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Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Cold Mountain (original 1997; edition 2006)

by Charles Frazier

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10,120162282 (3.84)386
Title:Cold Mountain
Authors:Charles Frazier
Info:Grove Press (2006), Edition: 1, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

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Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (1997)


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For 25 years I thought about reading the Shelby Foote Civil War series and I stopped after 50% of the first book. I was looking for this book! Cold Mountain has characters and the story line of their lives. This is a great way to look into life during the Civil War. Think of it as "the back story". A "New Classic"! ( )
  deldevries | Jan 31, 2016 |
A grievously wounded Confederate soldier named Inman finds himself completely disillusioned with the war effort, the brutality and senseless killing as he longs to return to his home near Cold Mountain in the Blue Ridge countryside. There he had begun a tentative romance with the lovely Ada, the daughter of a minister, and even after 4 years away he wants only to return to Ada and start a life together. Inman makes the decision to desert the Army and walk the hundreds of miles back to Cold Mountain. Along the way he meets up with folks who are kind and generous and others who are cruel and would be willing to turn Inman over to the Federalists for a few dollars reward. Meanwhile, Ada's father has died and a wild country girl named Ruby has come to city girl Ada's rescue. Ruby teaches Ada how to survive off the land and become a self-sufficient woman. As Inman slowly makes his way back home becoming weaker and more desperate with every step, Ada grows stronger in body and spirit. Their paths begin to merge as the story nears its end.

I did not expect to like this book quite as much as I did but I don't think it's a story that will leave me for quite a while. I love all three of the main characters and admire their determination and heart. No, it was not an easy story as there are a lot of very difficult and ugly episodes as Inman travels through the countryside. There is always a feeling of hope, however, no matter how impossible the reunion seems. I can't say that I am a fan of the ending but on the whole the book was a worthwhile read. ( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
Book on CD read by the author

A wounded soldier walks away from the hospital, determined to return to his love on Cold Mountain. Meanwhile that young woman, raised to be a flower of Southern womanhood, is finding her way alone, with the help of a homeless waif with reserves of strength and the knowledge to survive.

This is a slow study in character and what matters most. Inman has fought valiantly but no longer recognizes the purpose for which he is fighting, and wants nothing more than to return to Ada and Cold Mountain, and be let alone to live in peace.

Ada was cherished by her father after her mother died giving birth to her. She’s been educated, had trips to Europe, studied piano, and dressed in the latest finery. When her father’s doctors suggest that a move to the mountains will improve his ailing health, they leave muggy Charleston for a small stead on Cold Mountain. She is a hot-house orchid in a field of wildflowers. She can speak French and read Latin, but doesn’t know how to cook, tend a vegetable garden or milk a cow; she lacks the skills to survive.

Ruby is a homeless waif, whose father would rather drink and fiddle than care for his only child. She has fended for herself about as long as she could walk. She comes to Ada with a proposition – she will help Ada manage the farm, in exchange for her own place to live and an equal partnership.

What I loved most about the novel was the relationships between and personal growth of the women – Ada and Ruby – how they moved from dependent/superior to an equal partnership and true friendship. They grew to recognize and admire one another’s strengths, put their differences aside and developed a true and genuine trust between them born of hard work and repeated small tests. While Ada and Inman’s bond was ethereal and romantic, the bond between Ada and Ruby was grounded in the North Carolina soil and woods they called home. Had Sherman marched his forces through their cove I’d bet on Ruby and Ada to get the best of the federals.

The novel moves back and forth between Ada/Ruby and Inman, giving different perspectives on this time during the Civil War. Inman lived much more on the knife’s edge between survival and death, and his chapters were more suspenseful. While Ada and Ruby were no less in danger of losing their lives and /or livelihood (as was brought out by several of the people and situations Inman encountered), they did seem to lead a relatively “charmed” life – hard work, yes, but less danger for the most part.

Charles Frazier read the audio version himself. This was a mistake. He has no skill at all as a voice artist, and his reading was slow, ponderous and lacked inflection. I thought I would just fall asleep to his droning as I drove to and from work. It was the quality of his writing that saved the work for me. Were I evaluating the book based on the audio it would get only 2 stars.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Amazing book! I really enjoyed this read. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
Amazing book! I really enjoyed this read. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
Frazier has been widely and justly praised for his elegant prose and rich evocations of the natural world. For me, however, the deepest satisfactions of his novel derive from his deft treatment of certain perennially appealing pop archetypes.
Cold Mountain is sincerely plausible. It is a solemn fake. You will not hear this from the readers and judges who have helped make Charles Frazier's Civil War tale probably the most popular novel about that period since Gone With the Wind. (Since its publication in June, Cold Mountain has sold more than a million copies; in November, it won the National Book Award.) The book is so professionally archaeological, so competently dug, that one can mistake its surfaces for depth. But it's like a cemetery with no bodies in it. All the records of life are there, the facts and figures and pocket histories, pointing up out of the ground, but what's buried there was never alive.
added by Shortride | editSlate, James Wood (Dec 24, 1997)
For a first novelist, in fact for any novelist, Charles Frazier has taken on a daunting task -- and has done extraordinarily well by it.
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It is difficult to believe in the dreadful but quiet war of organic beings, going on in the peaceful woods, & smiling fields.
   --Darwin, 1839 journal entry
Men ask the way to Cold Mountain.
Cold Mountain: there's no through trail.
---for Katherine and Annie
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At the first gesture of morning, flies began stirring.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the novel that the movie by the same name is based. Please do not combine the movie or abridged versions with this work.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0802142842, Paperback)

The hero of Charles Frazier's beautifully written and deeply-imagined first novel is Inman, a disillusioned Confederate soldier who has failed to die as expected after being seriously wounded in battle during the last days of the Civil War. Rather than waiting to be redeployed to the front, the soul-sick Inman deserts, and embarks on a dangerous and lonely odyssey through the devastated South, heading home to North Carolina, and seeking only to be reunited with his beloved, Ada, who has herself been struggling to maintain the family farm she inherited. Cold Mountain is an unforgettable addition to the literature of one of the most important and transformational periods in American history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:01 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The impact of the Civil War on lovers. Inman is not the man he used to be, as wounded in battle he slowly makes his way home to North Carolina. His sweetheart, Ada, too has changed, no longer a flighty belle but a hard-working farm woman. Will love be the same?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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