Cold Mountain

( 247 )

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Audiobook (MP3 - Unabridged)
$19.04
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$22.95 List Price
Cold Mountain: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$14.95 List Price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

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.

Winner of the 1997 National Book Award

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain has quickly established itself as a must-read. Everyone is talking about this eloquent and ambitious first novel; word-of-mouth recommendations and dust jacket blurbs, even serious literary reviews are trembling beneath the weight of the half-forgotten superlatives that have been dusted off and pressed into service for this book. I must admit to redlining the adjectivometer a bit myself while singing its praises. Frazier's astonishing fiction debut is a literary page-turner -- an utterly compelling story driven by rhythmic, resonant prose and convincing historical detail.

Cold Mountain is the story of Inman, a wounded and soul-sick Confederate soldier who, like his literary fellow-traveler Odysseus, has quit the field of battle only to find the way home littered with impediments and prowled by adversaries. Inman's Penelope is Ada, a headstrong belle who has forsaken her place in Charleston society in order to accompany her father -- a tubercular southern gentleman turned missionary -- to a new home in the healthy mountain air of North Carolina. Frazier divides the narrative between Inman's homeward progress and Ada's struggle to make it on her own after her father dies, establishing an underlying tension that is at once subtle and irresistible.

Inman is critically wounded in the fighting outside Petersburg and, after a rough triage, he is "classed among the dying and put on a cot to do so." When his body stubbornly refuses to comply, he is evacuated further south to a hospital where he may succumb at his leisure. But against all odds, Inman's terrible injury insists upon healing itself. During the long months of convalescence he struggles to shed the hated, insulating numbness put on against the carnage he has seen -- Malvern Hill, Sharpsburg, Petersburg, Fredericksburg -- and probes his psychic wounds for the shrapnel of his former self. He finds instead a refuge in the "topography of home in his head" and the Cherokee folk tales of his childhood friend Swimmer:

"As Inman sat brooding and pining for his lost self, one of Swimmer's creekside stories rushed into his memory with great urgency and attractiveness. Swimmer claimed that above the blue vault of heaven there was a forest inhabited by a celestial race. Men could not go there to stay and live, but in that high land the dead spirit could be reborn.

"Though Inman could not recall whether Swimmer had told him what else might be involved in reaching that healing realm, Cold Mountain nevertheless soared in his mind as a place where all his scattered forces might gather. Inman did not consider himself to be a superstitious person, but he did believe that there is a world invisible to us. He no longer thought of that world as heaven, nor did he still think that we get to go there when we die. Those teachings had been burned away. But he could not abide by a universe composed only of what he could see, especially when it was so frequently foul. So he held to the idea of another world, a better place, and he figured he might as well consider Cold Mountain to be the location of it as anywhere."

Knowing that he will soon be deemed fit to return to active duty, Inman decides it is time to see if his "better place" still exists. He gathers what provisions he has been able to hoard, readies his fearsome LeMats revolver -- a double-barreled affair capable of firing nine .40 caliber rounds as well as a single load of shot -- slips out of the hospital under the cover of darkness, and begins the long walk home.

Meanwhile, Ada is reeling from her own mortal blow. The death of her father has left her penniless and alone, without the slightest idea of how she will survive. Though "educated beyond the point considered wise for females," she now finds that her vaunted talents -- a deft hand at the piano and a literary turn of mind -- have little value in the wartime barter economy of the rural South. The well-meaning members of her father's former congregation fully expect Ada to sell out and return to Charleston, but the prospect of begging charity or entering into some "mildly disguised parasitic relationship" with distant kin disgusts her. Salvation arrives in the form of Ruby Thewes, a solitary young mountain woman who teaches Ada the basic tenets of self-reliance and a Tolstoyan reverence for physical labor. "Simply living had never struck Ada as such a tiresome business" -- but her exertions give her a pride in her land and an ease with herself that she has never known.

Inman's lowland odyssey is fraught with peril. He travels mostly at night to avoid the Home Guard -- brutal vigilante bands who patrol the highways for runaway slaves and deserting "outliers" -- but encounters a strange assortment of misfits nonetheless: Veasey, the defrocked preacher and would-be "pistoleer" who appoints Inman his personal confessor; Odell, once heir to a Georgia planter, doomed to wander the southland in search of his slave lover; Junior, a noisome and treacherous hillbilly; and a wise old goatwoman who gives him a glimpse of God's mercy.

