It's a good story, but short, with great, but few, characters. It's more of a novella than a novel. I enjoyed it but I wouldn't consider it a classic. The ending was a bit predictable, and the denouement whipped through several decades and left a lot of questions.
I docked a star for the poor narration. The narrator's voice was perfect, but her lip smacking, breath noises, and pregnant pauses ruined it for me. I have never heard such a clunky sound track. I don't understand why they didn't simply edit them out -- just a few hours' work in Audacity and the narration would have been smooth and professional.
First the book: The story is enjoyable, but I wouldn't say it's the best book I've ever known. Mattie is tough as nails and I found her pluck quite endearing, but I didn't find myself thinking about the characters when I was away from the book the way I have with other novels.
Now for the narrator: Donna Tartt is the perfect voice for the Mattie. As soon as she starts reading, the main character is 100% believable. Her male voices are ok, but a little slow in pace. I did, however, admire how she used different accents for Asians, Native Americans, and Mexicans. No easy task with a drawl as rich as Tartt's. Kudos for the diversity. However..... I kept getting drawn out of the story with Tartt's incessant swallowing and slightly-too-long pauses between paragraphs. I wonder if this was recorded in her own home studio or something. I don't ever recall hearing so much swallowing or noticeable pauses in any other books I've listened to. It was really quite annoying.
So, I guess I'd recommend this audiobook to history buffs and people who can tune out distracting noises, but if you tend to fixate on those sounds, this recording will drive you crazy.
A classic, with one of the great literary narrators — in this case, Mattie Ross, recalling when she was 14 years old and teamed up with a selfish, drunken federal marshall named Rooster Cogburn to pursue into Indian territory the man who killed her father. I wouldn't have picked this book if it weren’t for Donna Tartt narrating the audio version and writing an essay at the end (also in the Kindle version) about how this is her favorite book. Tartt has the perfect Southern accent for Mattie. The book is action-packed and dryly funny as this stubborn girl bends grizzled adults to her will. Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: A
This book didn't change the way I see the world. It won't be in my all-time top ten. The story itself is unremarkable. But as I listened, I found myself smiling, taken in by Mattie, Rooster, and...well, everyone else, too.
As in life, there any number of places and experiences one can find; but often it isn't the where or what that matters, so much as who you take with you. And I'd be hard pressed to find better folks to accompany me on this journey. Simply delightful.
The audio version is better. The way the book is written, it is meant to be "narrated". The language (in the print version) reads "stilted". But the audible version brings the characters to life, allowing the language to seem natural for the characters.
The story is so interesting and unusual. I could hardly put it down! If you like the sample, you will like the entire thing! If you don't like the sample, then give it a miss.
A a kid I never enjoyed John Wayne's movies. It was not until the latest version of the movie True Grit was released (and which I enjoyed tremendously) that I went back and saw the John Wayne version and then had to get the book.
This is a wonderful tale. And although the narrator did have some deficits (I also did not like her male voices that much and noticed the swallowing and such), she had Mattie's voice dead-on perfect! As explained in her wonderful essay at the end, she was a brilliant choice for the job.
This is well worth the credit. Enjoy.
I'm a 60 yr old former English major and grad student. It's been fascinating revisiting the books I studied in my 20s, read aloud to me.
I've read a couple of Portis' other novels and enjoyed them (especially Dog of the South), but this one, read by the superb Donna Tartt, is the best in my opinion. Yes, I got it after seeing the recent Coen Bros movie of the same title, and it does not disappoint. The language of the characters is so unexpectedly literate and erudite, as if they'd all been rehearsing Shakespeare before embarking on their adventure together. I must be in True Grit mode this winter, because after seeing the movie (both versions) and listening to the book , I also bought the soundtrack CD. I just can't get enough of this wonderful, moving, and hilarious story. The narrator's reflections on the passage of youth and time and how we all end up decrepit, used up and old are particularly poignant, now that I find myself in late middle age. I'd been listening to some very long books before I got this one (36, 40, 65 hours), and the short, brilliant narrative was welcome.
The narrator was fine- the storyteller is a fourteen year old- she captured that. I enjoyed this book so much I am rereading it in print and passing it on to my daughter to read. I was wary of a western- not a genre I usually go for but the western was so secondary to the strong characters, especially Mattie Ross.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
MEN WILL LIVE LIKE BILLY GOATS IF LEFT ALONE.
I did not think I was a fan of Westerns, but after listening to this and to Dusty Rhodes, I reckin I'll darn tootin be listening to more westerns. This is a classic, unlike the opinion of some reviewers. This is a great example of life in the early days of our history. This could be considered historical fiction. And it is told with much humor.
I WOULD NOT PUT A THIEF IN MY MOUTH TO STEAL MY BRAINS.
These types of stories also remind me of Farmers and small business owners of today. When faced with a problem a employee might say it can't be done, but a Farmer or business owner can't make excuses, he/she has to get R done. This takes a strong headedness and a Can Do attitude, I love to see and read about.
There is a long opinionated piece after the story is over that I could have done with out. It is all about the narrators love for this book and her dislike of the movie. I liked the book and the movie. Sure the movie is not as good as the book, they never are and we all know it. Get over it.
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
“True Grit” by Charles Portis is just about a perfect audio book. I enjoyed both the John Wayne (1969) and Coen Brothers (2010) movie versions of True Grit. However, as always, the book absolutely outshines any film adaptation. What makes True Grit an almost perfect audio book? 1) The entire unabridged book clocks in at only 6 hours and 19 minutes. The story is relatively straightforward and contains possibly 5 characters of significance. Keeping events, names, and situations in your memory while driving and listening to an audio book is very easy. 2) Hands down, True Grit is the best narrated book I have ever listened to. Donna Tartt delivers a masterful and fully convincing performance. I would especially encourage readers to listen to Donna short essay on True Grit at the end of the audio book. She delivers insightful analysis that should not be missed. 3) True Grit has a plethora of funny and memorable prose. The intelligence and comedy associated with Charles Portis’ writing is often lost in screenplays. Finally, True Grit is the ultimate examination of revenge motivated behavior. 'You must pay for everything in this world one way and another. There is nothing free except the Grace of God.”