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True Grit (Center Point Premier Western (Large Print)) Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Dec 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Large Print, 1 Dec 2010
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--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Center Point; Lrg edition (Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160285937X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602859371
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 18.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,083,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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.

Book Description

The new Coen brothers' film, starring Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges, in cinemas from February 2011 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I belatedly add to my all time favorite Western authors Larry McMurtry and Cormac McCarthy the name of Charles Portis . Why did it take me so long to get round to True Grit ? Well perhaps it was the John Wayne movie which I saw some years ago . It was a good movie , but not a classic and it did not inspire me to seek out the book . My mistake ! With the publicity and rave reviews surrounding the remake which I have not yet seen I thought I should invest a few pounds and a couple of nights reading . How glad I am that I did .

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.
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Format: Paperback
This review is from: True Grit (Paperback)
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.
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Format: Hardcover
In her somewhat overheated afterword to this edition Donna Tartt makes the very good point that the John Wayne movie version of "True Grit" overshadowed the book to the extent that it sort of fell by the wayside as a work to be read and enjoyed on its own. It is somehow very balanced that the new Coen brothers movie is bringing the book itself back to our attention.

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.
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