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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

So worth it!

This is my first encounter with "true grit" and I was very pleasantly surprised! Wanted to listen before going to the Coen brothers version. I agree with many who have said it is a modern classic. Keeps your attention, brilliant dialogue, characters that stick with you. I completely disagree with other listeners who did not like the narrator. Her interpretation of male voices is no worse than the best male narrators attempts at female voices; while her reading of young Mattie was amazing! There would not be a better narration without a full cast. I have listened to over 500 audible books, and would rate this in the top 10% at least.

104 of 110 people found this review helpful

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Mattie Ross as Huck, Ahab, and Dorothy

This is a concise, suspenseful, funny, philosophical, and ultimately sad novel that gives an unvarnished look at the American West and the complicated men and women who lived in it and helped to make its myth. The relationship between fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn, the man she hires to bring the murderer of her father to justice, is enjoyable to watch develop. For Mattie, who is narrating the story as an old woman in the early 20th century, her brief time in Indian Territory hunting outlaws with Rooster Cogburn was the most memorable moment in her life.

One reviewer was bothered by the reader Donna Tartt's audible "swallowing or breathing," and some reviewers were bothered by her "unconvincing" male voices. All I can say is that Ms. Tartt is so good at reading the story, brings it so much to life, differentiates her voice for the different characters so effectively (including the men and boys), and inhabits Mattie Ross so completely, that it's easy to ignore any trivial ancillary sounds she might make as she reads. Her obvious love for and understanding of the novel shine through her savory voice.

A final bonus of this audiobook, in fact, is the closing essay by Tartt, in which she interestingly recounts her family history with True Grit and what it meant and means to her, re-reads some of its best lines and scenes, and offers a provocative analysis of the novel, comparing it to Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick, and The Wizard of Oz.

In conclusion, this unsentimental, brutal, humorous, moving, and spicy audiobook was a great listen.

57 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A great rendition of a great book

Charles Portis' book is terrific, a classic tale told well. His gift for dialogue is impressive. I can't think of a better person to read it than Donna Tartt. Certainly she was not going to capture the voice of any vision we might have of Rooster Cogburn. But this is Mattie Ross' story and she tells it wonderfully. I also enjoyed the essay at the end of audiobook. It explained well the passion that Ms. Tartt brought to her reading. This is a good investment, and a perfect companion to either movie version you prefer!

41 of 45 people found this review helpful

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True Great Listen!

I absolutely loved this narration by Donna Tartt and her essay at the conclusion was charming. Her long love affair with Charles Portis' True Grit comes shining through in the reading. I've just now discovered the sheer pleasure of this piece of fiction and plan to pass it on to everyone who loves a good story.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Portis and Rhodes

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.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 08-19-17

I real classic! I loved it!

This audio version of True Grit is wonderful beyond description. Charles Portis' Mattie Ross character later in life describes how as a teenager in the 1870's she set out to avenge the murder of her father. Most people over age 50 have likely seen the 1669 John Wayne movie based on the book. Although John Wayne won an Academy Award as best actor for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in the movie, the book is much, much better than the movie. This audio book is narrated by Donna Tratt in what is obviously a labor of love. Tratt is a very talented author herself. Her narration is simply perfect. I have mixed feelings about the essay by Tratt at the end of the book. I like it, but it is overly academic; her comparisons to other classics such as Huck Finn are a stretch and sound like a review paper written by an English major in college. Yet the essay does demonstrate Tratt's love of True Grit.

My advice is to get this audio book and listen to Mattie Ross' tale as interpreted by Donna Tratt. Tratt's narration makes this US western classic even better.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Bad production

You can hear the narrator's swallowing and breathing, which is very distracting and frustrating. It sometimes sounds like she has a peppermint in her mouth. This should have been corrected by someone.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • M
  • ASHBURN, VA, United States
  • 05-25-11

Narrator was excellent, except when she wasn't

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.

38 of 46 people found this review helpful

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A Western Masterpiece Read By USA's Best Author

I was taken back at the extraoridnary writing, as was arguably the 21st century's most gifted author, Donna Tart. She wrote a short essay at the end of this title in which she rightly labels this work a masterpiece. She's not alone. Roald Dahl called it the best book he'd read in a long time at the books release in 1968. She puts True Grit on the same top shelf as Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Wizard of Oz, and even the works of Poe.

Most of you will be familiar with this story because of the two blockbuster movies it produced. You may be tempted to pass on this because both movies were fairlly true to the book. Please dont make that mistake! Tartt rightfully points out that because of the success of the movie, ("which is good enough but could never do the book justice.") the book failed to be recognized for the classic it is..

Ms Tartt is a native of Mississippi and understands the dialogue and subtle diferences between the type of southern accents represented. Her narration is simply worthy of a masterpiece. Theres really no better way to put it.

This will always be one of my favorite audible experiences.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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A 14-Year-Old Girl Hell-Bent on Revenge

"She has got you buffaloed with her saucy ways!" First, imagine the dandyish Texas Ranger LaBoeuf saying this to former bushwhacker Rooster Cogburn to scold him for taking up with a 14 year old girl hell-bent on avenging her father’s death. Got it? Now, imagine it being read aloud over your car speakers by Donna Tartt during your morning commute. AWESOME. I heart the book and film versions of Charles Portis' classic western tale of revenge and justice, but the audio version read in Donna Tartt's tough-girl Mississippi accent trumps them all. Put this one in your earbuds right now.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful