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True Grit | [Charles Portis]

True Grit

Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie, as vital as she is innocent, outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.
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Publisher's Summary

Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie, as vital as she is innocent, outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.

©1968 Charles Portis; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Charles Portis is perhaps the most original, indescribable sui generis talent overlooked by literary culture in America." (Esquire)

“Tom Wolfe, who worked with Portis as a reporter at the New York Herald-Tribune in the early 1960s called him – the original laconic cutup. A generation of novelists since then have simply regarded him as a writers-writer and have made his name a sort of secret password. Soon, they’ll no longer have him to themselves.” (Rolling Stone Magazine)

“Like Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Thomas Berger’s Little Big Man, Charles Portis’s True Grit captures the nanve elegance of the American voice.” (Jonathan Lethem)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2210 )
5 star
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4.4 (1350 )
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Story
4.3 (1343 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nate W. St. Louis, MO. USA 06-04-13
    Nate W. St. Louis, MO. USA 06-04-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Yes, you should read this."

    The book is a classic, some say a masterpiece. Funny, poignant, and the kind story that is so enjoyable and expertly written that it will make you want to start over again at the beginning when you finish.

    Donna Tartt isn't a professional narrator (she's an accomplished author in her own right who happens to also be a big fan of this book), but she makes the absolute most of her naturally sweet Southern lilt. It fits the main character well, and ultimately, I enjoyed her read. This said, it would be nice to hear what a pro could do with characters like those in this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 06-18-11
    Steve 06-18-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
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    10
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    "A Performance as much as a Reading"

    Donna Tartt does a brilliant job as narrator. For the audiobook to really work, she has to. True Grit has a lot of virtues, but I think by far the best is Portis's creation of Mattie Ross. She is absolutely relentless, yet there are still a few touches of the little girl in her. She bests a horse-dealer with her almost brutal negotiating style, yet later she innocently tries to engage the other members of her posse in telling ghost stories (they're not interested.) Some people may not find Mattie entirely sympathetic; she can be sanctimonious at times. Still, she is a very satisfying creation. And Tartt really captures her very, very well, I think, and demonstrates that an audiobook can be superior to the print version.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David CINCINNATI, OH, United States 05-11-11
    David CINCINNATI, OH, United States 05-11-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Highly recommended"

    Colorful and vivid language. The author quickly draws you in.
    In my opinion, this is one of the best books of all time.

    I have never reviewed narration before. This needed some editing. There is much "mouth noise". Swallowing and tongue adjustments. Annoying. The narrator voices many distinct characters, and does a wonderful job doing it 95% of the time. There are a few times when she falls out of character.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared Lexington, KY, United States 04-02-11
    Jared Lexington, KY, United States 04-02-11

    jc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Liked the story- narrator needs work."

    Story was great. I loved Mattie Ross with her tenacity, fearlessness, and determination.
    The narrator was good, but the background noises like dry mouth, swallowing, etc., made me want to scream!! I listen to the books with headphones and could hear her throughout the entire read. I haven't noticed on any of the other books I have listened to. It may sound petty, but I can't stand it...It's like listening to someone chew very loudly at the dinner table...it's obnoxious. Perhaps she needs to back away from the microphone and perhaps drink more water.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 03-21-11
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 03-21-11 Member Since 2010

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good read for a lot of reasons..."

    I live in eastern Oklahoma, just 25 minutes from Ft. Smith, AR so I may be partial to the plot, but this is a great story. The author doesn't try to overkill the suspense with unrealistic scenarios. The narrator does a good job with the mens roles even though I would've preferred a male narrator. Easy listen. Worth a credit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick King Exeter, NH 03-20-11
    Patrick King Exeter, NH 03-20-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Best Western"

    This is a masterful reading of a masterful novel. Donna Tartt brings these classic characters to life in a way I can't imagine anyone improving. I've read the book, I've seen both movie versions, and Donna Tartt's version read aloud is the best of all. She captures all of Portis' humor and irony, losing none of the disturbing elements which both movies gloss over. The brilliant mental flights of Rooster's memoirs are there in full for all to marvel at and wonder where Portis came up with such ideas. Undoubtedly influenced by Mark Twain, Portis may be the best American writer in that style since Mark Twain. True Grit is a fabulous road story told from the point of view of an irrepressible lead character. I envy you meeting Matty Ross for the first time. I'm going to listen to this again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie Mentor, OH, United States 01-15-11
    Katie Mentor, OH, United States 01-15-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic!!!"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S MA 05-05-15
    John S MA 05-05-15 Member Since 2014

    Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "True Grit and True Spunk"

    I normally don't like westerns, but this an all time classic. After reading it I watched original movie with John Wayne on Netflix.

    Narration is great since it is a woman narrator and most of the dialogue is from Maddie. Well worth the credit and I would rank this with classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and East of Eden. Great book for teenage girls because while Brewster Cockburn shows true grit, Maddie shows true spunk. Set a goal and do everything you need to achieve it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Boehm 03-02-15
    R. Boehm 03-02-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story, great performance"

    I had never read the book but liked both movies. I downloaded the book for a road-trip and listened to the whole thing in two sittings. The storyline is straight foreword but paints a vivid picture of the old west through the reminiscent eyes of an old spinster. The narrator, with her accent, was a perfect choice for this story.
    This is a great piece of American literature, I would recommend it to anyone who has never read it before.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 11-30-13
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 11-30-13 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    145
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    "Not just for Western lovers!"

    For my first Audible Western I chose True Grit. I have not seen the movies but have heard what the story is about. I was not disappointed. This was a simple but well told story of a young 14 year old girl out to avenge her fathers death. I could imagine John Wayne as "Rooster" Cogburn with the eye patch and everything.

    Donna Tartt did an outstanding job with Mattie Ross, who is after all, the one telling the story. She handled the accents well and her voicing of the men was acceptable when taking into account that the story is being told by a teenage girl.

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. The story held my interest throughout and moved along well. I might just have to expand my choices to include some western style stories

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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