True Grit by Charles PortisRead about another book on Lethem's list.
The difference between the novel and the film is that the novel, which like Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" and Thomas Berger's "Little Big Man" perfectly captures the naive elegance of the American voice, is about the inner life of the narrator, a 14-year-old girl. The film is, of course, about John Wayne, who in portraying Rooster Cogburn turned his screen image gently on its ear, and won an Oscar. That was nice, but the book should be better remembered.
True Grit also appears on Willy Vlautin's list of five great books set in the West.