Customer Reviews


30 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Wow. The reviews before mine were pretty harsh. They really picked this book apart. Seems they took personal offense that the book was set in the UP, and they weren't happy with the author's take on their area and their lives. Born and raised in Chicago, I enjoyed this book. Maybe that's the difference. I didn't read it and pick every little thing apart. The first few...
Published on May 17, 2002 by Judy S.

versus
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Author Fails to Capture Life in the Upper Peninsula
Although some writers might assume that using the setting of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in an almost-made-for TV script might capture the attention of readers across the US, as a native UPer I beg to disagree. Just because Fargo kicked (thanks to the Cohen brothers) and Jim Harrison's prose has made it to the big screen, thanks to Jack N., his patron, this does not...
Published on January 7, 2002


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, May 17, 2002
By 
Wow. The reviews before mine were pretty harsh. They really picked this book apart. Seems they took personal offense that the book was set in the UP, and they weren't happy with the author's take on their area and their lives. Born and raised in Chicago, I enjoyed this book. Maybe that's the difference. I didn't read it and pick every little thing apart. The first few pages really got my attention, and the story was slow moving, but gradually built to a satisfying conclusion. I disagree that the characters were shallow or underdeveloped. I thought both Warren and Norman were quite well developed, just not very likable. But that's what made the story interesting! I say pick up a used copy and check it out for yourself. Give it a chance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Author Fails to Capture Life in the Upper Peninsula, January 7, 2002
By A Customer
Although some writers might assume that using the setting of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in an almost-made-for TV script might capture the attention of readers across the US, as a native UPer I beg to disagree. Just because Fargo kicked (thanks to the Cohen brothers) and Jim Harrison's prose has made it to the big screen, thanks to Jack N., his patron, this does not mean that any superficial treatment of the UP will get the writer big bucks. Too bad.
While Smolen's tale might work in an urban-conflict setting, in our region of the country, it just doesn't hold up. I won't go into detail about my disappointment with characterization, predicatability of plot and a total lack of understanding of female residents of his mythical UP town, I will say that the work does not reflect any truth about the UP of Michigan. And for UPers this would become a problem.
Let's start with my first difficulty with this "Christmas gift" book. The first two words, "Liesl Tiomenen," tell me that whoever tried to get into the Finnish surname game missed a beat. The name might have been Timmonen, Tuoriniemi or Tuorovaara but NEVER Tiomenen. Perhaps the most glaring insufficiency might be a description of the conditions of people who venture out of their houses in the middle of a standard UP winter: (64) "Warren had to admit he was impressed: Norman had walked away. In a blizzard, no less. Chances were very good he'd die out there, freeze to death in the woods. Every spring, bodies were found once the snow finally melted." Hell, if everyone who walked out, drove out or snowshoed out met the fate of Smolen's characters, we Upers would all be dead.
What finally remains is the foolish, exotic plotline...capturing bears to drain their gallbladders....suggesting that a bearskin coat belonged to Yates's father..."that he was the last real mountain man to live in the Hurons" or that there might be an abundance of moose in the Huron Mountains.
I would suggest that someone like Smolens, who thinks that he can capture the UP lifestyle should get out and meet the natives. We're not all as ignorant as he thinks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Siberia, November 25, 2002
John Smolens, in his novel, "Cold," captures the feel, the smell,and and the atmophere of a frigid, nothern climate. His woods and the people who inhabit them are so real that they move off the pages. I couldn't put this book down and read it until three in the morning.
"Cold" is as good as "Fargo"and "Dr. Zhivago." I hope that this book is made into a movie, because the shivers are better than my 1977 trip to Siberia!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its warm coat time, March 16, 2003
By 
Eric Marmont (Gilbert, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Cold is a fine book, that should be enjoyed for what it is, a phychological/mystery. Set in the rugged Upper Pennisula of Michigan in the dead of winter, the story unfolds in such a riveting manner that you will have a very hard time in putting it down. The story and the cold will stay with you for awhile after you finish reading it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a page turner, September 25, 2002
By 
Geoffrey S. Hineman (Traverse City, MI United States) - See all my reviews
The unjustly low rating of this book by other reviews seem to stem from their issues with Finnish names and deer carcass than with the actual plot and story being presented here.