Time and again Frazier addresses the mysteries of faith and redemption. Though the war has ravaged the countryside and broken its people in body and in spirit, salvation -- admittedly, salvation of a humanist sort -- is always possible for those who dare to ask it. Even Ruby's long-lost father, Stobrod, a wastrel who has spent the majority of his life occupied in either the manufacture or the consumption of moonshine, is born again through his music. As in Goethe's dictum, "der weg ist das ziel," the seeking is in itself the path to finding redemption. Those who make the journey -- physically or spiritually -- ultimately find comfort; those who do not live a hell on earth.

A book as assured and as satisfying as Cold Mountain is a cause for celebration, and a first novel of this caliber (David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars comes to mind) is exceptional indeed. Charles Frazier has made an auspicious debut.

—Greg Marrs

Raleigh News & Observer
A masterpiece.
San Francisco Chronicle
Charles Frazier's first novel is a rare and extraordinary book, a Civil War novel concerned less with battlefields than with the landscape of the human soul.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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 pre-war 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.

Library Journal
This monumental novel is set at the end of the Civil War and follows the journey of a wounded Confederate soldier named Inman as he returns home. Interwoven is the story of Ada, the woman he loves. Ada, who was raised in genteel society, cannot cope with the rigors of war until a woman called Ruby arrives to help her. Inman comes across memorable characters like the goatwoman, who lives off the secret herbs in the woods and Sara, a woman stranded with an infant who is assaulted by Yankee soldiers whom Inman later kills. After a long, threatening journey, Inman finally arrives home to Ada, 'ravaged, worn ragged and wary and thin.' A remarkable effort that opens up a historical past that will enrich readers not only with its story but with its strong characters. -- David A. Beron, University of New England, Biddeford, Maine
Library Journal
This monumental novel is set at the end of the Civil War and follows the journey of a wounded Confederate soldier named Inman as he returns home. Interwoven is the story of Ada, the woman he loves. Ada, who was raised in genteel society, cannot cope with the rigors of war until a woman called Ruby arrives to help her. Inman comes across memorable characters like the goatwoman, who lives off the secret herbs in the woods and Sara, a woman stranded with an infant who is assaulted by Yankee soldiers whom Inman later kills. After a long, threatening journey, Inman finally arrives home to Ada, 'ravaged, worn ragged and wary and thin.' A remarkable effort that opens up a historical past that will enrich readers not only with its story but with its strong characters. -- David A. Beron, University of New England, Biddeford, Maine
School Library Journal
A Civil War soldier and a lonely woman embark on parallel journeys of danger and discovery. Environment, events, and the empathy of others transform the protagonists spiritually as well as physically.
Raleigh News & Observer
A masterpiece.
Jonathan Miles
My immediate impression, upon reading the first 30 or so pages of this debut novel, was that Charles Frazier has a stunning talent for aping Cormac McCarthy. A great many of McCarthy's stylistic earmarks -- especially the leaner, less baroque McCarthy of recent years -- are present here: keen-eyed and exacting descriptions of landscape and flora; grim and spare dialogue devoid of quotation marks; flurries of neologisms; and a deliberately paced, vigorous yet elegant narrative voice that yearns to be read by oil lamp. Venture 30 pages further in, however, and your impression changes: Charles Frazier may be picking the coins out of Cormac McCarthy's pockets, but my God what a novel he has made from them.

Set in North Carolina in the waning days of the Civil War, Cold Mountain tells the story of Inman, a wounded Confederate infantryman, and Ada, the woman for whom he abandons the front and embarks on an anguished odyssey home. Inman's footpath through the bruised landscape of the South is interwoven with Ada's struggle to eke out an existence on her late father's farm at Cold Mountain. Into both their lives enter fellow victims of war and heartbreak: Ruby, a butchy young drifter who directs Ada in the way of moon signs and root doctoring and tending to a farm; Stobrod, Ruby's no 'count father who, amidst the ugly debris of war, discovers the beauty of music and is thus redeemed; and a vividly depicted panoply of deserters, guardsmen, lechers, blind men, banjoists, war widows, goat herders and corpses.

