”Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!” that this is the most famous line Charles Portis has written causes grief among the Arkansas novelist’s cult band of followers. John Wayne immortalized it as one-eyed U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, the 1969 Western that he rode, reins in teeth, to his only Oscar. The quote comes straight from Portis’ overshadowed 1968 novel of the same name (Overlook, $13.95), a classic revenge oater that’s less about Rooster than Mattie Ross, the mule-headed 14-year-old narrator who recruits the trigger-happy gunslinger to kill the varmint who shot her father. Mattie is a Portis specialty – a dogged eccentric whose bratty unlovability never veers into grotesquerie, no matter how heavy things get. Even as she bears witness to jolting violence, she remains one of the truest of amusing teenage prima donnas in fiction. Walker Percy and Donna Tartt hold Mattie up to Huck Finn, while journalist Ron Rosenbaum compares Portis to Mark Twain in an essay that helped spark reissues of all five Portis novels. This is the last of those, capping a body of work as powerful as a killer lightning bolt, like the one that crumples a flying pelican right before the unbelieving narrator’s eyes in The Dog of the South, True Grit’s even-better successor.
True Grit ''Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!'' that this is the most famous line Charles Portis has written causes grief among the Arkansas novelist's cult...True GritFictionCharles Portis ''Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!'' that this is the most famous line Charles Portis has written causes grief among the Arkansas novelist's cult...2003-01-24Overlook
Genre: Fiction; Author: Charles Portis; Publisher: Overlook
Posted January 24 2003 — 12:00 AM EST
- Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen aren't returning for Netflix's 'Fuller House'
- Two more (unofficial) Drake songs leak, including Tinashe collaboration
- Bask in '90s nostalgia with this a ca-mazing 'Boy Meets World' medley
- Michael B. Jordan: Why I’m Torching the color line in 'Fantastic Four'
- Jon Bon Jovi wrote a new song for Rutgers' class of 2015
- Nicki Minaj drops 'The Night Is Still Young' video on Tidal
- 'Fear the Walking Dead' First Look: 7 photos from the set
- Cannes 2015: What's buzzing in film and fashion (so far)
- 'Survivor': Meet 20 alums you picked for a 'Second Chance'
- Ellie Kemper, more faces of the 2015 Webby Awards
- Summer Music Preview 2015: 10 hottest tours
- George Clooney, Meghan Trainor, Pharrell & Zoë and More!