True Grit by Charles Portis
“Charles Portis has long been acclaimed as one of America’s foremost writers. True Grit, his most famous novel, was first published in 1968, and became the basis for the movie starring John Wayne. True Grit 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. 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 status, this is an American classic through and through.”
I loved this book! True Grit has long been my favorite John Wayne movie, but I didn’t even know it was a book until the new version of the film was released in 2010. It was un-put-down-able! The story was told from Mattie’s point of view and I thought Portis did an amazing job of telling it in her voice. I found out after I had finished the book that this novel used to be taught in schools nationwide. I wish that it still was taught. I would have liked to have read it as a teenager. I wonder what I would have thought of it twenty years ago? I felt similar reading this as I did the first time I read To Kill A Mockingbird. I highly recommend this book whether you like to read western novels or not, though I would certainly not classify it strictly as a western. I definitely intend to read more of Portis’ work.
Published November 5th 2010 by The Overlook Press (first published 1968)