Although the exact battle is never identified, Crane based this story of a soldier's experiences during the American Civil War on the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville. Many veterans, both Union and Confederate, praised the book's accurate representation of war, and critics consider its stylistic strength the mark of a literary classic.
(P)2008 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A classic work of American literature." (The New York Times)
Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, is the tale of a single union soldier’s thoughts as he chooses to go to war, his mind upon entering the service, his fears before his first battle, his hubris and then panic before engagement with the enemy, his discombobulation during the first and latter battles, his cowardice, his rehabilitation (to some extent), his maturation thereupon and his achievements in latter and final battles. We go through all these sequential mental states listening to the mind of our young soldier, Henry Fleming, “the youth,” as told through a third party describing for us the youth’s mental thinking's. The analysis is nothing less than extraordinary.
The book is often set reading in middle school teachings. It provides insightful understanding of the difficulty of marching onto a battlefield. The book may be very true to life. What is peculiar though is that the author is reported to have said the following concerning the fact that he was never in battle and was born six years after the Civil War ended: "Of course, I have never been in a battle, but I believe that I got my sense of the rage of conflict on the football field, or else fighting is a hereditary instinct, and I wrote intuitively; for the Cranes were a family of fighters in the old days". Wikipedia, last visited August 15, 2015, at n. 23 therein.
Notwithstanding Crane’s situation in life, the study is magnificent, and representative of a very likely mental process shared by many before entering battle. The Red Badge of Courage should not be overlooked as an essential read.
I had read The Red Badge of Courage on the page twice before. It's an extraordinarily powerful novel. Crane packs more psychological truth and insight into this short work than most writers do in novels four times its length.
I was, however, unprepared for the new power that Anthony Heald's performance brought to the book. It is an incredibly rich performance, nuanced, taught, full of raw emotion where appropriate. It truly felt as if I was reading the book for the first time.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
“It was not well to drive men into final corners; at those moments they could all develop teeth and claws.”
― Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage
Probably 3.5 stars. Bonus points for the fact that Crane elevated war novels to a more modern level, but doesn't quite measure up quite to Conrad, Tolstoy or Remarque. Maybe 4 stars as a novel and 3 stars as a war novel.
Great story to hear the thoughts of people in battle. The good, the bad, and the indifferent.
But, for me, a struggle to get through, even though I enjoy historical fiction...
This is one of those books we read in H.S. because it was assigned. But it's a classics that needs a measure of maturity to truly appreciate. The story brings to life the experience of the Civil War for the common soldier. The writing is so excellent I replayed several of the chapters just to enjoy the wording. Excellent!
Beautifully written story of a youth coming of age in a terrible war. Not only is he wrestling with who he is (no thanks to his parents) but he's having to do it in the middle of a horrendous war being fought, at that point, by full-grown men. He wants to prove himself but also live to tell about it. The best part though - the performance.
Low ranking for the book because despite what it claims, this is an abridgment of the book.
Low rank for the performance not because of the narrator. He's actually quite good. But there were a few places where he misspoke and it was missed by the director.
I was interested and impressed with a look into the views on war and such from over 100 years ago--there's a lot that hasn't changed. At one point, while contemplating the folly and naivete of the youth, I was struck by the Catch-22 thought of "Wow, this boy had no idea what he was signing up for. I wonder if anyone could have gotten through to him exactly what the realities of war would be like, and would that have been better? Then again, had he understood, he likely wouldn't have joined the insanity and chaos that war promises, so maybe some delusion/misunderstanding/fervor is essential to join?" Of course, I've known of this book for years and years, but didn't know much at all about it. I was surprised by the everyman anonymity of the unnamed battle, fought mostly by unnamed men for an unnamed cause. It made it easier to just focus on the experience, but--I must admit--I was kind of just making my way through it, waiting for it to be over. Remarkable for its time, I think, but I've read thoughtful books on war that I've enjoyed more and been more interested in.
I could not hear this easily. Playing it in the car was impossible despite the fact that all my other books were able to be heard.
Couldn't hear well
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