Monday, June 24, 2013
True (or false?) Grit
Having enjoyed Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove, I was excited to read another Western classic, Charles Portis' True Grit, first published in 1968. True Grit tells the story of fourteen-year old Mattie Ross, who sets out to avenge her father's death when she learns that he was killed by a man named Tom Chaney. Mattie knows she must find a partner in crime for this adventure, and seeks someone with "grit." This search quickly leaders her to Rooster Cogburn. The two set out to search for Chaney, and of course encounter many ruffians and other trouble along the way. Told from Mattie's perspective in deadpan and straightforward language, this is an amusing tale that has garnered a cult following, not to mention that it was made into a John Wayne movie and then was taken on by the Coen brothers as well. While there is something alluring about the plot, I did not really enjoy the book and would not recommend it. Much less of a time commitment than Lonesome Dove, but not as good either.