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Cold Mountain: A Novel Paperback – August 12, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (August 12, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375700757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375700750
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,647 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,295,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The hero of Charles Frazier's beautifully written and deeply-imagined first novel is Inman, a disillusioned Confederate soldier who has failed to die as expected after being seriously wounded in battle during the last days of the Civil War. Rather than waiting to be redeployed to the front, the soul-sick Inman deserts, and embarks on a dangerous and lonely odyssey through the devastated South, heading home to North Carolina, and seeking only to be reunited with his beloved, Ada, who has herself been struggling to maintain the family farm she inherited. Cold Mountain is an unforgettable addition to the literature of one of the most important and transformational periods in American history. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

A Civil War soldier and a lonely woman embark on parallel journeys of danger and discovery. Environment, events, and the empathy of others transform the protagonists spiritually as well as physically.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

This is a beautiful book,very well written.
REECE WHITE
Unfortunately, the author describes way too many things and there are too many details and don't really need to be added.
D. T. Zewdu
Let me just say I REALLY enjoyed reading this book and one day down the road, I'm sure I will be reading it again.
Jeremy Yoder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
The story is simple. A wounded confederate soldier decides he has had enough of war and slowly makes his way home, hoping the woman he loves, Ada, is waiting for him. The book chronicles this journey and reminds me a little of The Odyssey as well as Don Quixote.
Based on the author's first hand knowledge of the smoky mountains and his family legends, the book transports the reader to a Civil War scenario that has little resemblance to Gone With the Wind. Details of death and destruction are described in gruesome clarity and the long road home is rife with them. Inman, the lead character encounters cruelty and kindness, starvation and capture, rogues and victims. The author uses words well, and some of the images will haunt my mind for a long time.
The heroine, Ada, has been gently raised in Charleston and is not prepared for running a farm when her father dies and the hired help run off. She almost starves until another young woman of about her age, Ruby, moves in with her and teaches her how to survive. Ada's growth into competency and self-sufficiency is rendered with the same detailed descriptions as Inman's journey and I was left with a new appreciation of what farm life is all about.
The book is good and I understand why publishers were thrilled with it. It has a big theme, is well written, and gives its readers a fresh new way to look at the Civil War. Many of the scenes made me flinch, but it also deepened my understanding of this very important period in history and what it is to be an American.
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80 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Gail on February 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I bought Cold Mountain a couple of months ago and, thinking I wouldn't be able to put it down once I started it, have been saving it for a time when I'd be able to read without interruption. A four-day February beach trip provided the perfect opportunity.
This is a wonderful book! From the very first line - "At the first gesture of morning, flies began stirring.", I was hooked, and stayed with Inman, Ada, Monroe, the Swangers, Sara, Ruby, Stobrod, the Preacher, and the Goat Woman, right to the end. No, it's not a "pretty" story - war and what it does to people isn't pretty. Sure, I'd have preferred an ending that brought tears of joy, rather than tears of pain; but there really wasn't any other way for the book to end.
I'm neither an historian, nor a Civil War buff, but I loved this book! The word imagery made me "see" the trail that Inman followed, and "feel" what he and Ada felt. Surprisingly, this former English teacher loved the way Frazier punctuated the dialogue - understated, but effective, and just the way a storyteller would write.
So why do I give it a "9", instead of a "10"? I was a little confused by some lack of detail, like Monroe's church affiliation - just what was an "assembly" in 1864? A map covering the land Inman walked would have been helpful for the geography enthusiasts (I had to get out a map of North Carolina to find Salisbury); and a glossary for Frazier's mountain terms would have been a real bonus for those of us not from North Carolina.
Did these minor complaints keep me from enjoying the book? Heck no, and I can't wait for Frazier's next novel - I may even reread Cold Mountain, or one of his travel books - and I'll surely read his next book before reading any of its reviews. I am so glad I read these reviews AFTER I read the book!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A. T. A. Oliveira on December 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
Charles Frazier's debut `Cold Mountain' received a deserved National Book Award in 1997. One of the best American novels of the 90s, this book is not for everyone. Part an unconventional love story, part a War story, but above all, the study of the human condition, the novel requires patience from the reader.
To experienced readers, who like literary works, it is not difficult to fall in love with this narrative. The story is slow, the writer builds his characters and situations bit by bit --that's why people who are looking for a war adventure or a conventional love story should stay away from `Cold Mountain'.
The focus on three main characters: Inman, a soldier who deserts the battle and embarks in a journey to meet Ada, his beloved who's trying to keep going the farm left by her father, and Ruby, a mountain-girl who helps her with the farm. Throught his journey, Inman meets a different cast of characters --some people help and some not-- that more than anything exemplify the human condition, mostly in war times. Meanwhile, Ada, who can't keep in touch with him, tries to survive in the farm her father left. She will count on the help from Ruby, a simple girl who knows a lot about nature and farming and wants to help Ada, as long as she is treated like an equal, and not a maid.
After the story is set, and the characters introduced, Frazier is free to left the three main characters dominating the narrative. Although they are not the narrators, we're allowed to see their most inner thoughts, fears and joys. Every character is believable, in my opinion. Everyone has his/her life changed because of the war, and all of them are wounded souls.
The narrative is very descriptive therefore many parts are static.
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