Kiss these Grits

     I’ve finished both the book and movie versions of True Grit. For all the praise from some pretty big names inside and on the back, how come one doesn’t hear much about this book? It seems even my mom, a big John Wayne fan, has not read it. When I offered to give her mine, she was like, “Yes!! I want to read True Grit! That’s like a Christmas present!”

     Roy Blount, Jr. blurbed: “Charles Portis could be Cormac McCarthy if he wanted to, but he’d rather be funny.” (I mention this in part because McCarthy wrote our next piece in this project, No Country for Old Men.) Ira Levin, whose Rosemary’s Baby sits still-unread on my shelf, praised True Grit, too, saying, “It’s delightful, everything struck me as just right, from the marvelous title and the bull’s-eye opening sentence clear through to the last spunky paragraph.”
     It took the wind out of my sails, though, when Saturday Review indicated that True Grit is “[a]s delightful to a twelve-year-old as to a cultivated adult.” I don’t want to feel like I’m reading something that won’t challenge me! It was a simple book. The movie was pretty faithful to it. I recognized much of the script from having read the book, including the aforementioned first paragraph. I also loved it the first time I saw the movie when Cogburn called Mattie “baby sister,” and that was in the book, too.
     There were some parts of the book that were not the same in the movie – for example, the pivotal scene near the end when Mattie falls into the pit after shooting Tom Chaney. In the book, she was wedged in “like a cork in a bottle,” but in the movie, it was more like she was caught in a vine of some kind. She also broke her arm in the book, but it didn’t seem like she had in the movie. In the book, Tom Chaney was not yet dead when Mattie was in the pit, but in the movie, he’d gone over a cliff when Mattie shot him. Cogburn went into the pit and the unsinkable LaBoeuf pulled them both out.
     I didn’t like the grown-up version of Mattie in the movie. In the book, too, she called a guy “trash” just because he didn’t stand up when she approached! Harsh! She was looking for Cogburn. In the movie, Cogburn himself sent her a flyer of a “Wild West” show in which he appeared. In the book, Mattie’s brother sent her the flyer.
     All in all I think it was productive to both read the book and watch the movie. I’m ready for No Country for Old Men, which I picked up today from the library.
     As for Jeopardy!, my Coryat from Saturday’s GSN episode (which originally aired December 14, 2005) was 16600. Sunday’s, which naturally aired on December 15, 2005, was 18800. By the way, my Jeopardy!-loving friend Robert tells me that GSN is going to start airing the show every single day next month! Remember when I tried to get you guys to contact GSN when they stopped airing Jeopardy! last year? I don’t know that anybody else did it, but I’m glad the show is back.
     As my mom’s birthday is Thursday, I expect to be at my mom and dad’s for Jeopardy! that day as well as Wednesday, and maybe Tuesday, too. That means I can get caught up on Saturday episodes that air in Lincoln and not here in central Nebraska. Assuming the VCR hasn’t been unplugged. It’s happened before. This time I put a gentle reminder on it!
     And by the way, since I finished True Grit a little sooner than I expected to, I won’t be blogging about any of those quadruple-stumpers I mentioned in my last post.