Cold Mountain Paperback – 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Some people may have been dissapointed with the novel because it isn't really about two of the things that it was reported to be about. It isn't pedantic historic fiction, a la 'The Killer Angels,' and not meant to shed light on the Civil War as a histroical phenomenon. It also isn't much as a retelling of the Odyssey. The underlying theme - looking for home and encountering obstacles - is the same, and there may be some resemblances between the obstacles that Ulysses and Inman face, but the heritage isn't noteworthy in any way.
What Cold Mountain does have is an endless depth of innovation in theme and style and character. It manages somehow to shift from a rousing adventure story to a contented and charming chronicle of farm life, to an eerie, sort of Sartrean mediation on life and morality, to an exploration of Southern folklore and small personal history. You can feel the author's talent stretching the bounds of the subject matter sometimes. He wants and has the ability to write about everything, from the greatest person to the smallest, from a gruesome battle to dinner in an inn. It's so eclectic, even, that it begins to approach a fault, but Frazier ties things together nicely using the theme of the war. Early on, Robert E. Lee is criticized for his smug 'It's a good thing war is so terrible; otherwise we might grow to like it.Read more ›
Fortunately, my task is not to amplify the accolades that "Cold Mountain" has already received but to focus on the unabridged audio version read by the author. Many have called Mr. Frazier a born storyteller, that appellation proves true in his sometimes intense, always understanding reading.
Born in Asheville, North Carolina, he brings appropriate voice to the saga of Inman, a wounded Confederate soldier who leaves his regiment to begin a trek home to Ada, the woman he loves, and a farm on Cold Mountain.
Set against a backdrop of the last days of the Civil War and the changes that will bring much drama is found in the people Inman meets along the way and in his relationship to the ravaged land he encounters.
The recent release of "Cold Mountain" as a major motion picture starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renee Zellweger will undoubtedly win this popular novel countless new fans.
Yet a very special pleasure is to be found in listening to the story read by its author. Mr. Frazier has said in an interview that Inman is based upon his great great uncle and his great grandfather, both of whom were soldiers in the Civil War. In effect, this is a family story beautifully imagined and related.
Charles Frazier is the one man who could write it; he is the one man to give it voice.
- Gail Cooke
Boy, am I glad I finally read it. Frazier has put a lot of time and effort into this book, and it shows. He has a very unique style of writing (such his way of writing when a character speaks). Although many of us may not write like Frazier nor have a desire to, it is great to open ourselves up to a different style of writing. Lots of thought is put into every idea in the book. There are many unexpected twists.
Although this wasn't a story which I would normally be ecstatic about, it was definitely a good one. One of the few 'war' books I've actually lost myself in. Frazier's writing is very intriguing and definitely something to experience. It's also the kind of story that doesn't need to be read very quickly and in a short amount of time. Feel free to span this book over a month or more, gives you more time to think about everything in it.
Written in a slightly elegant, almost poetic tone, the book is not really a story so much as a collection of small vignettes. It has been said that the book is "based on local history and family stories passed down by the author's great great grandfather."
These stories are tenuously connected to a homeward bound Civil War journey made by a Confederate deserter named Inman. The events along the way are mostly dangerous and are more or less interesting with an air of factuality about them. While Inman is having his encounters, his love object, Ada (whom he met about three weeks before going off to war) remains at home on her inherited farm learning to, well, farm; since her preacher father had taught her nothing about crops or animals before he died. Ada is taught farming by her friend Ruby, a forceful and very practical hillbilly. Unlike Inman, Ada changes and grows during the book. Also unlike Inman she never actually faces any real danger. Sure, initially she does not know how to cook or farm, but the food is there to be had. Ada just does not know what to do with it, and would prefer to read books anyway. So, Ruby is quite handy.
Cold Mountain seems almost designed to be inoffensive. So much so, that I wondered if the author was intentionally being "politically correct." All of the bad guys are, in fact, guys -- white guys. Making sure to be fair, some of the bad men are Rebels, others are Yankees.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I really enjoyed Cold Mountain: A Novel. I loved the development of the characters and the wonderful descriptions of the scenery. It highlighted the true casualties of war.Published on March 5 2013 by Virginia Nielsen
I'm a fan of anything dealing with the south, the (un)Civil War, or anything remotely connected. Cold Mountain is the story of a man's journey in the literal sense as well as a... Read morePublished on July 27 2004
I read all the time....and go through all kinds of books....like some, hate some, am bored by others. Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by J. Viers
An amazing first novel.
The writing is poignant, and highly descriptive. There are some idiosyncracies to adapt to, but this book moves from the normal brass and bravado of... Read more
If I could recommend one book that's perfect to curl up to before going to sleep it would be John Frazier's "Cold Mountain". Read morePublished on May 17 2004 by Nicole
Cold Mountain is an vigorous tell about a soldier finding his way home, and a women finding other meanings in life other than having everybody do the job for you. Read morePublished on May 14 2004
The author states that he is "copying" Homer's "Odessey." Okay, now that we have determined that the author is humble and does not have any pretensions we can get down to reviewing... Read morePublished on May 1 2004 by S. Annand
I see there are 1370 other reviews. I'n not sure I can add anything new, except to say I just finished rereading the book after seeing the movie. Read morePublished on April 8 2004 by C. L Wilson