True Grit

True Grit

Book - 2010
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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.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Overlook Press, 2010
ISBN: 9781590204597
Branch Call Number: WESTERN PORTIS 2010
Characteristics: 235 pages ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

When her father is shot during a robbery, Mattie must find a replacement.

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.

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DBRL_DanaS May 21, 2018

I am not a reader of westerns, but I picked this one up as it is often said that it has broader appeal to those who don't typically read in the genre. I liked the fact that there was a snarky female narrator but otherwise this just wasn't my cup of tea. I'm sure fans of the western genre would enjoy this.

Apr 22, 2018

I was a bit too familiar with the story of Maggie and Rooster for this to be truly enjoyable, having seen both movie versions. That is, there are no surprises here, as both movies are quite faithful to the book. Mattie is a difficult character to like, and one never can see past her unreasonable conviction in her own rectitude (which is totally in character, by the way, as she's fourteen; I can recall having it all figured out at that age). Rooster is much less a character in the books than the actors who play him make him out to be. He drinks, he was a Confederate, and he's reportedly a great tracker, though not apparently in this account. That's all, really. The story is (now, at least) Western cliché. This is not a bad story, and it has its charms, but it would probably be more revelatory to a younger reader than I.

Feb 13, 2018

This book has a great feel. The voice of the narrator is vivid and brings the whole western atmosphere to life. I personally like the wild west thing so I can't say if it'll be a general reader's cup of tea or not but there's a lot of action, the characters are interesting, and it has style. It's the sort of book you find yourself wanting to read again. I was a bit disappointed with the ending though. It felt a bit abrupt.

Jul 22, 2017

You don't have to love westerns to love this book! The humor is surprising, the characters are entertaining and the action just keeps coming!

Dec 16, 2015

Yeah, I didn't know "True Grit" was a novel either. The basis for the John Wayne film and the Coen Brothers' reboot, "True Grit" (1968) is an overlooked classic from the reclusive, Arkansas-born Charles Portis. Using a classic Western plot (revenge), Portis crafts a book that transcends genre, full of potent, eccentric dialogue, colorful characters and tough action sequences. Walker Percy and Roald Dahl were fans of the novel.

Apr 06, 2015

a visiting librarian recommended this novel to me. after having seen both versions of the movie, I thought that I would give this short (but powerful) book a read. It is an engaging adventure. Mattie was looking for help from a ranger with true grit - no one has half the grit of Mattie Ross. Truly a great read.

Sep 16, 2013

Read it out loud during a car trip. Better than the movies! Mattie Ross is one funny gal.

Apr 29, 2013

"She has got you buffaloed with her saucy ways!" First, imagine the dandyish Texas Ranger LaBoeuf saying this to former bushwhacker Rooster Cogburn to scold him for taking up with a 14 year old girl hell-bent on avenging her father’s death. Got it? Now, imagine it being read aloud over your car speakers by Donna Tartt during your morning commute. AWESOME. I heart the book and film versions of Charles Portis' classic western tale of revenge and justice, but the audio version read in Donna Tartt's tough-girl Mississippi accent trumps them all.

Apr 08, 2013

On reflection, I would say that I did not give nearly enough credit to Charles Portis in my quick review (below). Portis portrayed his 14-year-old heroine convincingly and sensitively. His deftness is even more remarkable because he created a courageous, self-directed heroine who didn't need a man to prop up her identity, and he wrote her into existence at a time when such individuals were not at all the fashion. *** My original comments: ,I had high expectations for this book, given the fervent admiration expressed by others. I found it gripping and enjoyable despite the heroine's occasional priggishness, but for me it was no more than an entertaining yarn. Possibly I was spoiled for the book because I saw the most recent movie version first.

Aug 04, 2012

I love this book! The characters are unforgettable, it's very funny and easy to read. Highly recommended whether you've seen the movie or not!

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ellensix Oct 11, 2015

“Rooster said, "Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!" and he took the reins in his teeth and pulled the other saddle revolver and drove his spurs into the flanks of his strong horse Bo and charged directly at the bandits. It was a sight to see. He held the revolvers wide on either side of the head of his plunging steed. The four bandits accepted the challenge and they likewise pulled their arms and charged their ponies ahead.”

ellensix Oct 11, 2015

“You can expect that out of Federal people and to make it worse this was a Republican gang that cared nothing for the opinion of the good people of Arkansas who are Democrats.”

ellensix Oct 11, 2015

“I will go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful”

ellensix Oct 11, 2015

“That's bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.” Mattie Ross

ellensix Oct 11, 2015

"Men will live like billy goats if they are let alone.” Mattie Ross

ellensix Oct 11, 2015

"I always go backwards when I am backing up.” Rooster Cogburn

ellensix Oct 11, 2015

“I know what they said even if they would not say it to my face. People love to talk. They love to slander you if you have any substance.” Mattie Ross

ellensix Oct 11, 2015

“There is no knowing what is in a man's heart.”

ellensix Oct 11, 2015

“If you want anything done right you will have to see to it yourself every time.” Mattie Ross

SPL_STARR Jun 23, 2015

"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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Add Age Suitability

Dec 07, 2015

orange_cat_2655 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and under

May 28, 2013

hcbrandley thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Sep 04, 2011

marishkajuko thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 19, 2011

Violet_Dog_46 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 13


Add a Summary

Jan 16, 2011

Everyone knows the plot of this novel, I expect the Coen Brothers movie to be better than this good novel.


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