National Book Award, Fiction, 1997One of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain is a masterpiece that is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished America in all its savagery, solitude, and splendor.
Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman he loved three years before. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign. At the same time, Ada is trying to revive her father's derelict farm and learn to survive in a world where the old certainties have been swept away. As it interweaves their stories, Cold Mountain asserts itself as an authentic American Odyssey: hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving.
Winner of the 1997 National Book Award.
©1997 Charles Frazier; (P)1998 Random House, Inc., Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Charles Frazier delivers a soulful reading of his novel....His writing reveals the fluidity of a storyteller, and the audiobook becomes a natural extension of his skill." (AudioFile)
"Charles Frazier has taken on a daunting task, and has done extraordinarily well by it....A Whitmanesque foray into America; into its hugeness, its freshness, its scope and its soul. Such a memorable book." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A rare and extraordinary book....Heart-stopping....Spellbinding." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Novelists are never in short supply. Natural-born storytellers come along only rarely. Charles Frazier joins the ranks of that elite cadre on the first page of his astonishing debut." (Newsweek)
Read at least two books a week... like Faulkner and Hemmingway and books that have spiritual outreach like Eat, Pray and Love. I have read most of James Lee Burk's books. My favorite narrator is Will Patton. He did an incredable job with Charles Fraziers Cold Mountain and 13 Moons and James Dickey's "Deliverance"
I could not put this book down... from the voice of Charles Frazier to the Story of Inman and Ada... I found myself with them during the Civil War, identifying with their fears, challenges and the deep meaning of love. From Ruby I understood the meaning of human survival and determination and learned much from her strong character. From Monrow, Ada's father, the gift some of us have looking for the good in everyone and celebrating the simple joy of living in the mountains, nature and the meaning of family. This is a powerful book and one of the very best books I have ever read and listened to.
Yes, the author and the narrator painted the story very well.
I loved the meeting of Ruby and Ada
YES YES YES
The book is so good, I was surprised to find the ending different from the movie. I saw the movie first, but thoroughly enjoyed both of them.
.....I was tormented by the ending and the fact that I was done reading the book made me so sad.........it is one of those rare and beautiful books that touches you deep in your soul and stays in your thoughts for a lifetime. Inman and Ada were truly a couple that makes romance and love and living life such a true touching and heartbreaking experience. I found myself laughing one minute and yelling out in shock and anger the next minute....the book left me in awe and breathless.....this will be a story that will live long in my mind and heart. Absolutely being placed in my 'Top 10' list.....
Charles Frazier brings life to this story. His description of the Appalachian hills, the characters and the lovers kept me thoroughly engaged. Far superior to the movie.
Great book. Dismal reading. In fact, the worst _reading_ of a book I've heard. Some good friend should have told Charles Frazier to stick to writing and let a professional narrator do the reading. I gave it three stars as a compromise. The text gets five stars; the reading one. If listening is your only way to get to this book, then have at it, but expect your reaction to be conflicted.
Seemed like this was a really good book. The bits I heard, that is! Charles Frazier writes beautifully. Unfortunately, he "mumbles" more than "reads," does that in a monotone voice, and often mispronounces words. It was nigh impossible to tell when locations and characters changed, which they did on a regular basis. Perhaps, when listening to this book for the specific purpose of reviewing, in an otherwise silent environment, and giving it your total concentration, it is possible to make out more of the words. But most audible listeners listen while doing other things; otherwise they'd have time to read the book!
Such a shame! There are so many excellent readers out there, that could have read this excellent book.
I bought Cold Mountain partly because my daughter recommended it, but
partly because I was intrigued at the wide difference in Audible reviews. Glowing praise on the one hand was countered by damning criticism on the other, particularly concerning the narration.
My conclusion: the critics are right. This is an awful audio book, really *awful*. Coming through the ninth-grade reading style are beautiful descriptions of the south, the war, and warm country life. But I could rarely stay focussed before the narrator's grim monotone hauled me back to reality.
True enough, as one reviewer suggested, the author's southern accent helps carry his story. But the effect is *completely* destroyed by the fact that his reading is as unskilled as his writing is skilled. Surely a professional reader/actor from the south could have been found instead.
Most songwriters do not sing; most playwrights do not direct or act. Why did anyone think that this man was the right person to read? Such a shame.
Charles Frazier's reading of his story was perfect - his slow, soft cadence matched the time and place of the tale, down to the older pronunciations and grammer. The pictures he painted with his words and voice make me see and feel through the characters. I found myself reluctant to hear it end. Definitely a book I will listen to again.
I did not like the story. There was no sense of hope being carried through with the hard lives these characters led. For what should have been a beautiful love story, a heartwarming ending ...there was no sense of that at all. The narration, in my opinion, was no help or hindrance. And I love Civil War stories!!
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