Monday, December 13, 2010

'True Grit' by Charles Portis

I will admit that I read this book totally based on the hype of the new movie. Not the book and not the old movie with that dead old guy named John Wayne. I was jonesing for a Western and since this was a classic (1968) I gave it a shot. I DID enjoy this book but if I’m do be 100% honest… Mattie got on my damn nerves! At fourteen this girl was able to boss around grit-hardned and burly men? As much as I wanted to believe that, I truly couldn’t. If these men were as hard and rough as we were led to believe, they would have had a few words with this female whelp and either ignored her, beat her, or done other things need not mentioned. While the story was good, I just couldn’t get past how blatant fourteen year old Mattie was and how she was allowed to live. I know that sounds bad but this is the Wild West not The Ladies Preparatory School for Women.

Anyway, I kept reading because this in all seriousness a good book. One thing that kept me was the language. Certain words and certain phrases were nothing less than literary morsels. Smooth veils of silk in the harsh and dry environment known as the West. To me, THAT is what makes this book wonderful. The violence that I also love is there in spurts and bad guys abound. But what will make me recommend this book to my folks will be the language. What will make me remember this book are the words.


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