It has been 6 years or so since I read this book, shortly after it was 1st published. Never having been a fan of James Joyce's "Ulysess", at the time I thought it might be the best novel of the 20th century. Now after hearing its author read it I?m even more convinced that it is one of the great works of literature. Poetic in the manner of the romantic poets, such as Wordsworth, who I love. The language is inexpressibly beautiful. There are no weak parts. The observations on human nature and the human condition are timeless, and strikingly put. The metaphors are often southern or related to farm or outdoor life, and for this reason they may limit the book?s appeal. For myself, being both southern and an outdoor type, it is a book I shall want to read or listen to again and again. I have seen the movie, which recently came out. The movie was excellent. Very well made, well acted, well cast, well done in every detail. But the movie cannot bear comparison to the book because the strength of the book is in the poetic power of its language rather than in the story or plot line, even rather than in its characterizations. How could you make a movie to convey the poetic power of ?Tintern Abbey?? You cannot. The same with Cold Mountain. You can tell the story, tell it well, but miss all the power and glory of the book. Like poetry, it is meant to be read again and again, and is meant to be read aloud. Charles Frazier's voice and pace are exactly right. The reading could not be any better.
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