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The Red Badge of Courage and Four Stories (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Crane (1871–1900) was active as a reporter around the world in addition to being an acclaimed novelist.
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Product Details

  • Series: Signet Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reissue edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451531809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451531803
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David E. Levine on June 30, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephen Crane's classic novel, "The Red Badge of Courage" is as much about what goes on in the mind of a young soldier as it is about the military action taking place. Henry Fleming goes off to fight, having overblown illusions of a spectacular, mythical epic rather than of the reality of a horrible, brutal war. What he had hoped would be a grand, romantic sendoff by his mother fell short of his expectations. When he gets involved in his first battle, Chancellorsville (which historically was a crushing defeat for the north) he has fears that he might get scared and run. These fears are realized and the novel deals with his efforts to hide his act of cowardice from the rest of his regiment and, to redeem himself. He is a afraid of every question asked of him and distrusts the meaning of statements that are made since he knows what he did and is concerned that his fellows do too. For example, when he talks about the earlier events of the battle, a fellow soldier replies that he is talking as if he fought it by himself. It was an offhanded comment but, to Henry, it took on great significance as he wondered what the soldier meant. Did he in fact know that Henry cut and ran and was, in fact making a pointed statement? Ultimately, the question is whether Henry can become a hero and achieve redemption.

Crane was a very young man when he wrote this novel but, he had mature insights into what makes the human psyche tick. Also, he had a good undrstanding of the battle at Chancellorsville and what went on at the minds of soldiers in the battle. For example, Fleming's regiment was holding off a frontal attack by Lee's troops not realizing that this frontal attack was only a feint.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Troutman on December 18, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Because the novel _The Red Badge of Courage_ is in so many editions, I'm not going to write a review of the novel per se. There are plenty of opinions out there. Instead, I'll talk about why makes this a uniquely difficult (and yet rewarding) reading experience and what stands out about this particular edition.

Crane's novel borders on stream of consciousness, but instead of being all-but-unreadable like so many efforts at that technique, _The Red Badge_ is so vivid that it feels like a series of beautiful but disparate paintings. Each one individually floors you, but then reflecting back on the book after having read it, you're left with a vague sense of having read something extraordinary but can only back up the feeling with wisps of scenes, as if it were something you dreamt. In fact, summaries of the novel you can read online give much more of a sense of plot than what you experience while reading the book. These summaries often break the story into individual firefights, but when reading, it's often only with hindsight do you realize that combat has begun or ended. This is probably true to life, but it's hard to keep the bigger context in mind when this happens.

This way in which the novel is curiously pleasurable but instantly forgettable comes from how it combines three elements: brilliant psychological descriptions of a young soldier's first encounters with combat; impressionistic images of battle; and dialogue that's spelled phonetically. ("I'm glad t' see yeh! I give yeh up fer a goner.") All of these take a lot of attention, forcing you to focus entirely on the current moment of action. (It also makes the book much harder to read than its short length suggests.)

The introduction probably isn't worth the time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Swift on December 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Red Badge of Courage Book Review

The major conflict in this book is when Henry Fleming runs away from his very first fight. This conflict is resolved in a number of ways. The first way is when Henry runs into a clearing and finds a general telling a messenger that Henrys regiment held the enemy back. The second way is when Henry runs into a line of soldiers and they are all wounded, there he realizes that he has not done his part for the Army. The final way this conflict is resolved is when Henry finds his regiment and fights a battle with them.

The two characters I am going to compare and contrast are Henry Fleming and Tobias Macivey. One thing they have in common is that they both have something they are fighting to get back to, Tobias is trying to get back to his family and Henry is fighting to get back to his regiment. One thing that is different about them is that Henry supports the north and Tobias supports the south. I think they would help each other by giving advice to each other when they needed it. One way they would hurt each other is that they both may have different opinions on ways of living.

"The Red Badge of Courage is an action packed book filled with adventure and suspense". The Red Badge of Courage is action packed because there are many battles. It is suspenseful because at any moment the regiment could be in a clearing resting. The next minute there could be a shower of cannon fire raining down upon them. This book is adventurous because there are many twists and turns.

I would recommend this book to someone else. This book is a short read of 130 pages and is great to read if you have some free time. I think teenage boys would enjoy reading this book.
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The Red Badge of Courage and Four Stories (Signet Classics)
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