At the novel's start, when Inman begins his journey, Ada is neither his wife nor his lover; their prewar meetings are recounted as awkward affairs, as tentative and demure as the courtings in Victorian novels. Amid the operatic passion of war, then, their innocence takes on a sort of crazed charm, and despite the severe experiences that precede their reunion, their love remains beyond the reach of the war. Even at the height of their affair, when Ada is first undressing before Inman, this innocence stands: Trying to remove a pair of hunter's pants, Ada cowhops from leg to leg, her ankle caught in the pantleg. It would take the bulk of a thousand paperback romances to produce a scene so endearing.

Frazier may be indebted to McCarthy, but Cold Mountain evokes other writers as well -- among them Stendahl, Tolstoy and Stephen Crane. If living in a tragic land is equal to living in a tragic time, as Wallace Stevens proposed, then Frazier's novel, like the best Civil War literature, explores what it means to exist in both. Despite its stylistic echoes, Cold Mountain is an intensely moving novel, a spare but eloquent exegesis on love and war. The story of Inman and Ada will remain with you long after the oil lamp is extinguished. --SalonJune 19, 1997

Deborah Stevenson
This 'novel is set at the end of the Civil War and follows the journey of a wounded Confederate soldier named Inman as he returns home. Interwoven is the story of Ada, the woman he loves. Ada, who was raised in genteel society, cannot cope with the rigors of farm life until a woman called Ruby arrives to help her.' -- Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
A grim story about a tough, resourceful Southern family in the Civil War is somewhat submerged by the weight of lyrical detail piled on the tale, and by the slow pace of the telling. There's no doubt that Frazier can write; the problem is that he stops so often to savor the sheer pleasure of the act of writing in this debut effort.

Inman, seeing that the end of the war is near, decides to leave his regiment and go back home to Ada, the bright, stubborn woman he loves. His adventures traversing a chaotic, impoverished land, Ada's struggles to preserve her father's farm, and the harsh, often powerful tales of the rough-hewn individuals they encounter take up most of the narrative.

The tragic climax is convincing but somewhat rushed, given the many dilatory scenes that have preceded it. Frazier has Cormac McCarthy's gift for rendering the pitch and tang of regional speech, and for catching some of the true oddity of human nature, but he doesn't yet possess McCarthy's ferocious focus. A promising but overlong, uneven debut.

From the Publisher
“A Whitmanesque foray into America: into its hugeness, its freshness, its scope and its soul.” –James Polk, The New York Times Book Review

“An astonishing debut . . . a genuinely romantic saga that attains the status of literature.”—Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

“As close to a masterpiece as American writing is going to come these days.” –Fred Chappell, Raleigh News & Observer

“Charles Frazier’s feeling for the Southern landscape is reverential and beautifully composed. He has written an astonishing first novel.” –Alfred Kazin, The New York Review of Books

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739314685
  • Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/3/2006
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 701,468
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. He now lives in Raleigh with his wife and daughter, where they raise horses. Cold Mountain, his first novel, was nominated for a National Book Award.

Biography

Charles Frazier had been teaching University-level literature part-time when he first became spellbound by the story of his great-great uncle W. P. Inman. Inman was a confederate soldier during the Civil War who took a harrowing foot-journey from the ravaged battle fields back to his home in the mountains of North Carolina. The specifics of Inman's history were sketchy, indeed, but Frazier's father spun his tale with such enticing drama that Frazier began filling in the gaps, himself. Bits of the life of Frazier's grandfather, who also fought in the Civil War, helped flesh out the journey of William Pinkney Inman. He also looked toward the legendary epic poem The Odyssey for inspiration. Slowly, a gripping tale of devotion, faith, redemption, and love coalesced in Frazier's mind. For six or seven years, he toiled away on the story that would ultimately become Cold Mountain, and with the novel's publication in 1997, the first-time author had a modern classic of American literature on his hands.

In Cold Mountain, Inman is a wounded confederate soldier who abandons the war to venture home to his beloved Ada. Along the way, he is confronted by various obstacles, but he journeys on valiantly, regardless. Frazier cleverly divides the narrative between Inman's trek and Ada's story as she struggles to make due in the wake of her father's death and the absence of her love.

