Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain Cold Mountain Is A Novel About A Soldier S Perilous Journey Back To His Beloved Near The Civil War S End At Once A Love Story A Harrowing Account Of One Man S Long Walk Home, Cold Mountain Introduces A New Talent In American LiteratureBased On Local History Family Stories Passed Down By Frazier S Great Great Grandfather, Cold Mountain Is The Tale Of A Wounded Confederate Soldier, Inman, Who Walks Away From The Ravages Of The War Back Home To His Prewar Sweetheart, Ada His Odyssey Thru The Devastated Landscape Of The Soon To Be Defeated South Interweaves With Ada S Struggle To Revive Her Father S Farm, With The Help Of An Intrepid Young Drifter Named Ruby As Their Long Separated Lives Begin To Converge At The Close Of The War, Inman Ada Confront The Vastly Transformed World They Ve Been DeliveredFrazier Reveals Insight Into Human Relations With The Land The Dangers Of Solitude He Also Shares With The Great Th Century Novelists A Keen Observation Of A Society Undergoing Change Cold Mountain Recreates A World Gone By That Speaks To Our Time

Charles Frazier is an award winning author of American historical fiction His literary corpus, to date, is comprised of three New York Times best selling novels Nightwoods 2011 , Thirteen Moons 2006 , and Cold Mountain 1997 winner of the National Book Award for Fiction Librarian Note There are multiple authors in the goodreads database with this name.

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  • Paperback
  • 356 pages
  • Cold Mountain
  • Charles Frazier
  • English
  • 09 September 2017
  • 9780802142849

10 thoughts on “Cold Mountain

  1. says:

    Cold Mountain is quite possibly the most beautiful book that I ve ever read It s not for the faint of heart, however, as it s time consuming and requires a great deal of patience as Frazier takes his time with his descriptions of the landscape and the people as Inman, a soldier broken in spirit by the futility and waste of the Civil War, decides to walk home to Ada and his beloved Cold Mountain That is not to say that Frazier wastes the reader s time or goes off on unnecessary tangents although for those who like quick narratives, it may seem that way , but he is in no hurry to rush the novel to its conclusion To have done so would have stripped the novel of its power as it examines the lives of both Inman and Ada, a Southern belle woefully unprepared to exist in the harsh mountain landscape of Cold Mountain when she finds herself all alone What may seem like lengthy transcendentalist like descriptions of nature actually serve to reveal the inner life of each character and enrich the narrative.Of the two alternating narratives, I found Inman s the most compelling His is a Dante like journey through the Inferno of the American South comparisons could also be made to Homer s The Odyssey While he time and again encounters people wallowing in depravity and sin in a seemingly lawless world, he also encounters along this hellish journey acts of selflessness and kindness that serve as balm to his soul when he s on the cusp of losing all hope Ironically, those offering the greatest kindnesses are those who are the most excluded from society slaves and women Inman is a man who is capable of violence, but only when necessary After killing indiscriminately in war, he s determined to do no harm unless it s absolutely unavoidable It may be because of the violence that is still latent within him that Inman struggles so with the world and his place in it Of the reviews I ve read, most readers disliked the novel s ending Without giving away any spoilers, I ll only state that I thought the ending was the only possible one offered in a world consumed by war.Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder

  2. says:

    Be strong, saith my heart I am a soldier I have seen worse sights than this Homer, The OdysseyHaving recently read The Odyssey, I was prompted by Goodreads friend, JulieGrippo, to go on this journey namely, Homer s epic voyage transposed to the terrain of 19th century North America.Inman not as heroic as Odysseus , an army deserter wounded in the American Civil War, faces a treacherous, interminable journey home to his love, Ada i.e Odysseus Penelope.You can see from my five star rating that I was captivated by this book, but it could just have easily been demoted to three stars as it was very nearly hoisted by a petard of its own poetic prose.So I ll just get my two gripes out of the way first, then we can all sit down and have a nice cup of tea Gripe 1One of my pet peeves is seeing dialogue that isn t neatly nested between some perfectly respectable speech marks Why, Charles Frazier They were evidently good enough for Dickens, Hugo and Dostoyevsky, yet you didn t feel the need, now did you Yes, the enlightened readers among us can get by without them but, applying the same logic, why even bother with commas and full stops In fact, let s go the whole hog and eliminate vowels as well Huh Bloody vowels, making words much longer than they need to be Gripe 2More than most, I drool over a banquet of sumptuous prose Frazier writes beautifully and songbirds landed on my shoulders while I read, rather like a dreamy scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs All, it seemed, was perfectly spiffing in my world.But holy pretentiousness, Batman Surely, he didn t have to pack every blimmin paragraph with eminence until each one burst at the seams The high calibre prose, though meritorious, did quicksand the pace of my read and severely detracted from the narrative thrust of the story Ahhh, now isn t it just grand to get things off one s chest So, how about that nice cup of tea do you take milk and sugar The story, despite my two gripes, is a towering, modern day epic worthy of the utmost praise Evocative and monumental, it carries weighty themes of love, resilience, honour and devotion with great aplomb Granted, it doesn t flow like a cold mountain stream, but you won t often see writing as good as this in our modern age.

