Thursday, March 20, 2014

True Grit - Charles Portis

This came as a recommendation.  I had also seen the John Wayne film - I have since seen the re-make.  It opens as a revelation; the blurb suggests echoes of Mark Twain, but I was reminded of Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird.  The heroine is young, fresh, direct and innocent.  She has a lively style to match - plenty of small-town wisdoms and original political/religious comment.  The ending is disappointing, however.  Having spent half the book preparing Mattie Ross, a fourteen year old girl, for her journey into Indian territory with Rooster Cogburn - a True Grit Deputy Marshall, Portis seems to tire of the story.  We rush through the details then - all the killings and survivals - at a helter skelter pace, and lose most of the slow adventure of the build-up.  I finished it nonetheless, and would recommend the book - if only for the
first hundred pages.

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