“You must pay for everything in this world one way and another. There is nothing free except the Grace of God. You cannot earn that or deserve it.” ― Charles Portis
Why I’m Reading this Book?
This book is mentioned as true american classic at various places. It’s also considered a short novel. Although, I don’t like midwestern style much, synopsis did seem like a good story, so I’ve purchased the digital copy and started reading.
This is an extraordinary story about an ordinary 14 year old girl Mattie Ross, who hearing his father murdered by one of his workers , Tom Chaney, took it upon herself to avenge his death. In her quest, she takes help of US marshal , Rooster Cogburn and a Texas ranger ,LaBoeuf. It’s the story of iron will and tenacity of Mattie which defies all boundaries of age, experience, gender or means.
Although I was skeptical before reading it considering it a western, I was pleasantly surprised. Mattie Ross, though just a child, has the wisdom of an old woman. Her unflinching attitude (“What a waste!!” — seeing his father’s dead body) throughout the story makes her an enigma. She takes risks, but she is no fool. If something doesn’t go her way, she backtracks , revises and tries again. When story started, like the characters in the book, I was also thinking that this is not a cup of tea for a child. But she persists and proves her worth.
She has that western drawl and I-know-it-all attitude, but it’s befitting her. What makes this story more attractive is that it’s not about an eccentric person, who doesn’t know what’s right for her and plunges in death circle without thinking, she in fact is very clever and devises methods to suit her needs.
It’s really an epic story of revenge. A western, which usually means, cowboy hats and men, this story is exactly opposite of that essence. There are cowboy hats and men, but midst of all of them, is a 14 year old girl-child, who is driving everyone.
Practically all lines are quotable from this novel. However, I’ll highlight some personal favorites of mine:
“If you want anything done right you will have to see to it yourself every time.”
“I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains.” (on Alcohol consumption)
“But I had not the strength nor the inclination to bandy words with a drunkard. What have you done when you have bested a fool?” (Again on Alcohol)
“I don’t think about you at all when your mouth is closed.”
My Rating — 4
On the scale of: (1- Hate , 2- Neither like nor dislike, 3- Like, 4- Love, 5- Gaga)
Why anyone else should read this Book?
First of all it’s a very short novel, I finished it in 1 day (200 pages).
Second, even though a novel is short, there is no guarantee you can read it fast (Eg: https://musingsofabooksavant.com/2020/03/10/turn-of-the-screw/ ), but this is a fast pace novel with lots of twist and drama. You will keep flipping page after page.
Third, Mattie is a strong willed girl. She deserves an audience. Her no-nonsense personality is a delight to read about.
Fourth, it’s quarantine time folks. Take pity on society and stay home. When you get bored, read a book. If you don’t know what, start from here and keep reading until further notice.
Stay home, Stay Safe!!!
Have you read it? Are you planning to? What is your opinion? Share them here. Till next time, Happy Reading Folks!!!