  3. says:

    Considering the widespread acclaim this book and its subsequent film adaptation have received, I m reluctant to write a negative review Still, a dissenting opinion at least makes for an interesting read This was absolutely the most boring book I have ever read It took me about a year to finish it, because every time I tried to pick it up, day or night, I was asleep in minutes Though the descriptions of the picturesque mountainous landscape are often beautiful, I fail to see the point I can t understand why the lovers at the center of the plot even like eachother, and in general I find the characters motivation for doing anything completely inexplicable I don t wish to spoil the story such as it is for any would be readers, so I ll refrain from posting plot details Suffice it to say that the entire plot hinges on a series of events that conveniently take place, but seem to have no basis in reality Why, for example, did the protagonist undertake his long journey in the first place This is, to my mind, never made adequately clear Consequently, instead of rooting for the characters, I end up thinking, What a bunch of morons

  4. says:

    Did not like it Although it has an interesting structure and pretext, it is so intellectualized that it is hard to care about the characters at all It seems like Frazier is interested in showing off than in writing a gripping work of fiction.

  5. says:

    How long would you wait for your lover, if you knew not whether they were alive, and you yourself had changed almost beyond recognition This is a beautiful, understated, unsentimental Odyssey of quiet longing, endurance, and transformation This journey will be the axle of my life. Inman s journey is across hundreds of dangerous miles, fleeing war and trying to get to where his love lives, four years after they parted She had made her way to a place where an entirely other order prevailed from what she had always known. Ada s journey takes place within a few miles of her home It s no coincidence that Inman s treasured book is a travel book whereas Ruby held a deep distrust of travel , even to the shops Times are tough, but at least Ada and Inman have confidence in who and what it is they yearn for StructureMost of the novel alternates between Ada s and Inman s separate struggles to survive, with backstory gradually provided by their reminiscences Each of Inman s chapters involves a dramatic encounter, good or bad, that sheds light on his character, as well as the trials of war and wilderness Ada is 26, orphaned, nearly destitute, and trying to cope with a little land, but no staff or skill The varying tempo works well.Both Inman and Ada cultivate the art of really seeing Inman is ever watchful, noticing every little sign in nature or people s behaviour that may signal danger a shadow behind leaves, a blade hidden in a hairdo Ada learns to see the signs of seasons, weather, harvest, birds, and animals.The language is sometimes a little archaic, as it should be Quotation marks are not used, but I didn t really feel their absence dialog is usually prefaced with a long dash.Civil WarAlthough the backdrop is the American civil war, I didn t feel hampered by my relative lack of knowledge of US history There was enough background detail to picture daily life, but the politics and the war were external to the characters, and hence to me as a reader.Right and Wrong Revenge and ForgivenessInman is a deserter badly injured, but a deserter none the less He was never a natural killer, is haunted by what he s seen and done , and doesn t believe in the cause anyway, if he ever did There are gangs wanting bounty for finding deserters, and desperate men who will kill for any reason and none Coupled with his inherently peaceful and forgiving nature, repeatedly put to the test, the risks are great Pondering the story of a man born blind, Inman asks himself What would be the cost of not having an enemy Who could you strike for retribution other than yourself But retribution isn t really his mindset he s almost too good to be true, given the hardships and dangers he faces, such as stealing food, but leaving money than it s worth, putting himself in grave danger to help strangers,and avoiding and preventing violence, even when it s not really his responsibility and would be easier to walk away He s certainly forgiving than the disgraced preacher, Veasey.The Sustenance of Literature and MusicAn unexpected pleasure was the underlying thread of the solace to be found in books On the very first page, Inman is in military hospital settling his mind with a treasured copy of Travels of William Bartram Throughout the story, he returns to this book, in small snippets, at times of need view spoiler When he s reunited with Ada, he reads her an extract hide spoiler

  6. says:

    You ve probably seen the movie made from this book.It was a fine movie It won Oscars.But it cannot begin to capture the truly spectacular parts of this story because they are not the surface level narratives that make it onto the big screen.Before you can truly appreciate the quality of this book, you need to be familiar with at least Homer s Odyssey, Dante s Inferno, and parts of the Bible You need to be on guard for a depth of symbolism and complexity of foreshadowing and allusion that will boggle your mind.I always knew the movie didn t really get the book, but when my dad who has not read the book referred to it as a chick flick because he thought of it primarily as a love story which it is, but not that kind , then I really realized what one misses when one has not read the book.

