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Publisher's Summary

Now a major film written and directed by the Coen Brothers

There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart.

On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by Torn Chancy, who shoots him down for a horse, $150 cash, and two gold pieces. Ross's single-minded teenage daughter, Mattie, travels to claim his body... Then she meets Rooster - a man with grit - and persuades him to join her on a deadly quest to avenge her father's murder.

Narrated by bestselling American author Donna Tartt, who brings True Grit - her favourite book - to life with perfect intonation, insight and suspense.

©1969 Charles Portis (P)2006 WF Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

“What book has given me greater pleasure in the last five years? Or in the last twenty? I do not know. What a writer!” (Roald Dahl)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-03-11

Truly Gripping

True Grit follows the journey of a stubborn young woman, 14 year-old Mattie Ross, as she seeks revenge for the murder of her father, enlisting the help of a Deputy US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn, because he has 'grit'. It's a wonderful tale of great courage and endurance on all sides. The novel's pace varies with the action it's describing: the long horse-rides are filled with extensive, languid character-revealing conversations, while the action scenes are eye-widening, fast-moving and sometimes horrifying.

I was surprised how close the original film starring John Wayne was to this novel, and as Donna Tartt read it I found I was seeing scenes from the movie in my mind's eye. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ms Tartt's reading, which revealed how the written words ought to sound by intonation as much as by pronunciation. Because of the comparison with the movie, I found that the conversations with Stonehill (the horse dealer) lacked the irony and sarcasm that Strother Martin was able to inject in the film.

I loved it, I loved the characters, and Ms Tartt conveyed an empathy and love for the book herself in her reading, making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Be careful where you listen to this book - I was listening on commuter trains and on occasions gasped, smiled, laughed, and wept unable to stop, in front of wondering witnesses!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amy
  • 03-01-11

Great story

I enjoyed this immensely. Generally, I don't really like Westerns but this is a great story and has an excellent plot. Whilst sad, it is an engrossing and totally believable tale of the people and places of the American wild-west of the 1870s.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Simon
  • 03-15-11

It's a story to get utterly lost in

Okay, here's the thing, it took me ages to work out why it didn't feel right. I loved the story, the narrator's American drawl fitted it perfectly - even if she did sound a little nervous to start with. So why wasn't i getting it?

Then it hit me. Rooster Cogburn didn't sound like John Wayne - I know that sounds mad, but in my mind that's how Cogburn spoke.

I haven't seen the new film, though that's why i got this audiobook, because the new film is out. I guess if i had, then maybe I'd have got the John Wayne thing out of my head beforehand.

As soon as i stopped thinking about John Wayne as Cogburn, and just let the story flow, I became utterly lost in it.

It is a remarkable tale. The only other time I've ever been engrossed in a book about a teenage girl was in the Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, and they both share a similar gripping, powerful story about a brave girl you just can't help rooting for.

I guess everyone knows the story of True Grit, but what you get out of this are all the extra bits, the thoughts, the feelings, the bits you can't put into a film. This book will tell you more about the motivations and what really went on than you could possibly guess.

It's a must.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • cathy
  • 02-24-13

True grit review

I loved this. I don't know how many times I've listened to it now. Donna Tartt's steady and unaffected yet humourous and expressive reading is perfect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ali
  • 03-13-11

Superb narration

Gripping story, superbly narrated by Donna Tartt - thoroughly enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Zoe Lehmann
  • 07-20-15

Gripping characters

What does Donna Tartt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I was unfairly hesitant about a novel narrated by another established author. Donna Tartt brings the characters to life wonderfully.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • NICK
  • 09-07-13

True GOLD from TRUE GRIT

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES. Story telling at it's best and Donna Tartt to read it for you. What's not to like?

What was one of the most memorable moments of True Grit?

Mattie's horse dealing to get, well, a horse. Funny and clever.

What about Donna Tartt’s performance did you like?

Just about the most compellingly listen-able performance you are likely to hear. Every character is distinct and wholly alive.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not a single moment. The whole book is warm hearted and the soothing of Rooster Cogburn by Mattie a consummate delight.

Any additional comments?

A fine classic given the Rolls-Royce treatment by the reader. Do not miss it!.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Brian
  • 06-30-13

A Great story narrated by Donna Tartt she's great

I loved every bit of this book. The characters were full of life.The story told through the girl makes it more fun but at the same time more frightening for her. I keep waiting to hear the voice of John Wayne. But the more I went with the story the more i like the girls voice telling the story. I can't wait to hear it again.......

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-07-16

Shame about the narration

I have enjoyed this but the narrator is so robotic. It's hard to feel the intense parts when the narration is so flat and sharp. At times she sounds like she has a sweet in her mouth!

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michael
  • 12-19-15

Good story, poor narration

Would you try another book written by Charles Portis or narrated by Donna Tartt?

I might give Charles Portis another go, but will definitely avoid any narration by Donna Tartt

What did you like best about this story?

The Wild West from the perspective of a young girl

How did the narrator detract from the book?

No flow or tension was developed. Lots of gaps and audible swallows. I was astonished to learn that it was one of her favourite books and she had read it out aloud before. I could have believed it was the first time it had been put in front of her.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • dale
  • 07-11-15

A Bucket List novel

When reading this I felt like the context and values were very much like other great Southern US literature I have read as well as having the moral overtones of novesl like Little House on the Prarie, To Kill a Mockingbird and the Canadian gem Anne of Green Gables. Mattie can be a tad judgemental about the "Trash" she encounters but she is still a charming character and her insights into characters like Cogburn are profound. I found many a life lesson quote from this classic. Charles Portis is as I think it was a Dahl stated, " The best writer I have never heard of..." The narator's voice and use of vernacular were impecable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Roger P.
  • 02-01-17

One of the Best.

Since I have been listening to audible books for the last six years this, true grit would have to be in the top 10 an outstanding listen I recommend it to everybody