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Thirteen Moons [Hardcover]

Charles Frazier
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, Oct. 3 2006 --  
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Book Description

Oct. 3 2006
This magnificent novel by one of America’s finest writers is the epic of one man’s remarkable journey, set in nineteenth-century America against the background of a vanishing people and a rich way of life.

At the age of twelve, under the Wind moon, Will is given a horse, a key, and a map, and sent alone into the Indian Nation to run a trading post as a bound boy. It is during this time that he grows into a man, learning, as he does, of the raw power it takes to create a life, to find a home. In a card game with a white Indian named Featherstone, Will wins – for a brief moment – a mysterious girl named Claire, and his passion and desire for her spans this novel. As Will’s destiny intertwines with the fate of the Cherokee Indians – including a Cherokee Chief named Bear – he learns how to fight and survive in the face of both nature and men, and eventually, under the Corn Tassel Moon, Will begins the fight against Washington City to preserve the Cherokee’s homeland and culture. And he will come to know the truth behind his belief that “only desire trumps time.”

Brilliantly imagined, written with great power and beauty by a master of American fiction, Thirteen Moons is a stunning novel about a man’s passion for a woman, and how loss, longing and love can shape a man’s destiny over the many moons of a life.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Once in a great while, all of the elements of an audio book come together to create a near-perfect experience for the listener. Frazier's follow-up to his 1997 National Book Award–winner, Cold Mountain, is another saga of enduring love. It's no small gift to work with great material, and Patton transforms the text into a tale that sounds as if it were meant to be read aloud. It's a story to be told by the fire over the course of a long winter, just as the narrator Will Cooper and his adoptive Cherokee father, Bear, swap yarns while they are hunkered down until the end of the snow season. Patton's voice has an unidentifiable Southern lilt, which nicely fits a novel vaguely set in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Patton makes the correct choice not to individualize each character's voice as this is so much Cooper's tale. Bluegrass melodies played by Ryan Scott and Christina Courtin enhance the production. The CDs have been thoughtfully designed, with the numbers circling each disc like a moon. This attention to detail makes for a beautiful production of a love story that listeners will not put down and will want to replay.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

In one of the most anticipated novels of the current publishing season, Frazier, author of the widely applauded Cold Mountain (1997), remains true to the historical fiction vein. The author's second outing finds grounding in a timeless theme: a grand old man remembering his glory days. As a teenager during the James Monroe administration, Will Cooper is sent off, in an indentured situation, into the wilderness of the Indian Nation to run a trading post. From a mixed-race Indian, he wins a girl with whom he will be besotted for the rest of his life, and his passion will extend into personal involvement in Indian affairs, to the highest level of politics. Thus Frazier also remains faithful to the theme of his previous novel: the odyssey, especially one man's path through trials and tribulations to be by the side of the woman he loves. And he remains faithful to a method that marked Cold Mountain in readers' memories: a proliferation of detail about customs and costumes, about food and recreation--pretty much what everything looked and smelled like. Unfortunately, for the first fourth of the book, there is too much detail for the plot to easily bear. But, finally, the characters are able to step out from behind this blanket of particulars and incidentals and make the story work. Expect considerable demand, of course. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A POWERHOUSE SECOND ACT" - SUPERBLY READ Nov. 4 2006
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
It's been called "a powerhouse second act," and it is that. Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Frazier's much anticipated second novel,"Thirteen Moons" is another journey to 19th century America, rich in landscape portraits and vibrant pictures of a changing nation.

One more powerhouse act is delivered by voice performer Will Patton, a two time Obie Award winner for Best Actor. Patton artfully embodies the voice of narrator/hero Will Cooper from the twelve-year-old who is sent alone into an Appalachian wilderness to the mature Will who becomes a successful business man. Most poignant are the scenes in which Will thinks of the woman he loves, Claire. One can almost hear the ache in his voice as he longs for her. Later, his strength and determination are heard when he pleads a case for the Cherokee. A remarkable voice performance!

Due to economic necessity young Will is sold in service to a man who sends him to run a trading post near to the Cherokee nation. It is there that he meets Bear, an Indian chief who befriends the boy. The Cherokees are also accepting. He has learned to speak their language, is appreciative of their culture. In addition, he meets Clare, the love of his life.

Will is nothing if not clever and in manhood becomes a financially successful man, wealthy enough to buy land for the Cherokee people who have been ordered to leave their birthplace, and wise enough to become an advocate for them in Washington.

