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Cold Mountain [Paperback]

Charles Frazier
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,190 customer reviews)

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Book by Frazier, Charles

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE Read...Tips to Conquering "Cold Mountain" July 25 2003
Format:Hardcover
I consider myself a pretty sophisticated reader. But I share many of the same sentiments others have about the titanic struggle to conquer "Cold Mountain."
"Cold Mountain" has two primary stories. The first is about a wounded Civil War deserter named Inman who spends much of his time wandering home, facing obstacles to return to a beloved woman he hasn't seen in years. The second is about this beloved Ada and her friend Ruby, who transform the land upon which they live into a self-sufficient farm. Flashbacks recall things as they were between Inman and Ada before the war. These memories drive Inman home. Will he make it? If he does, will Ada remember? If she remembers, will she return his love? If these parallel stories intersect, will there be a good payoff?
I wish what I've described was as simple as the book. "Cold Mountain" reads like a reflective diary with microscopic details that do little to drive this plot quickly forward. Worse, UNLIKE a diary, it's told in the third person. It's not, "I thought this" or "I did that." It's "Inman thought this" and "Ada felt that." Yet this isn't a dumb book. Unconventional and ambitious, yes, but trash this isn't.
But who wants to read something that feels like work? I wondered, "why am I torturing myself?" Just to prove I can do it because it won a big-time award? Just to be a pseudo-intellectual hot-shot? Of course I don't want an easy, dumbed-down read, but I don't want a biology, geology or botany lesson on every page. Yet I finished "Cold Mountain."
So why am I still giving it four stars?
First, some tips about how I got through it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisited April 8 2004
Format:Hardcover
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. And Yes, Nicole Kidman was too perfectly beautiful to be believable in that place and those times. I had first read "Cold Mountain" when it initially came out, and in reading my review I saw that I had thought the characters rather shallow, and the Frazier was more concerned with the details of everyday life at that time than he was in creating life-like people. In that opinion, I have changed my mind. Someone once said "Life is in the details" and Frazier knew it. However, in another, I have not. I thought then, and I think now, that the ending was a cheap shot. As if the author didn't know where to go or what to do. But it was truly a beautifully written novel, and many passages are memorable. In the first read, I complained that Inman's story was nothing more than a road trip. I have since been on such a journey myself, and can now appreciate such a trip more. It is composed of the people you meet, as was Inman's. Homer was the first to recognize that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A PERFECT READING Dec 22 2003
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
One would be hard pressed to think of any words of praise that have not already been heaped upon Charles Frazier's Civil War masterpiece "Cold Mountain." Winner of the National Book Award, it has been called "Magnificent," "Impressive and enthralling," "Magnetic." These views were shared by millions of readers who bought the book and eagerly shared it with friends.
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
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cold Mountain: A Novel March 5 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Muddled May 1 2004
Format:Hardcover
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 this muddled mess.
I hate to complain (no I don't, but that is the fine print), but I would appreciate some realims in a supposedly realistic novel of the American Civil War. I also want to skip over the "must have" items in any contemporary American novel that all editors insist on having. What I am talking about are the "sensitive, handsome and heroic male protagonist," the "strong, independent woman he yearns for against convention," and the "horribly evil 'entity' whose name must not be spoken." Frazier also did not forget the must-have "imps" (this time an albino) who help him in all his evil deeds.
Now that I have dispensed with the card-board cutouts, I'll take a swing at the "history" (quotation mark alert). Here is just one ridiculous history lesson. On page 68, for instance, Inman is shot at by a Whitworth sniper rifle. These rifles were the undisputed favorites of Confederate snipers. They were imported from England in small numbers, and had a killing range of 1,500 yards. The twisting hexagonal bore was what gave this .45 calibre rifle its accuracy. The problem is that this unique rifle shot a very unique and expensive bullet, meaning no sniper would waste a shot like that--not to mention missing Inman by a mile. This is simply not believable, but makes for sexy reading, impressing the New York editors who don't know jack. Having a yahoo shoot from the river bank ain't enough.
My other complaint about "history" is the fact that all Civil War heroes must have fought at Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Antietam (okay, Sharpsburg), The Crater, etc.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold Mountain
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 more
Published on July 27 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful !!!!
I read all the time....and go through all kinds of books....like some, hate some, am bored by others. Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by J. Viers
4.0 out of 5 stars The Other Side of the Civil War
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
Published on June 24 2004 by Bart Breen
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first book for a new author.
I had been skeptical of this book for quite awhile. I've owned it since 1999, but hadn't gotten around to reading it until just recently. Read more
Published on June 6 2004 by D S H
3.0 out of 5 stars My thoughts of "Cold Mountain"
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 more
Published on May 17 2004 by Nicole
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold Mountain
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 more
Published on May 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Immense
The contents of this novel are well represented by that huge, misty landscape on the cover. Cold Mountain seems to come from another era, one where authors weren't forced into the... Read more
Published on May 2 2004 by Henry Platte
5.0 out of 5 stars The ending is very confusing!
This is a SPOILER. Did Inman die or live? The first sentence on page 354 of the hardcover edition implies that he lived. It says "Epilogue. October of 1874. Read more
Published on March 31 2004 by Donald R. Bruce
5.0 out of 5 stars Mixed rating.....
I give the book as a whole 5 stars...however, for once, the publishing company should have gone with a professional reader.. Read more
Published on March 18 2004 by Norm Sauceman
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold Mountain
Charles Frazier's COLD MOUNTAIN is a success, not because of the screenplay that adapted to it to film, but because it sets a standard on par with the great American novel. Read more
Published on March 11 2004 by D. Thorne
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