By Charles Portis
(Overlook Press, Paperback, 9781585673698, 224pp.)
Publication Date: January 2003
Categories: Westerns - General
Since not even Mattie (who is no self-doubter) would ride into Indian Territory alone, she "convinces" one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshall, to tag along with her. As Mattie outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten types in her path, as her performance under fire makes them eat their words, her indestructible vitality and harsh innocence by turns amuse, horrify, and touch the reader. What happens-to Mattie, to the gang of outlaws unfortunate enough to tangle with her-rings with the dramatic rightness of legend and the marvelous overtones, the continual surprises, of personality.
"True Grit" is eccentric, cool, straight, and unflinching, like Mattie herself, who tells the story a half-century later in a voice that sounds strong and sure enough to outlast us all.