When Frazier was only half finished with the book, he passed it along to friend and novelist Kaye Gibbons (Ellen Foster; A Virtuous Woman), who then got it into the hands of her agent. Much to his disbelief, Frazier's novel went on to become the smash sensation of the late-‘90s. Winning countless laudatory reviews from publications throughout the nation, Cold Mountain also became a must-read commercial smash. The novel ultimately won the coveted National Book Award for fiction and was adapted into an Oscar-winning motion picture starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and best supporting actress Renee Zellweger.

Now, nearly ten years after the publication of Cold Mountain, Frazier is finally back with Thirteen Moons. While Thirteen Moons returns to a 19th century setting, 12-year old Will is quite a different protagonist from Inman. With only a horse, a key, and a map, the boy is prodded into Indian country with the mission of running a trading post. In this dangerous environment, Will learns to empathize with the Cherokees, who open his mind to a much broader world than he had ever seen before. With the same lyrical fluidity and sense of wonder that brought Cold Mountain to life, Frazier fashions Thirteen Moons in similarly epic fashion. Once again, the critics are coming out to applaud Frazier's work, Kirkus reviews declaring Thirteen Moons "a great gift to all of us, from one of our very best writers."

Although Will is not directly based on a distant relative, as Inman had been, the story is equally close to the author's heart. "Growing up, I lived in a green valley surrounded by tall blue mountains," Frazier explains in an essay he wrote for Random House, Inc. "Not much more than a century earlier, the valley had been filled with Cherokee people, living on farms and in villages all up and down the river... In part, Thirteen Moons is my attempt to understand how I came to live where I did, not as history or myth, but as narrative."

Good To Know

Frazier grew up not far from the mountain he immortalized in Cold Mountain in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Although the actual Cold Mountain exists, the town after which it is named in the novel is entirely fictional.

Reportedly, Frazier was offered a whopping $8 million advance for Thirteen Moons.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Raleigh, North Carolina
    1. Date of Birth:
      1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Asheville, North Carolina
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; M.A., Ph.D., Appalachian State University

Read an Excerpt

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...

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

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 andpicturing 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 ancient England.

After a time of actively not listening, the young Inman had taken his hat from under the desk and held it by its brim. He flipped his wrist, and the hat skimmed out the window and caught an updraft and soared. It landed far out across the playground at the edge of the hayfield and rested there black as the shadow of a crow squatted on the ground. The teacher saw what Inman had done and told him to go get it and to come back and take his whipping. The man had a big paddleboard with holes augered in it, and he liked to use it. Inman never did know what seized him at that moment, but he stepped out the door and set the hat on his head at a dapper rake and walked away, never to return.

The memory passed on as the light from the window rose toward day. The man in the bed next to Inman's sat and drew his crutches to him. As he did every morning, the man went to the window and spit repeatedly and with great effort until his clogged lungs were clear. He ran a comb through his black hair, which hung lank below his jaw and was cut square around. He tucked the long front pieces of hair behind his ears and put on his spectacles of smoked glass, which he wore even in the dim of morning, his eyes apparently too weak for the warmest form of light. Then, still in his nightshirt, he went to his table and began working at a pile of papers. He seldom spoke more than a word or two at a time, and Inman had learned little more of him than that his name was Balis and that before the war he had been to school at Chapel Hill, where he had attempted to master Greek. All his waking time was now spent trying to render ancient scribble from a fat little book into plain writing anyone could read. He sat hunched at his table with his face inches from his work and squirmed in his chair, looking to find a comfortable position for his leg. His right foot had been taken off by grape at Cold Harbor, and the stub seemed not to want to heal and had rotted inch by inch from the ankle up. His amputations had now proceeded past the knee, and he smelled all the time like last year's ham.

For a while there was only the sound of Balis's pen scratching, pages turning. Then others in the room began to stir and cough, a few to moan. Eventually the light swelled so that all the lines of the varnished beadboard walls stood clear, and Inman could cock back on the chair's hind legs and count the flies on the ceiling. He made it to be sixty-three.

As Inman's view through the window solidified, the dark trunks of the oak trees showed themselves first, then the patchy lawn, and finally the red road. He was waiting for the blind man to come. He had attended to the man's movements for some weeks, and now that he had healed enough to be numbered among the walking, Inman was determined to go out to the cart and speak to the man, for Inman figured him to have been living with a wound for a long time.

