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Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
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Cold Mountain (original 1997; edition 2006)

by Charles Frazier

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10,390167276 (3.84)401
Member:MattBT
Title:Cold Mountain
Authors:Charles Frazier
Info:Grove Press (2006), Edition: 1, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (1997)

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Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
I had high expectations and wasn't disappointed. It was hard to read the first half, but I'm glad I stuck it out, because the ending was worth the effort. Heartwrenching drama. ( )
  barakahyentl | Sep 28, 2016 |
Great book, written by a man who is really observant of nature. I thought the movie was good which I saw first, but the book is even better. Inman's journey is an Odyssey replete with interesting characters. ( )
  Gary_Power | Jul 10, 2016 |
This book is a masterpiece. It's powerful characterization and descriptions just stick with you. Don't worry about what you think should happen, just enjoy the road. Read it more than once to fully enjoy it.

6/14/11 -- Listening to this, I can hear early American authors come alive in the words, as well as the ties to Homer. I think this book should be required reading. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
So sad. ( )
  jnmwheels | Apr 3, 2016 |
Inman is a Confederate soldier and he is not very happy about it. After a hospital stay for a wound, he decides to leave the military life and return home. Maybe he will reunite with Ada; he hopes so. He is, however, aware that his decision will be opposed by a few groups. The establishment military will try to capture him. Inman feared more the bands of common criminals operating under flags of pseudo-patriotism, like the Home Guard, that would like to capture him. Some would turn him over to the Confederate Army; some would turn him over to the federal Army. Some would kill him for fun.

Inman sets off on a long foot journey; a horse would both require care and attract attention. The journey could take months. Each chapter is a story of a character that Inman meets along the way. Some characters reappear in later chapters, but each chapter could have been written as a short story.

One entertaining part of the reading experience with this book was that I had to use a dictionary, frequently. This well researched book uses vocabulary of the time to describe things that are no longer in common use. I did not know what “mast” was (p 83). The phrase “where the horse was taken from between the thills and put in a stall” (p.201) stopped me. What are thills? Even the Kindle supplied dictionary was sometimes not helpful; either there was no definition or the definition given made no sense in context. Further research gave me the answer and I liked the challenge.

There is an interesting style of writing with complex sentences that provoke several thoughts from just one sentence.
“The man had a big round head which sat unbalanced on him like God was being witty about making the insides of it so small. Though he was nearly thirty according to Stobrod, people still called him a boy because his thoughts would not wrap around the least puzzle. To him, the world had no order of succession, no causation, no precedent. Everything he saw was new-minted, and thus every day was a parade of wonders” (p. 262).

Inman’s need to walk and hide at the same time takes him through forests, along ridges, over and through streams and rivers. He walks through seasons and observes changes. For the nature loving reader, this book is a delight with is detailed, informed description of terrain. Not only is central character Inman alone, the object of his journey and desire, Ada, is also initially alone. She remains in one place, becoming a self-taught gardener by necessity caused by war, until joined by Ruby. Ruby’s existence prior to meeting Ada was a lonely one. Here we also find great passages describing living in the woods, alone, from about the age of three. Although she and Ada live together, Ruby has no words to spare for Ada unless they have profit and meaning. The lone, self-reliant existence is reinforced. Characters living alone give rise to internal dialogue and philosophical interpretation. Ada did this from an educated background; Inman was more self-taught. Ruby was common sense survival driven. Resultant commonalities and differences were shown, not explained. Great writing.

There is much more to write about how great this book is, but other reviewers have done a great job. I just wanted to add my observations. Are there any negatives? Only if the reader does not like very detailed descriptions of nature; even then the writing is great, it just doesn’t move forward as fast. I believe this to be a must read book for anyone who loves and works with literature. ( )
  ajarn7086 | Mar 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (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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Epigraph
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.
   --Han-shan
Dedication
---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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