Thursday, February 17, 2011

"True Grit" by Charles Portis: Review

True Grit

True Grit

Paperback, 235 pages
Alternate Cover for 
ISBN 159020459X 
(ISBN13: 9781590204597) 
Published November 5th 2010 by The Overlook Press 

"True Grit" is an adventure 
story and is over forty years 
old. It was first published in 

The plot of True Grit is uncomplicated. 
The opening paragraph sets up the 
premise of the novel.

A fourteen-year-old girl, Mattie Ross 
leaves home to avenge her father's 
blood. Tom Chaney shot her father 
and robbed him of his life and his 
horse, $150 in cash money plus two 
California gold pieces that he 
carried in his trouser band.

Movie fans will call to mind the 
aging John Wayne who famously 
portrayed Rooster Cogburn on the 
screen, however the Rooster of the 
novel is somewhat younger, in his 
late forties, a fat, one-eyed character 
with a walrus mustache, unwashed, 
drunk much of the time.

Mattie having survived her 
youthful adventure, is recounting 
her story as an old woman. 
The book reads less like a novel 
and more like a firsthand account: 
the Wild West of the 1870s, 
as recollected in a spinster's 
memory and filtered through the 
sedate sepia tones of the early 
1900s. (Afterword)

I have never seen the movies, True 
Grit, of which the 2011 movie stars 
Jeff Bridges, as Rooster Cogburn. 
However the book is back in print.

I enjoyed this book and gave it

I own this book.


  1. Gigi Ann, I've heard of this story but have not read it. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. :)

  2. I was never a real John Wayne fan, but I did like the first True Grit movie - haven't seen the new one yet. I read part of this one back when it was first issued, but never finished it for some reason. Maybe I'll try to find my copy and give it another try.

  3. I need to read this book as the movie was freaking fantastic!