Inman had taken his own during the fighting outside Petersburg. When his two nearest companions pulled away his clothes and looked at his neck, they had said him a solemn farewell in expectation of his death. We'll meet again in a better world, they said. But he lived as far as the field hospital, and there the doctors had taken a similar attitude. He was classed among the dying and put aside on a cot to do so. But he failed at it. After two days, space being short, they sent him on to a regular hospital in his own state. All through the mess of the field hospital and the long grim train ride south in a boxcar filled with wounded, he had agreed with his friends and the doctors. He thought he would die. About all he could remember of the trip was the heat and the odors of blood and of shit, for many of the wounded had the flux. Those with the strength to do so had knocked holes in the sides of the wood boxcars with the butts of rifles and rode with their heads thrust out like crated poultry to catch the breeze.

At the hospital, the doctors looked at him and said there was not much they could do. He might live or he might not. They gave him but a grey rag and a little basin to clean his own wound. Those first few days, when he broke consciousness enough to do it, he wiped at his neck with the rag until the water in the basin was the color of the comb on a turkey-cock. But mainly the wound had wanted to clean itself. Before it started scabbing, it spit out a number of things: a collar button and a piece of wool collar from the shirt he had been wearing when he was hit, a shard of soft grey metal as big as a quarter dollar piece, and, unaccountably, something that closely resembled a peach pit. That last he set on the nightstand and studied for some days. He could never settle his mind on whether it was a part of him or not. He finally threw it out the window but then had troubling dreams that it had taken root and grown, like Jack's bean, into something monstrous.

His neck had eventually decided to heal. But during the weeks when he could neither turn his head nor hold up a book to read, Inman had lain every day watching the blind man. The man would arrive alone shortly after dawn, pushing his cart up the road, doing it about as well as any man who could see. He would set up his business under an oak tree across the road, lighting a fire in a ring of stones and boiling peanuts over it in an iron pot. He would sit all day on a stool with his back to the brick wall, selling peanuts and newspapers to those at the hospital whole enough to walk. Unless someone came to buy something, he rested as still as a stuffed man with his hands together in his lap.

That summer, Inman had viewed the world as if it were a picture framed by the molding around the window. Long stretches of time often passed when, for all the change in the scene, it might as well have been an old painting of a road, a wall, a tree, a cart, a blind man. Inman had sometimes counted off slow numbers in his head to see how long it would be before anything of significance altered. It was a game and he had rules for it. A bird flying by did not count. Someone walking down the road did. Major weather changes did-the sun coming out, fresh rain-but shadows of passing clouds did not. Some days he'd get up in the thousands before there was any allowable alteration in the elements of the picture. He believed the scene would never leave his mind-wall, blind man, tree, cart, road-no matter how far on he lived. He imagined himself an old man thinking about it. Those pieces together seemed to offer some meaning, though he did not know what and suspected he never would.

Inman watched the window as he ate his breakfast of boiled oats and butter, and shortly he saw the blind man come trudging up the road, his back humped against the weight of the cart he pushed, little twin clouds of dust rising from beneath the turning cartwheels. When the blind man had his fire going and his peanuts boiling, Inman put his plate on the windowsill and went outside and with the shuffling step of an old man crossed the lawn to the road.

The blind man was square and solid in shoulder and hip, and his britches were cinched at the waist with a great leather belt, wide as a razor strop. He went hatless, even in the heat, and his cropped hair was thick and grey, coarse-textured as the bristles to a hemp brush. He sat with his head tipped down and appeared to be somewhat in a muse, but he raised up as Inman approached, like he was really looking. His eyelids, though, were dead as shoe leather and were sunken into puckered cups where his eyeballs had been.

Without pausing even for salutation Inman said, Who put out your pair of eyes?

The blind man had a friendly smile on his face and he said, Nobody. I never had any.

That took Inman aback, for his imagination had worked in the belief that they had been plucked out in some desperate and bloody dispute, some brute fraction. Every vile deed he had witnessed lately had been at the hand of a human agent, so he had about forgot that there was a whole other order of misfortune.

-Why did you never have any? Inman said.

-Just happened that way.

-Well, Inman said. You're mighty calm. Especially for a man that most would say has taken the little end of the horn all his life.

The blind man said, It might have been worse had I ever been given a glimpse of the world and then lost it.

-Maybe, Inman said. Though what would you pay right now to have your eyeballs back for ten minutes? Plenty, I bet.

The man studied on the question. He worked his tongue around the corner of his mouth. He said, I'd not give an Indianhead cent. I fear it might turn me hateful.

