©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)
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.
An enjoyable presentation of the book upon which John Wayne's Oscar winning movie was based. I would've rated this higher, but the reader's vocal characterizations were barely adequate at best. Otherwise, her reading was fine. I recommend this audio book to further enhance one's enjoyment of the movie.
The story was great. I was surprised at how close the book was to the John Wayne movie, except for the ending. It also included parts that were later incorporated into the sequel "Rooster Cogburn". The only issue I had was that although the reader did a good job, it was distracting when "she" tried to play the men's parts. The female voice using the men's emphasis was just not right.
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.
I was extremely disappointed by the narrator . Unlike previous audiobooks where I have been totally drawn into the storyline, I was so distracted by this narrator's lack of authenticity and credibility. Maybe it had more to do with this being a first person narrative. Regardless I would not recommend this audiobook. I gave it a good try by had to quit after about 3 hours of listening.
This book was written in a straightforward prose, dry but engaging. I loved the performance by Donna Tartt and the explanations of her history with the book at the end. It was delightful.
I listened to it once. Then, the next day, I listened to it again.
Donna Tartt has the perfect voice, full of pluck and spite and sand to read Maddie Ross's voice.
Couldn't have enjoyed it more.
Say something about yourself!
I doubt that I can add much after over two thousand reviews, but I just wanted to add my 'vote of approval' for this book.
I've seen the John Wayne movie as well as the remake a few years ago. I enjoyed both of them. But as it so often the case, the movies do not live up to the book. I originally ordered this book because I like an occasional western genre book. I soon discovered that it's really pushing it to call this a western genre book. "True Grit" invokes the classic 'quest', 'coming of age' and also the 'great American hero' genres. I feel confident one could adapt the plot and general sequence of events to a host of settings other than the west or rural America.
It is such a classic story and so incredibly well written. It gives you just the right balance of drama, excitement, humor and also just a little bit of improbable magic towards the end. The exceptional thing about the unfolding of the work is that all three central characters end up with 'true grit', but perhaps none as much as the the 14 year old girl, Mattie.
It would be difficult to explain just how great the narrator is in this audio book. I'd put her reading of "True Grit" right up there with some of the best of the late Frank Mueller. There is no higher compliment than that.
If you're at least on the fence about this book, get it!
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
What's not to love about a stubborn young girl who explodes off the page and a rotten old Marshall joined up to do justice to an outlaw hiding out in the territory? Not a word wasted, this is not just entertaining, but a shining example of master craft.
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.
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