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Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier – Great Book

July 4, 2011
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

This unabridged audio version of Cold Mountain, read by author Charles Frazier, deserves at least as much acclaim as the bestselling print edition, which won the National Book Award. The tale chronicles a Confederate army deserters search for home and love in the last days of the Civil War.

Much has been made of the storys homage to The Odyssey, the origins of which are found in an oral tradition. One cant help but hear echoes of Homer when listening to Fraziers soft, deliberate voice give life to his lyrical writing and to his understated, yet convincing rendering of the overwhelming events of war. Both Fraziers prose and reading are leisurely, recalling a slow foot pace. His delivery is uniquely suited to Innmans arduous, adventure-filled walk toward home and to the possibility of a reunion with Ada, the woman he loves. The authors reading does equal justice to Ada, who is being transformed by her struggle for survival on her fathers farm. There is precious little dialogue, and Frazier makes no effort at acting out the characters.

One small irritation in the production is a beeping noise at the end of each side. Another minor complaint is that the tapes dont have individual boxes, which was perhaps an attempt to make the overall package appear more booklike. The recording does, however, make deft use of two brief musical interludes. In a subtle twist, the fiddle music that opens the first cassette, when repeated as an accompaniment to the epilogue, carries a bittersweet and unexpected resonance. By all means, forgive Random House Audio the tiny glitches, pass over that slender abridged version, and take home the real thing. This audiocassette is a journey that will leave few listeners unchanged by the experience. (Running time: 14.5 hours, 12 cassettes) –Naomi J. Cohn

Great Book
Cold Mountain is quite simply one of the finest novels I have read in recent years. Its romantic, exciting, heartbreaking and uplifting. Its about a soldier named Inman and his journey to get back to the woman he loves, Ada, during the latter stages of the civil war in the south. Inman and Ada are both well developed and you feel their hopes and fears as they struggle day to day. Probably the most fascinating characters in the book are the supporting ones, however, including Adas tough resourceful friend Ruby and a scandalous priest Inman meets on his journey named Veasey. Historical liberties were taken, but no worse than the typical historical fiction novel. Its an engaging page turner, wonderfully descriptive, vibrant in its writing, and very powerful without trying to do too much.

I saw the movie Cold Mountain before I read the novel. The movie is good, but the novel is a masterpiece. I literally found satisfaction dripping off of every single page. A must read for fans of historical fiction and those interested in the civil war.

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Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

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