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

"Charles Portis’s “True Grit” is a masterpiece. Don’t settle for seeing the film versions. One of the great heroines of all time and a magnificent book filled with great dialogue. ... a novel I believe to be as great and as fundamentally, uniquely American a work of literature as Huckleberry... Read More »

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AnnabelleLee27 Dec 14, 2019

Portis' most famous novel set in the old west and featuring a strong, perceptive, and straight-talking young heroine named Mattie Ross. The dialogue is told in the vernacular of the time and the comedic timing is pitch perfect while a looming sense of threat and danger gives the novel weight and movement. All the characters are interesting, flawed, and evolving as are the relationships between them. Both movie adaptations are good but the book is far better. This is one of my all time favorite novels.

Nov 06, 2019

A quick read, and funny.

LPL_KateG Jan 09, 2019

Mattie's adventures have made for great book club discussions. This classic is filled with energy, dry humor, and a healthy dose of sass. If you are interested in trying out a Western, I'd start with this one as well as a contemporary title, 'News of the World' by Paulette Jiles.

Laura_X Oct 16, 2018

Don't like "westerns"? You're missing out! Young Mattie hires a cowboy with "true grit" to help her avenge her father... but no one has as much grit as our young heroine. Fantastic story!

DBRL_KrisA Sep 01, 2018

Unlike the usual, books-to-movies question of "Is the book better than the movie?" I kept getting asked "Which movie is better", as if the book didn't even deserve a seat at the table. For the record, the book, though pretty short, is every bit as good as either of the movies.

May 31, 2018

A book that can be read and re-read. All the characters are smart (even the “dumb” ones), and these characters are lively, coming off the page and filling the imagination. Top notch. Highly recommended. The two movies made from this book are terrific, but the book outdoes them.

May 27, 2018

This classic western novel features Mattie Ross, a sassy and over-confident 14-year-old girl who sets out to seek revenge against the low-life criminal who killed her noble father. This classic book is full of dead-pan humor, and Mattie is an iconic American character, much along the lines of Huckleberry Finn or Scout Finch. But, frankly, the book felt a bit dull and dusty.

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.

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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
May 28, 2019

blue_dog_17792 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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


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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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