True Grit

The meanest one is Rooster Cogburn. He is a pitiless man, double-tough, and fear don’t enter into his thinking.

Charles Portis
True Grit


Publisher’s Synopsis:
In the 1870s, young Mattie Ross learns that her beloved father was gunned down by his former handyman. But even though this gutsy 14-year-old is seeking vengeance, she is smart enough to figure out she can’t go alone after a desperado who’s holed up in Indian territory. With some fast-talking, she convinces mean, one-eyed US Marshal “Rooster” Cogburn into going after the despicable outlaw with her.

With an afterword by Donna Tartt.

Point of view:
3rd person.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
This is another rec on my IG post asking what books are best going in knowing nothing. Thanks to Santi Karamchetty for the rec!

While I’d heard of this book, I’d never read it or seen any of the movies. I didn’t know the plot beyond vague recollections of movie trailers leaving me with the sum total knowledge that it was a “western” with a teen girl and middle aged man with an eye patch on some adventure.

I really enjoyed the story of a 14 year old girl striking out to capture the man who murdered her father. Hiring US Marshal Rooster Cogburn based purely on his dubious ethics turns into an adventure across Arkansas and Oklahoma. I loved Portis’ characters and world building in this novella. Mattie is particularly plucky and endearing. This is a wonderful mix of historical fiction, young adult, and action/adventure.

Donna Tartt has the perfect accent for the setting and a wonderful voice for Mattie, unfortunately this isn’t the best recording or performance. There are a LOT of mouth noises, lip smacking, licking, breaths, etc. Things happen, but this is constant throughout the book and incredibly distracting. Frequently when she switches voices there are long pauses that disrupt the flow of conversation or action scenes. Additionally, outside of Mattie nearly all the characters are men. Tartt only has a few male voices in her repertoire and the rest are relegated to affects inconsistent with the text’s description.

Content Warnings (possible spoilers):
Beyond the typical shootouts of westerns, graphic descriptions of a horse abused & beaten to death (in an effort to save Mattie, but it is still a lot to take), peril for Mattie

My Favorite Quotes

You must pay for everything in this world one way and another. There is nothing free except the Grace of God. You cannot earn that or deserve it. – True Grit by #CharlesPortis

If you want anything done right you will have to see to it yourself every time. – True Grit by #CharlesPortis

The meanest one is Rooster Cogburn. He is a pitiless man, double-tough, and fear don’t enter into his thinking. He loves to pull a cork. – True Grit by #CharlesPortis

I’ll go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces? – True Grit by #CharlesPortis

Published by rellimreads

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