That said, Smolens delivers a page-turner that rivals the turnability of Stephen King, while keeping the story a little more grounded. Some characters are indeed flat, and maybe they should be. After all, there's not room for every character to be well-rounded.
Some may say this story is about Norman, but the true character change comes in Sheriff Del Maki who, in the pursuit of the escaped Norman, takes a trek down memory lane to the "one that got away". Maki's inner resound is where, I feel, the real story dwells.
Smolens next book is set on the east coast, which should justify it for better reviews since hostile Yoopers won't be able to pick apart names and settings.
And also, having lived in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for six years, yes it does get that cold.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What trailer park do these people live in?, July 17, 2004
By 
Stephen (Salt Lake City, UT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cold: A Novel (Paperback)
A classic story of a blossoming relationship playing out against an old lover's triangle. I found the relationship between the sheriff and Liesel to be much more interesting than the two brothers fighting over an underachieving woman like two little children fight over a toy. Unfortunately, the book focuses more on the trailer-park antics of drunken, drug using convict brothers rather than the sheriff and his new found romance.
I believe Mr. Smolens could really write a good descriptive story if he didn't have to pepper it with four letter words and sleazy situations. I'm not clear as to whether this is his own idea or something his publishers believe will sell books. In either case, this tactic sold one book, but will not sell any more to me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Out in the cold, November 27, 2001
By A Customer
One of the positive attributes of this book is its accessibiltiy. Smolens's book was written for the unsophisticated reader, with a plot that is a mite predictable, though I won't give it away. The characters are somewhat one dimensional, and the book tricks us by intriguing us at the beginning with an interesting point of view character, but then we realize the novel--like so many contemporary novels--shifts point of view between chapters. Is it too difficult these days to sustain one perspective? One gets the feeling that Smolens has a little man on his shoulder saying, "This will make a good TV movie." The little man on Smolens's other shoulder says, "So What." But if you're looking for a read that is simple and entertaining, COLD will fit the bill.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deflating, July 31, 2004
By 
fish-mich (MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cold: A Novel (Paperback)
After seeing this book on the shelves about a year ago, I was really excited to read it but did not purchase it for a long time. After I got into reading it, I felt let down. Being from Michigan, I really enjoyed the regional imagery, but the characters fell flat, especially the young, drug-addicted, morally-challenged mom who was depicted as beautiful, sexually insatiable, attracted to older men, and completely dependent upon her insane father and pills. I don't mean to be picky, but I also found a flaw in the story line. The action occurs during a severe northern blizzard in which main US highways are almost impassable, yet all of the main characters are able to drive many miles on an old logging road to a lodge deep in the woods...huh??
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BRR it's cold Eh., January 2, 2003
By 
David A. Spearman (Harbor Beach, Michigan United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Certainly has the feel of the winter that can enhance our state at times.Exspecially the upper. I enjoyed this page turner and read it very quickly. The characters were expanded well I have known people with those attitudes and ways, all and all I think his understanding of a climate, the people that live there, and the good and bad that lives in the heart of man were expressed well in the book. This is my first by Mr. Smolens,it will not be my last.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Brief Review - Others have said it nicely, October 24, 2010
By 
Eskychesser (Michigan - USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cold: A Novel (Paperback)
This is a brief review - because many reviewers have said mostly what I think. This book really does fail to catch the spirit of the Upper Peninsula. Smolens is from Boston and is NOT a true 'Yooper'. Sadly - you can NOT become a Yooper, you have to be born in the culture and grow up in it to truly understand it. Anything else is just a cheap imitation. Although I do give Smolens credit for trying - his style of prose is not all that soothing either. He is a clear Hemingway student of telling as little as possible and letting the reader imagine as much as possible, but I found a LOT of choppiness in this story. Yes, as the reader I want to be engaged, but I also want the reading to flow as I don't have all day to interpret poetically what I'm reading. The other reviews said it right as well - this plot was extremely predictable. BORING! Believe me - all the 5 star reviews this book got - must be his crony students trying to kiss up and get a better grade in his writing classes or something - this book is NO WHERE NEAR five stars. Two stars is extremely accurate.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Cold: A Novel
Cold: A Novel by John Smolens (Paperback - September 23, 2003)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.