Day 01 – The best book you read last year
Mattie Ross hires a law man to track down the man who killed her father, but insists on going along as she doesn't trust he won't drink away her pay before the man is caught.
I didn't even know if I'd finish this book when I picked it up as I'm not a huge fan of westerns, but I ended up finishing it in a day, which is pretty impressive considering it was a week day and I was at work during the school day. I loved it. Everyone in this book was perfectly flawed and there were no characters who didn't have at least some grey area to them. Rooster never sobered up and became a saint, he was the same cranky, trigger happy, reckless drunk he was at the beginning, but he was also a good man. Laboeuf was arrogant and infuriating, but also a hero. Mattie was sanctimonious and pushy, but ends up getting her revenge by the end. And it really has nothing much to do with revenge in the long run. Mattie doesn't necessarily go after the man who killed her father because it will make her feel better, it's more because she thinks the scales of justice are out of line by him getting away. And she pays the price for her hellbent tracking down of Tom Chaney.
This was a book of people who were very likable in spite of their glaring flaws. I love good character writing and am willing to forgive almost anything if you have strong consistant characters in a book, and these are some of the best. Mattie, Rooster, Laboeuf and even Tom Chaney are infuriating and frustrating, but they are never not understandable. The classic movie version does the book a great injustice by whitewashing the characters and the ending. The recent remake manages to stay true to the novel.