- Paperback: 449 pages
- Publisher: Grove Press; 1 edition (August 31, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780802142849
- ISBN-13: 978-0802142849
- ASIN: 0802142842
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1,356 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cold Mountain Paperback – August 31, 2006
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A Whitmanesque foray into America: into its hugeness, its freshness, its scope and its soul.” James Polk, The New York Times Book Review
An astonishing debut . . . a genuinely romantic saga that attains the status of literature.”Malcolm Jones, Newsweek
As close to a masterpiece as American writing is going to come these days.” Fred Chappell, Raleigh News & Observer
Charles Frazier’s feeling for the Southern landscape is reverential and beautifully composed. He has written an astonishing first novel.” Alfred Kazin, The New York Review of Books
Top customer reviews
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Inman sets off on a long foot journey; a horse would both require care and attract attention. The journey could take months. Each chapter is a story of a character that Inman meets along the way. Some characters reappear in later chapters, but each chapter could have been written as a short story.
One entertaining part of the reading experience with this book was that I had to use a dictionary, frequently. This well researched book uses vocabulary of the time to describe things that are no longer in common use. I did not know what “mast” was (p 83). The phrase “where the horse was taken from between the thills and put in a stall” (p.201) stopped me. What are thills? Even the Kindle supplied dictionary was sometimes not helpful; either there was no definition or the definition given made no sense in context. Further research gave me the answer and I liked the challenge.
There is an interesting style of writing with complex sentences that provoke several thoughts from just one sentence.
“The man had a big round head which sat unbalanced on him like God was being witty about making the insides of it so small. Though he was nearly thirty according to Stobrod, people still called him a boy because his thoughts would not wrap around the least puzzle. To him, the world had no order of succession, no causation, no precedent. Everything he saw was new-minted, and thus every day was a parade of wonders” (p. 262).
Inman’s need to walk and hide at the same time takes him through forests, along ridges, over and through streams and rivers. He walks through seasons and observes changes. For the nature loving reader, this book is a delight with is detailed, informed description of terrain. Not only is central character Inman alone, the object of his journey and desire, Ada, is also initially alone. She remains in one place, becoming a self-taught gardener by necessity caused by war, until joined by Ruby. Ruby’s existence prior to meeting Ada was a lonely one. Here we also find great passages describing living in the woods, alone, from about the age of three. Although she and Ada live together, Ruby has no words to spare for Ada unless they have profit and meaning. The lone, self-reliant existence is reinforced. Characters living alone give rise to internal dialogue and philosophical interpretation. Ada did this from an educated background; Inman was more self-taught. Ruby was common sense survival driven. Resultant commonalities and differences were shown, not explained. Great writing.
There is much more to write about how great this book is, but other reviewers have done a great job. I just wanted to add my observations. Are there any negatives? Only if the reader does not like very detailed descriptions of nature; even then the writing is great, it just doesn’t move forward as fast. I believe this to be a must read book for anyone who loves and works with literature.
All in all, this book is figuratively a roller coaster of emotions. One time you will feel joy, and then the next you will feel sad. I would not spoil the other emotions, as you would have to read it for yourself.
Most recent customer reviews
The characters seem to be the vehicles the author uses to propel them around their...Read more