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Cold Mountain
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Cold Mountain
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NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTUREOne 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...
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTUREOne 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...
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Description-

  • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

    One 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 American 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 there 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.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    the shadow of a crow

    At the first gesture of morning, flies began stirring. Inman's eyes and the long wound at his neck drew them, and the sound of their wings and the touch of their feet were soon more potent than a yardful of roosters in rousing a man to wake. So he came to yet one more day in the hospital ward. He flapped the flies away with his hands and looked across the foot of his bed to an open triple-hung window. Ordinarily he could see to the red road and the oak tree and the low brick wall. And beyond them to a sweep of fields and flat piney woods that stretched to the western horizon. The view was a long one for the flatlands, the hospital having been built on the only swell within eyeshot. But it was too early yet for a vista. The window might as well have been painted grey.

    Had it not been too dim, Inman would have read to pass the time until breakfast, for the book he was reading had the effect of settling his mind. But he had burned up the last of his own candles reading to bring sleep the night before, and lamp oil was too scarce to be striking the hospital's lights for mere diversion. So he rose and dressed and sat in a ladderback chair, putting the gloomy room of beds and their broken occupants behind him. He flapped again at the flies and looked out the window at the first smear of foggy dawn and waited for the world to begin shaping up outside.

    The window was tall as a door, and he had imagined many times that it would open onto some other place and let him walk through and be there. During his first weeks in the hospital, he had been hardly able to move his head, and all that kept his mind occupied had been watching out the window and picturing the old green places he recollected from home. Childhood places. The damp creek bank where Indian pipes grew. The corner of a meadow favored by brown-and-black caterpillars in the fall. A hickory limb that overhung the lane, and from which he often watched his father driving cows down to the barn at dusk. They would pass underneath him, and then he would close his eyes and listen as the cupping sound of their hooves in the dirt grew fainter and fainter until it vanished into the calls of katydids and peepers. The window apparently wanted only to take his thoughts back. Which was fine with him, for he had seen the metal face of the age and had been so stunned by it that when he thought into the future, all he could vision was a world from which everything he counted important had been banished or had willingly fled.

    By now he had stared at the window all through a late summer so hot and wet that the air both day and night felt like breathing through a dishrag, so damp it caused fresh sheets to sour under him and tiny black mushrooms to grow overnight from the limp pages of the book on his bedside table. Inman suspected that after such long examination, the grey window had finally said about all it had to say. That morning, though, it surprised him, for it brought to mind a lost memory of sitting in school, a similar tall window beside him framing a scene of pastures and low green ridges terracing up to the vast hump of Cold Mountain. It was September. The hayfield beyond the beaten dirt of the school playground stood pant-waist high, and the heads of grasses were turning yellow from need of cutting. The teacher was a round little man, hairless and pink of face. He owned but one rusty black suit of clothes and a pair of old overlarge dress boots that curled up at the toes and were so worn down that the heels were wedgelike. He stood at the front of the room rocking on the points. He talked at length through the morning about history, teaching the older students of grand wars fought in...

About the Author-

  • Charles Frazier has taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder and at North Carolina State University. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter, where they raise horses.
    Cold Mountain is his first novel.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Charles Frazier delivers a soulful reading of his novel, which won the 1997 National Book Award. He tells the tale of Inman, a wounded Confederate soldier who leaves his hospital bed to make his way home. An internalized odyssey weaves lives of Inman and Ada, his prewar sweetheart, who struggles alone with the farm on Cold Mountain. Frazier offers few characterizations in voice, but his elegant language takes center stage. His slow pace suits the story and allows listeners to savor each image but occasionally lacks energy that might liven the images he describes. Frazier is steady and relentless, echoing the sense of purpose and destiny of this characters. His writing reveals the fluidity of a storyteller, and the audiobook becomes a natural extension of his skill. R.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 19, 1997
    Rich in evocative physical detail and timeless human insight, this debut novel set in the Civil War era rural South considers themes both grand (humanity's place in nature) and intimate (a love affair transformed by the war) as a wounded soldier makes his way home to the highlands of North Carolina and to his prewar sweetheart. Shot in the neck during fighting at Petersburg, Inman was not expected to survive. After regaining the strength to walk, he begins his dangerous odyssey. Just as the traumas of life on the battlefront have changed Inman, the war's new social and economic conditions have left their mark on Ada. With the death of her father and loss of income from his investments, Ada can no longer remain a pampered Charleston lady but must eke out a living from her father's farm in the Cold Mountain community, where she is an outsider. Frazier vividly depicts the rough and varied terrain of Inman's travels and the colorful characters he meets, all the while avoiding Federal raiders and the equally brutal Home Guard. The sweeping cycle of Inman's homeward journey is deftly balanced by Ada's growing sense of herself and her connection to the natural world around the farm. In a leisurely, literate narrative, Frazier shows how lives of soldiers and of civilians alike deepen and are transformed as a direct consequence of the war's tragedy. There is quiet drama in the tensions that unfold as Inman and Ada come ever closer to reunion, yet farther from their former selves. BOMC and QPB selections; paperback rights to Vintage; rights sold in Germany, the U.K. and France; film rights sold to Lynne Pleshette. (June) FYI: Frazier's great-great-grandfather was the source of this story about a Civil War soldier who deserted and walked home.

  • John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

    "Cold Mountain is a heartbreakingly beautiful story, elegantly told and utterly convincing down to the last haunting detail."

  • John Doyle, The Globe and Mail "Lush, poetic, moving and artfully exciting--A heightened, thrilling love story--Perhaps the most eloquent writing about the awful drudgery and desperation of the Civil War since Thomas Keneally's Confederates--A great read."
  • The New York Times Book Review "Charles Frazier has taken on a daunting task -- and has done extraordinarily well by it.... In prose filled with grace notes and trenchant asides, he has reset much of the Odyssey in 19-century America, near the end of the Civil War.... A Whitmanesque foray into America; into its hugeness, its freshness, its scope and its soul--Such a memorable book."
  • Newsweek "A page-turner that attains the status of literature--Natural-born storytellers come along only rarely. Charles Frazier joins the ranks of that elite cadre on the first page of his astonishing debut."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "A rare and extraordinary book--Heart-stopping--Spellbinding."
  • People "A great read -- a stirring Civil War tale told with...epic sweep...loaded with vivid historical detail."

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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