04 December 2010

95. True Grit

True Grit - Charles Portis

This was an outstanding book with some fascinating characters.

Mattie is a 14 year old girl who's father is killed in Fort Smith, Arkansas and the killer flees into the frontier lands that would later become Oklahoma. She hires a US Marshal, Rooster Cogburn, to hunt the killer down and bring him to justice. A Texas Ranger also gets involved in the hunt because he has been chasing the same man for the murder of a Texas State Senator.

The character or Mattie was awesome. She was a spunky strong-willed girl who would do whatever it takes to get what she needs. She is a shrewd bargainer and haggler. That would all pay off for her later in life as she becomes a well-to-do bank owner.

I chose to read this book now because the remake of the old John Wayne movie based on this book is coming out soon. I want to see that movie. I remember liking the John Wayne version very much. I loved his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn. I wanted to read this book before seeing the new movie because I have a feeling they are going to ruin it. The movie trailers look very violent and dark to me. I am hoping they didn't do the typical Hollywood action adventure tricks to this story.

One thing I am expecting concerns Mattie. Nowhere in this book is there any sexual content. The closest it comes is when she meets LeBoeuf. He says to her something like "I would steal a kiss, but you are very young, and sick, and kind of ugly also." So, there is no sex...but I am willing to bet that somewhere in the new movie one of the bad guys will have have tendencies towards pedophelia and rape. he will be stopped, of course, but I expect something along those lines...and it is not in the book at all.

I recommend this one. I was pleasantly surprized. I will be keeping it on the shelf.

There were a few things that struck me as I was reading that I wish to post here, and then there are some old words that I had to look up.

The first is something that Mattie said while watching prisoners being taken to jail by some Marshals: "You must pay for everything in this world one way or another. There is nothing free except the Grace of God. You can not earn that or deserve it."

And then there was this one where Rooster was telling Mattie how he decided to accept that the North won the Civil War... "I've swallowed the puppy." I have no idea what that means.


SANGUINARY AMBUSCADE: An attack from a concealed position with much bloodshed.

PETTIFOGGING: Bickering or quibbling over unimportant matters. To carry on a shifty law business.

PROBITY: Integrity and uprightness, honesty.

FETTLE: A state or condition of being.

BEEVES: beef

DEPREDATIONS: The act of preying upon or plundering, robbery, ravage

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