-It's done it to me, Inman said. There's plenty I wish I'd never seen.

-That's not the way I meant it. You said ten minutes. It's having a thing and the loss I'm talking about.

The blind man twisted a square of newsprint up into a cone and then dipped with a riddly spoon into the pot and filled the cone with wet peanuts. He handed it to Inman and said, Come on, cite me one instance where you wished you were blind.

Where to begin? Inman wondered. Malvern Hill. Sharpsburg. Petersburg. Any would do admirably as example of unwelcome visions. But Fredericksburg was a day particularly lodged in his mind. So he sat with his back to the oak and halved the wet peanut shells and thumbed the meats out into his mouth and told the blind man his tale, beginning with how the fog had lifted that morning to reveal a vast army marching uphill toward a stone wall, a sunken road. Inman's regiment was called to join the men already behind the wall, and they had quickly formed up alongside the big white house at the top of Maryes Heights. Lee and Longstreet and befeathered Stuart stood right there on the lawn before the porch, taking turns glassing the far side of the river and talking. Longstreet had a grey shawl of wool draped about his shoulders. Compared to the other two men, Longstreet looked like a stout hog drover. But from what Inman had seen of Lee's way of thinking, he'd any day rather have Longstreet backing him in a fight. Dull as Longstreet looked, he had a mind that constantly sought ground configured so a man could hunker down and do a world of killing from a position of relative safety. And that day at Fredericksburg was all in the form of fighting that Lee mistrusted and that Longstreet welcomed.
Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

On August 18th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Charles Frazier, author of the acclaimed bestseller COLD MOUNTAIN. COLD MOUNTAIN is both a love story and a magnificent account of one man's journey home from the front lines of the Civil War.



JainBN: Tonight we're pleased to welcome Charles Frazier, author of COLD MOUNTAIN. Welcome and thank you for joining us tonight, Mr. Frazier.

Charles Frazier: I am very excited to be here.


JainBN: Not half as excited as we are! Your book is simply beautiful. If it's okay with you, we're going to turn our attention over to the readers.

Question: Can you describe your research process for writing COLD MOUNTAIN?

Charles Frazier: It was a combination of library research and physical research, going to places where the real events took place.


Question: Why do you think historical fiction has become so popular again? And did you ever foresee your book having this much success? I loved COLD MOUNTAIN.

Charles Frazier: I am not sure that there is something called historical fiction. All fiction is about its own time more than it is about the historical setting. No, I didn't foresee this level of success.


Question: Thanks for being with us. What was the inspiration for this story?

Charles Frazier: Family stories about the Civil War and its effects on my ancestors. And also a desire to learn more about the southern Appalachians.


Question: I'm interested in the moment in the kitchen when Ada sits briefly in Inman's lap. Do you think that most human relationships revolve around pivotal movements like this, or does this connote something unusual about their relationship?

Charles Frazier: Good question. Every couple I know has moments like this in their memory as a kind of personal mythology. Such moments define our lives, I think.


Question: Mr. Frazier, I greatly enjoyed COLD MOUNTAIN. Was it difficult to tell both the male and female story in the book? You did a great job with both.

Charles Frazier: Both were equally difficult.


Question: Did you know the ending of the book when you began writing it?

Charles Frazier: I knew the real ending, what happened to the ancestor that the story was based upon. What I didn't know was whether I would keep that ending or not.


Question: What's next for Charles Frazier?

Charles Frazier: When the book tour is over, I am anxious to start on a second novel. I will probably spend the winter in the library researching it.


Question: Will you be doing the screen version of COLD MOUNTAIN?

Charles Frazier: When I read a screenplay, it always seems utterly incoherent to me, which suggests that I don't know enough about them to write them.


Question: In your research, how many women did you find to be in similar situations as Ada -- helpless when her father died? Do you think there were a lot of women in rural areas who were educated beyond the norm and were running farms?

Charles Frazier: I found letters and journals from many women who felt that their educations were problematic. Many of them were proud of those educations but understood that they lived in a culture that did not value them.


Question: With COLD MOUNTAIN being your first novel, I was just wondering if you had this story brewing inside of you all your life? At what point did you decide to devote yourself to publishing this book?

