True Grit (Signet)

True Grit - Charles Portis I was curious to read this because it is the basis of the films. Even though the back cover has all sorts of praise remarks from reviews and claims sales of about 1.5 million books, I was not really impressed. It is not a bad book; it just is not that great, and I am betting the film makers probably embellished it quite a bit. It is your basic revenge story. Mattie Ross's father was killed in cold blood by a man he had hired, stealing his horse, money, and two gold pieces. Mattie then hires the meanest U.S. Marshall she can find, Rooster Cogburn, to go after the man, who is now hiding in Indian Territory. A Texas Ranger who is after the same man joins them. The picture and view of the Old West is very good. Rooster's character is well drawn as are the others. For me, the problem is that Mattie is an irritating, judgmental brat. This is portrayed in the novel as being headstrong, but today, she would be labeled an obnoxious pushy brat. Personally that did turn me off to the novel. I do see the appeal of the genre, but I don't think this may be the best example of a Western. If nothing else, the book is pretty short, so you can get through it pretty quick.