Thirteen Moons Hardcover – Oct 3 2006
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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 Awardwinner, 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.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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
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
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Very well written, he tells the tale in a very poetic manner! I usually read very fast but the book took me more time as you really have to pause to imagine and understand what is... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Anya
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. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2006 by B. Franklin