©1968 Charles Portis; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC
"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)
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.
I enjoy counter-terrorism, westerns, historical fiction, detective mysteries, and old school comedy like "A Christmas Story".
Fast moving and easy to listen to Western, well narrated and total fun. Highly recommend.
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.
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.
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.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
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.
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.
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.”
Looking for something that works!
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.
Historical & SciFi Book Lover, especially Georgette Heyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis (& New Who). Also books for the kids.
I really enjoy historical fiction, but tend to give Westerns a miss. It was a recent review that drew me to Mattie’s tale. (Thank You!)
I so thoroughly enjoyed this book. The taut prose (alongside Mattie’s biblical phrasing, and dogmatic opinions) with archaic turns of phrase was a joy to hear. The pace was perfect. The characters memorable. The sense of place was so clear (vengeance in early winter in Indian territory...)
Donna Tart gives a fine reading. Yes, I can see where others were distracted by her occasional swallowing but her vocal characterisation more than makes up for that. I was entranced by her accent. I felt she was the perfect Mattie. I so enjoyed her deadpan rendition of the older Mattie recounting the, at times hilarious, viewpoint of the severe, driven, young teenage Mattie, without either realising the humour.
This book is a delight. Highly recommended.
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