Monday, February 7, 2011

Book Review: True Grit by Charles Portis

"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."

From this opening line to the very end, I was mesmerized by the quick, spunky character of Mattie Ross. Published in 1968, True Grit was a largely popular novel which sparked the classic Hollywood movie starring John Wayne. Years later, the Coen brothers' remake (which came out in December of 2010) caused a whole new generation of readers to pick up this tale of chivalry, justice and good versus evil.

The thing I loved most about this book is the pitch perfect voices Portis created in the main characters of Mattie, Rooster Cogburn, LaBoeuf, Tom Chaney, and Lucky Ned Pepper. They are just spot on; a perfect blend of honesty and humor in them all. In the recent movie remake, I was happy to find that the screenplay included most of the original language which is just so rich.

And of course, another reason I loved this novel is because of the story. How simple and pure it is! A young girl out on an adventure to kill the man who killed her father. And along the way, she teams up with two stubborn, funny and loyal men--Rooster and LaBoeuf. It is not a long book, but it packs a good punch and you won't want to put it down until the story ends.

In addition, the book reminded me of my dad. He is a a blend of all the good parts of Rooster and LeBoeuf combined. He read the book a few weeks before I did and he loved all the references to eastern Oklahoma, since a lot of the story takes place in what was then called "Indian Territory." Being born and bred in this land of red dirt makes his loyalties run deep. And mine too. What can I say-it's home. And this book reminded me of that fact.

1 comment:

affectioknit said...

YEP! That's an awesome book!