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)
In short: I couldn't even finish it. The author's rendition was absolutely mind-numbing. In general, I find an author's reading of his own work to be beautiful and appropriate. Take, for example, Stephen King's reading of "The Dark Tower I, II and III" (since redone by Frank Muller) and John Berendt's fabulous job with "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", both of which were wonderfully done. However, Frazier's constant monotone and muttering were maddening, utterly destroying my appreciation of the lyrical poetry present in his written word.
Sorry, Charles. Next time leave the reading to someone else.
It very well may be true that this story is a lush and elaborate illustration of the time and place. The truth of the matter is that the author's narration makes listening to the book the audio equivalent of walking through mud. The lack of any sort of transition between chapters makes it near impossible to resume listening after any interruption.
I was eager to experience this book -- but greatly disappointed.
I read this novel about 5 years ago and enjoyed it immensely. This is just a wonderful story, rich with details - I often found myself completely swept away with the author's reading. One of my favorite books of all time.
Can there be any better pasttime than reading? Audiobook, regular book, e-book - I have 1 of each going at all times.
Most of the writing in this book is beautiful. I loved the descriptions and the sense of being back in the 19th century. I am NOT one who enjoyed the author's voice. Someone reading with emphasis could've added so much more. Without a doubt, the author does a poor job writing dialog. Every time his characters spoke, the author used the word "said" ... not "responded" or "cried out" or "asked" or "inquired" or so many more possible synonyms. It came to be very annoying. His other word choices were so poetic, I found it surprising.
I enjoyed hearing Charles Frazier tell me the story. Once you get used to the charachters and the way the story is told, it was a glimpse into an other wartime...a reminder that there are tough times and threats to our civilization in every era. It was read in a way that you could imagine the charachters of that time to have spoken.
reading was flat and monotone. Because I enjoyed the movie, I wanted to see if the book went into more details. I found Subtle changes .
This was one of the most depressing books I've ever read. I almost didn't finish it but really hope it would redeem itself. It didn't. Total waste of time and money and the narration is awful too.
This is one of those cases where the author absolutely should not be reading their own work. He sounded like he just wanted to get through it as soon as possible. The quality in the first three and a half chapters was pretty bad as well. At one point somewhere further on in the story, it sounded like a CD skipping. I mean come on.
Aside from that however, this story was incredible and the author really put out a great novel. I couldn't stop listening, audio quality aside. I never heard of Charles Frazier before (found this book looking for novels set in Appalachia) but I'll be sure to look into his work more in the future.
This is one of the most gorgeously written books I've ever read. Frazier has the most remarkable ability to evoke a picture with his brilliant turn of phrase.
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