  7. says:

    The best way I could find to describe the book is the American Civil War version of the Odyssey, with Inman as the wandering hero trying to find his way back home to the North Carolina Appallachians, and Ada as his Penelope tending the home fires This is an oversimplification, but the epic scope is there, the perilous journey, the oddball characters met on the road, the mystical elements of prophecy, cursed fate, faithful love Additional major themes tackled are the brutality and senselessness of war, women emancipation, Native American Cherokee Trail of Tears, music as soul healer and the majesty of nature he had seen the metal face of the age and had been so stunned by it that when he thought into the future, all he could vision was a world from which everything he counted important had been banished or had willingly fled Inman is a young man born and raised in the high country, at the foot of Cold Mountain, the highest peak in this scarcely populated corner of North Carolina He goes to war not out of any patriotic fervor or deep seated political convictions, but in search of adventure and excitement The four years in the trenches cure him of any romantic feelings about organized killing, leaving him sorely wounded and spiritually crushed Anyone could be oracle for the random ways things fall against each other It was simple enough to tell fortunes if a man dedicated himself to the idea that the future will inevitably be worse than the past and that time is a path leading nowhere but a place of deep and persistent threat The way Inman saw it, if a thing like Fredericksburg was to be used as a marker of current position, then many years hence, at the rate we re going, we ll be eating one another raw His one comfort in the long bed ridden hospital weeks is a travel book describing the mountains back home, a Bartram guide that will accompany him on all his travels once he decides to turn his back on the war and walk back home As a deserter he is forced to hide during the day and walk only by night, stealing what scarce food he could find Local militias are combing the territory looking for his ilk, and than once Inman is forced to fight his way free The destruction of his character is visible most of all in the way he is still living in a world where the options are kill or be killed , always ready to solve his problems at gunpoint Inman is no angel of peace, making his separate peace and searching for redemption He is still very much a professional killer, a desperado who will let nothing stand in his way, a PTSD victim that belongs in a hospital rather than roaming free You will be living fitfully Your soul will fade to blue, the color of despair Your spirit will wane and dwindle away, never to reappear Your path lies toward the Nightland This is your path There is no other is the refrain of a Cherokee curse that marks every step Inman takes.Yet, glimpses of his former character resurface in the way he takes the part of the less fortunate than himself, usually women in distress like Sara a teenage war widow with a small child and a pig There was nothing about her story remarkable other than that it was her life As he leaves the lower lands and comes closer to the high hills, Inman s struggles become desperate due to lack of food and exhaustion, yet his spirit becomes free of his flesh and soars God, if I could sprout wings and fly, I would be gone from this place, my great wings bearing me up and out, long feathers hissing in the wind The world would unfurl below me like a bright picture on a scroll of paper and there would be nothing holding me to ground The watercourses and hills passing under me effortless and simple And me just rising and rising till I was but a dark speck on the clear sky Gone on elsewhere To live among the tree limbs and cliff rocks Elements of humanity might come now and again like emissaries to draw me back to the society of people Unsuccesful every time Fly off to some high ridge and perch, observing the bright light of common day Inman chapters in the book alternate with the story of Ada Monroe Ada is a preacher s daughter from Charleston, who moved to the mountains hoping her father s illness tuberculosis wil improve When he dies, she is left alone on the farm they bought, utterly helpless to fend for herself, Monroe tried to keep her a child and, with litle resistance from her, he had largely succeeded. She is a poster child of the Victorian morals and fetish for women as delicate and useless hothouse flowers Some readers might find her part of the novel boring, but for me it was as compelling as the journey of Inman Ada too is enchanted by the beauty of the mountains and is interested in all the forms of life around her initially in an aestethic way through watercolours and journal entries, later through the healthy sweat of her labours and the satisfaction of doing things with your own hand Ada is helped along by Ruby, a local girl who learned very early to fend for herself when she was abandoned by her drunken father Stobrod Not even Ada s farm is safe from the ravages of war Refugees from places sacked by the Northern Army pass through, local militias make their own law burning and pillaging The most reprehensible thing in the whole book is this description of the total war concept, where you set out to destroy non military targets in order to demoralize your adversary Unfortunately the tactichas become the norm in modern times where nothing is considered civilian any.A third storyline is introduced later in the novel, but it was one of my favorites, given my own passion for blues music Initially Ruby s father Stobrod is presented as a lowlife rascal, but years away in the war have changed him in unexpected ways His salvation comes through music One thing he discovered with a great deal of astonishment was that music held for him than just pleasure There was meat to it The groupings of sounds, their forms in the air as they rang out and faded, said something comforting to him about the rule of creation What the music said was that there is a right way for things to be ordered so that life might not always be just tangle and drift but have a shape, an aim It was a powerful argument against the notion that things just happen.I will stop here in order to not spoil the ending of the novel, as the paths of Inman and Ada converge, although many are probably familiar with it from the movie version I liked the book better, especially as I thought the movie insisted too much on Ada and Ruby and not enough on Inman and his troubles on the road Yet it was a faithful adaptation, and over it was filmed around my usual mountain weekend haunts in the Southern Carpathians arc, a lovely country, rugged in places, rolling hills over the next horizon, huge forests and welcoming locals The descriptions of the Appalachians felt than usually familiar and appealing The track was ill used, so coiled and knotted he could not say what its general tendency was It aimed nowhere certain but up The brush and bracken grew thick in the footway, and the ground seemed to be healing over, so that in some near future the way would not even remain as scar For several miles it mostly wound its way through a forest of immense hemlocks, and the fog lay among them so thick that heir green boughs were hidden Only the black trunks were visible, rising into the low sky like old menhirs stood up by a forgotten race to memorialize the darker events of their history I did have some minor issues with the book, mostly about the slow pacing and the surprising literacy of Inman given his modest origins, but the superb prose of Frasier than made up for it Just don t expect a fast paced adventure, and you might have a very rewarding read on your hands Highly recommended for lovers of Nature and introspective historical fiction I ll end with a Wordsworth quote Ada uses in the book to describe the mountains Earth has not anything to show fair Dull would be the soul who could pass by a sight so touching in its majesty link to a gallery of my mountain photos mountain views

