Here’s a very fine essay criticizing the Coen Brother’s film for omitting so much from the original Charles Portis book and adding so much also. It’s the essay our Robert Cheeks wanted to read back in January, when we pomocons went nuts over the film in several threads, and it brings out the Southern and Democratic Party sympathies of the book very nicely.
But as a thread over at Front Porch Republic is right to insist, the essay’s shortcoming is that it does not take the film’s(very great, IMO) merits on its own terms.
So you’ve got something of the classic literary situation here in which you have different versions of the same story, with Portis having the honor of being the originating Homer. I’ve read the book since January, and it’s not to be missed. In its novelistic and American way, Portis’ achievement there really is a bit Homeric. An unobtrusive little easy-to-read book that <i>sings</i>like few others, and that teaches wisdom.