True Grit by Charles Portis

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Chosen by July 2012 Guest Editor Caroline Lawrence: 'You never forget the people who introduce you to a book you fall in love with. My parents sent me The Last of the Wine, the book that changed and determined the course of my life. Twenty-five years ago my friend Charles Ford got me hooked on Philip K Dick. Ten years ago, his wife Penny told me about True Grit. Imagine: an American being told about one of the great American novels by a Brit. This is probably one of my top fave five books of all time. It partly inspired my new history-mystery series. The audio version of True Grit – read by American author Donna Tartt - is my number one audiobook of all time. If you ever go on an American road trip with your kids, take this for the car. Heck, get it even if you never intend on going to the States.'


True Grit by Charles Portis

Chosen by July 2012 Guest Editor Caroline Lawrence. There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster - a man, she's told, who has grit - and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down and avenge her father's murder.


'True Grit is the best novel to come my way for a very long time. What book has given me greater pleasure in the last five years? Or in the last twenty? I do not know. What a writer!' - Roald Dahl

'Portis has made an epic and a legend. Mattie Ross should soon join the pantheon of America's legendary figures such as Kit Carson, Wyatt Earp and Jesse James' - Washington Post

'One of those rare sweet delights one can recommend to inveterate fiction readers and to those who read only one or two novels a year' - San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Charles Portis

Charles Portis lives in Arkansas, where he was born and educated. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. As a reporter, he wrote for the New York Herald-Tribune, and was also its London bureau chief.

Portis' novels are classics of the literature of the Deep South and include True Grit, filmed by the Coen brothers in 2011.

Author photo © Jonathan Portis

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Charles Portis
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Publication date

30th November 1999




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