  8. says:

    i nearly plucked my own eyes from my skull in frustration.the dullity was like another character in the story, grimly tugging at my sleeve to expound at length on the state of his bunion, and what it meant in relation to the larger struggle of humanity to achieve some fool thing or another.very, very slowly.

  9. says:

    Is it long Yes Does it sometimes take entire paragraphs or chapters to describe the scope of the landscape Yes Is it entirely worth it Yes This book is best described as an epicfor those that felt it was too long or boring, have you ever read The Odyssey The comparison is made for a reason This is not a book you take to the beach and read on vacationthis is a book you pick up on a rainy day when you call in sick in the middle of the week This is a book that becomes like a return to an old friend when you reaquaint yourself with it This is a book that took me close to a year to read as well, because I chose to walk away from it for a month sometimes and return to it when I needed a moment to escape from current times I never saw myself falling in love with a Civil War era book about a soldier, and maybe it was the love story or maybe it was because I am from the area in the book that is described with such fervor and passion and affection for the land I grew up in that it brings a bit of nostalgia for my childhood back when I pick it up In any case, it is a masterpiece After finishing it, I sighed with bittersweet feelings Bittersweet because I assumed Frazier had waited so long to write because he had one true novel in him, and his debut would be his only book Boy was I wrong I m now reading Thirteen Moons I bought it in June and am just short of halfway through I am cherishing this one, too Sidenote If you haven t read the book, I guess the movie is ok If you have read it, don t bother watching the movie It will ruin the image in your head Also, I hate that it was filmed in Europe when the book takes place here.

  10. says:

    Stunning This book is the perfect example of timing being everything I tried to read this book when it was first released and I don t think I got passed the first 25 pages I tried again after I saw the movie with the same outcome Fast forward to 2016, the book obviously hasns t changed but I am a completely different reader and I LOVED this book I m pretty generous with 5 star reviews but I don t add many books to my favorites shelf which is where this one ended up It is a slow burn and you have to be patient and take your time but the reward is so worth it The story is beautiful and haunting and I am so glad that I kept trying and finally found the right time to read this.

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