True Grit

True Grit - Charles Portis,  Donna Tartt I've never been a fan of westerns (books, movies, or otherwise). So I was a bit hesitant when my husband was excited and determined to see the recent Coen brothers' adaptation of True Grit. I really liked Jeff Bridges though so I figured I'd give it a chance - and hey, if it ended up being a crappy man movie he'd owe me a chick flick. It's now one of my all-time favorite movies. I was extremely happy to discover after reading the book that the Coen brothers did an extraordinary job of converting it from novel to film without much tweaking or alterations, so if you enjoyed the movie you're almost sure to love the book. I'm just mad that I put off reading it for so long, especially since it's so short and just took a little over a day to read. So if you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it - and you can't use the excuse that you don't have time!

I can't think of anything that I would like to be changed about this book. The story was absorbing and exciting, the writing was simple but perfect, and the characters were unforgettable (I loved Rooster Cogburn). One small thing that bothered me at first was Mattie's use of quotation marks, but eventually I figured out that she was using them to denote words and/or phrases that are colloquial terms or slang. I guess she didn't want her readers to think that she would use those crass words and phrases freely in her everyday conversations. I thought this was endearing because it made her even more of a prim and proper Christian woman.

Another thing I loved was its Arkansas setting (well, for part of the book at least) and the fact that the main character was a proud Arkansan. Arkansas (and the South in general) isn't usually portrayed in the best, most intelligent light, so it was nice to be represented by such a badass, driven, quick-witted character. I also thought it was hilarious the derogatory way Mattie talked about Texans, specifically the Texas Ranger LaBoeuf. There's always been a huge rivalry between Arkansas and Texas and I had no idea it went back so far in history (maybe it has something to do with the Civil War?). It was just funny to hear Mattie ragging on them - she would've made an awesome Razorback fan (ha, sorry, Aggies!). Anyway, it was an amazing book and I'm looking forward to reading more of Charles Portis' work. According to Wikipedia he's currently living in Little Rock, so I will definitely be keeping an eye out for him the next time I go there in hopes that I can maybe get an autograph :). The only famous person I've ever met here is Jerry Van Dyke and he was kind of a jerk.