills and robs the 14 year old Mattie's father . She is not happy with the official investigation and wants justice tempered with a dose of vengeance . This self willed, straight spoken and highly intelligent young woman hires a notorious one eyed , overweight , middle aged marshal Rooster Cogburn . A peace officer who deals in rough justice . Does he have enough grit for the task ? They are joined by a good looking, young Texas Ranger LaBoeuf who also wants Chaney for shooting a Texas State senator with a substantial bounty if delivered to Texas dead or alive .The contrast between the two is substantial and adds mightily to the enjoyment .
A strange trio with more discord than harmony set off in the winter's snow to find Chaney .
They meet with more than their fair share of hardship, death and horror along the way . To tell more would risk ruining this classic tale for new readers . The 200 odd pages flew by as their quest and the conclusion unfolded without a dull passage .
True Grit which I can not praise highly enough is a great work of American fiction.
I recently heard that the Cohen Brothers were remaking the movie True Grit and that they are going to stick to the source material and not remake the John Wayne Classic. I had read the book a couple times (If I read a book more than once it is something special) but it was years ago. I decided to give it another reading with the new movie version on the way. It does not seem Possible but this book was even better than I remembered, I do believe a candidate for the great American novel. The original movie does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the book, Wayne was a perfect Rooster Cogburn, and Kim Darby was born to play Mattie Ross, and even secondary characters like Robert Duvall as Lucky Ned Pepper are perfect. The one glaring miscasting in the original movie is Glen Cambell as the Texas Ranger La Boeuf. Cambell is such a bad actor he really does drage the movie down.
But I digress, this is a review of the book. The book is told through the point of view of an old, one armed lady, Mattie Ross. She recounts her odyssey to avenge her fathers death at the hands of the no account Tom Chaney. To help her do this she enlists the help of hard living, hard drinking, shoot first and ask questions later Rooster Cogburn. The two seem polar opposites the Bible quoting puritanical Ross and the vulgar frontier Marshal, and these differences make up a lot of the humor in the book, but over the course of their adventure the reader learns they have one thing in common and that is "True Grit." I don't want give away all the differences between the book and the movie but there are enough to make the book a different and enjoyable experience. Lets just say the style of the book is more realistic without any perfect Hollywood endings.Read more ›
Even with all of the buzz over the book as a neglected classic I had not realized what a good young adult selection it is. It is tightly written, sharply observed, and built on one of the most appealing female characters in fiction. While the movies are always Rooster Cogburn movies, the book is purely Mattie Ross, and that is a very good thing. Mattie is a clear-eyed, level headed, observant, take charge character. She is a good narrator, charmingly opinionated, fair, and courageous.
It is probably uncharitable to complain about too many Twilight Bellas, gossip girls, and pretties, but it is refreshing to be able to build a youth library with some overlooked and satisfyingly readeable young woman protagonists. There are a number of classics that are getting long in the tooth, and maybe even unreadable for modern tastes, (I'm thinking Heidi, Caddie Woodlawn, even Nancy Drew). There are also some classics that seem to hold up fairly well, (Anne of Green Gables, the Laura Wilder books.) There are certainly many more recent books with strong female action leads, (consider "The Hunger Games"). But, the beauty and appeal of this book is that not only is it a good read, it is a carefully and expertly crafted story that is worth appreciating as a well-written book, not just a "good read". And, of course, those qualities make it a very rewarding book for adult readers as well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are going to read one Western this is the one. An evocative story that keeps you hooked from start to finish.Published 3 months ago by M. Cox
I came to this novel with some apprehensions. I'm not a great fan of John Wayne, the Rooster of the earlier film, and the situation seemed ripe for sentimentality. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bluecashmere.
Great book, bought for my 11 year old. Sadly couldn't get him interested but I'm hoping he'll return to it later. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mand
Really well written. Better than both versions of the film. Possibly the best western story I have read since Jack Schaefer's ShanePublished 9 months ago by Dennis Smith