Once again, Frazier has crafted a stunning literary experience, a brilliant work of historical fiction. Don't miss it.

- Gail Cooke
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5.0 out of 5 stars An American Story. . .A love story Oct. 3 2006
I must qualify my review by saying that cold Mountain was one of my favorite reads of the 1990s and I have patiently been waiting for Mr. Fraizer's sophomore effort. I was thrilled to receive an advance readers copy through a friend in the industry! The great news is "Thirteen Moons" proves the author is more than a one hit wonder. This is historical fiction at its best, as we follow the first person account of the 19th century frontier life of Will Cooper. Ala "Little Big Man" this is a first person account told by an old man at start of a new century, his life a relic of the past. I loved the opening chapter as the 90 year old, cantankerous Will answers his phone, and in the white noise of this modern marvel he can hear the voice of his lost love Claire.

Will Cooper starts out as an orphan who is sold by his relatives to an "antique gentleman" who puts young Will to work at a remote trading post. Here he comes in contact with the great Cherokee Nation. Will's life blossoms and he has great success and terrible failures as a lawyer, a merchant, and even a state senator. Through all of this his bonds with the Cherokees remains strong and central to the story, he even is made a white chief of the nation. Through the structure of Wills life the story of the Cherokee Nation is told. He bears witness to the heartbreaking removal of the people from their land and the tragic "Trail of Tears." Will fights for the confederacy during the Civil War, and meets many of the iconic figures of the times such as Davey Crockett and Andrew Jackson. Through out his life Will is haunted by the memory of his one true love, Claire, a girl he won in a card game when he was 12. (I am reminded of Gus's Clara from "Lonesome Dove"-I guess we all have our Clara?).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe it needs more moons... April 19 2013
By NyiNya
Remember when you first picked up Cold Mountain, how the first few pages were, well, boring? Yeah, yeah. Lying around the hospital bed, blind neighbor, looking out the window. It was only a few pages, but it made me put the book down for about 3 months and wonder what the heck everyone was so excited about. Then I picked up the book again, and at last, there was the magic. Inman was on his amazing journey. Ada was surviving, having located Ruby, and their various adventures were compelling and moving and the book flew away with me.

Thirteen Moons is like that first part of Cold Mountain. The boring part. It never takes off, it never flies, it just stumps forward. One or two interesting passages are lost in repetitive location descriptions, lesser journeys, and characters who are either cardboard or cliched. So if you loved this book, go hate me. I'd hate you if you didn't love Cold Mountain.

(Gratuitous advice: Forget the Cold Mountain movie. Ada as played by Nicole Kidmann is inane to the point of disability; Ruby, that stalwart little plug of a woman, is played by Renee Zellwegger, who acts as though squinting her eyes is character development; Inman was morphed into a latter-day teenage superhero. Utter
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rather slow going Nov. 19 2006
I found the book slow-moving. The storyline was okay. Descriptions of the countryside were excellent. You could feel yourself right in the place at the time. However, I could have stopped reading it before the end and not felt guilty.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A New Perspective on the Frontier April 26 2007
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
The Frontier is a central concept in the American experience. While the most progress was usually made in the crowded cities of the East, the new American spirit, psychology, and perspective were born in the Frontier. Few can tell you much about Robert Fulton or Commodore Vanderbilt, but almost everyone can say something accurate about Davy Crockett.

In recent years, it has become popular to take the exalted view of the Frontier and to turn it into post-Modern ordinariness. Some do that with humor. Others do it by patching together wildly improbable events. I applaud those efforts because they bring balance back into something that has become too much of a myth.

Thirteen Moons is another shift in perspective, but one that's a shift aimed at creating a more normal view of the Frontier . . . one that escaped all but a few who actually lived in the Frontier. It's a perspective that views the Native American experience with the same validity and sympathy as the Frontiersmen's experiences. I found that refreshing.

So what's the story? Will Cooper, an orphan, is sold off as a bound apprentice to a trader and is to serve as the head of a trading post at the edge of the then-independent Cherokee Nation. Cooper's contacts are daily with the Native Americans and very rarely with those who resupply him. Not surprisingly, he grows up with a combined perspective that appreciates what "civilization" brings but honors and is uplifted by the real support he receives from Bear, the chief who adopts him into the tribe.

Cooper honors that relationship, even after the tide turns and the American government evicts the Cherokees. What's the plan? Cooper buys up enough of the unwanted high-altitude land to allow Bear's people to have a home without being moved further West.
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