Wednesday, December 29, 2010

True Grit

Day 324 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and people have been coming into Babbitt's in search of True Grit, by Charles Portis, because....of the movie remake.  It's exciting to me that people are seeking out the book, and seeking it out in print!

We were out, we got a copy and put it in the window, and the other day a fellow came in and bought The Dog of the South, also by Charles Portis, because that's what we had on the shelf, along with a book of poems by Gary Snyder, because that was among the many overflow books of poetry on the floor!  I see that at Amazon, The Dog of the South is temporarily out of stock.

I love it that a movie remake of one novel might inspire interest in other books by the same author.  In print!

I love movies.  Have I ever mentioned here that I adore movies?  I don't have any problem at all with movies, and sometimes I think the movie is even better than the book (Girl Stieg Larsson, the Swedish film versions, being a case in point), though mostly it goes the other way....but I do love both film and book of To Kill a Mockingbird, that movie being my favorite of all times.

But I do love books in print.  And out of print!

Since people have been going to see the remake of True Grit, please weigh in on 1) how you liked it 2) how it compares to the original film (if you saw that) 3) and/or how it compares to the book (if you read that).

I will confess that I saw the original film and liked it fine and did not even know at the time that it was based on a book.

Also, that I love the band Portishead, which is named for a town near Bristol, England and has nothing to do with Charles Portis.


Etta Worthington said...

Novels and movies are such different forms. In a novel you have such a luxury of time to wander here and there to tell the story. A screenplay (and ultimately the movie) is so restricted.
I haven;t read True Grit but I look forward to seeing the remake of the film.

SarahJane said...

Exciting to see True Grit here! I finished the book this morning and enjoyed it a lot. I've never liked John Wayne so I never saw the original movie, but I have to admit it seems he would make a good Rooster Cogburn. I hope to see the Coen bros. version when (if?) it gets to Germany, but I'm glad I got to read it first. I put Dog of the South on my to-read list, too.

ron hardy said...

I agree about To Kill a Mockingbird, Kathleen. I still have yet to see a film that uncannily pulled my reading vision out of me onto the screen. One of my favorite books. I also love Portishead, especially the haunting voice of Beth Gibbons.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the Coen Brothers' version of "True Grit" (for New Year's Eve), since I felt they subordinated themselves to the story. (While I've enjoyed - variously - a number of their movies, I sometimes feel they're just a bit off. This time, I felt they were restrained, and let the story drive the film.) I vaguely remember seeing the original movie, and even more vaguely remember reading Portis' book, but I have now vowed to go back and re-read the book.

In fact, before going to see the movie (tonight) I picked up some of my grandmother's, great-grandmother's, and great-grand-aunt's autograph books - to refresh my sense of the laconic and poetic turn of phrase that I associate with "True Grit" (or its time). In some ways, both the movie and these autograph books (and some diaries I have by these same women) remind me of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "The Long Winter": a little wry, a little dry, a little nostalgic, and a little bleak. And, of course, what I admire so much about them all - the women who are the narrators, and who are the real heroes of those times.

Happy new year to all.


Kathleen said...

I think we are going to see True Grit this afternoon!

Yes, Beth Gibbons!

France said...

This is one of the best movies i've seen in a while. It has a good story, good actors, and a good sense of humor. It's much better than the older john wayne version as well....i've seen them both.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for letting me know, France!