Charles Frazier: I think I've always defined myself more as a reader than a writer, so I am not sure I would say that this has been brewing inside of me forever. However, some of my relatives would disagree.


Question: Are you concerned that the media attention and publicity you've received will disrupt your rhythm as a writer? Is there a downside to all of this merited praise?

Charles Frazier: Right now, I am telling myself that the work on COLD MOUNTAIN isn't done. But come November, I am going to be ready to turn my attention to another book.


Question: How do you begin the process of research for a novel? What do you look for first?

Charles Frazier: Physical details, generally, the look of things, the feel of things. I want to be able to see my characters in a detailed physical world. That is what I need to begin writing.


Question: What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing this book -- either about your characters or yourself?

Charles Frazier: That is a difficult question. I learned a lot about the culture that I came from, and to a great extent that tells you who you are.


Question: Who are some of your favorite writers? What are some of your most cherished books?

Charles Frazier: Of dead writers: Dickens, Tolstoy, Turgenev. Off the quick, McCarthy, Millhauser, Kaye Gibbons, and John Fowles come to mind.


Question: Who is Charles Frazier when he is not writing a book?

Charles Frazier: The me writing a book is the only one I've known for what seems like quite a long time. But when I do have some free time, I am likely to go off on a long car trip to the West or a bike trip in Ireland.


Question: What are you reading right now?

Charles Frazier: Peter Ackroyd's biography of William Blake, BLAKE.


Question: To what extent do you consider yourself a regional writer?

Charles Frazier: I don't know of any writers who aren't regional writers. Could someone suggest some names?


Question: Was Inman really an ancestor, or a composite character?

Charles Frazier: Both. He was my great-great-uncle, but I know very little about him other than the briefest outline of his life. So in creating the character of Inman in COLD MOUNTAIN, I am sure I drew from any number of people.


Question: I read The New York Times article about jacket covers, and they mentioned your book. How much input did you have in the jacket cover of your novel? I love the cover.

Charles Frazier: I do too! When the folks at Atlantic first sent it to me, I was amazed to see that it looks exactly like the view from the porch of the house where much of COLD MOUNTAIN was written.


Question: How much freedom did you have to keep this your story versus what your editor and publisher wanted the story to become, writing and rewriting to suit them?

Charles Frazier: Every editorial discussion was prefaced with the comment, "This is your book." All the decisions were ultimately mine. But my editor, Elizabeth Schmitz, gave me detailed reactions to almost every aspect of the book. And the book is much better for it.


Question: I appreciated reading that you ask your daughter to read your work out loud to you as a way of hearing the language you choose. Do you wish people would read the book out loud?

Charles Frazier: At bookstores I have frequently had couples tell me that they are reading the book out loud to each other. It is a wonderfully 19th-century thing to do.


Question: I love the titles of each chapter. Their staccato style almost strikes me like that of a poem. Are you ever a poet, and do you read poetry? If so, who?

Charles Frazier: I am not a poet but a reader. Of living poets I like Gary Snyder and W. S. Merwin.


Question: I thought COLD MOUNTAIN flowed like no other book that I have read in recent years. Other than having a great editor, how else does one get one's writing to flow like COLD MOUNTAIN?

Charles Frazier: Living with a book daily for six years or more and tinkering with it obsessively. At least I think that helps.


Question: How much was Homer's ODYSSEY a model for this book?

Charles Frazier: When I heard the story of W. D. Inman, my first thought was, This is an American ODYSSEY. But I never tried to write parallel scenes, and most of the scenes where readers find parallels originated in other sources -- old ballads, local history, and personal memory.


JainBN: Thank you again for joining us tonight, Mr. Frazier, and congratulations on the success of COLD MOUNTAIN. Best of luck!

Charles Frazier: Thank you.


Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

The questions, discussion topics, and suggested reading list that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain. We hope they will provide new insights and ways of looking at this stunning novel.

1. How would you describe the style, or the voice, in which Charles Frazier tells his story? Do you find it realistic or stylized? What does it add to the overall effect of the story?

2. Charles Frazier seems to imply that, because of the moral barrenness of the Civil War and the crimes committed on the battlefield in the name of honor, there is no moral onus attached to the act of desertion? Do you agree with him? Why has Frazier chosen to portray the deserters as good, the Home Guard as evil?

3. How have Inman's views on secession, slavery, and war changed by the time he finds himself in the military hospital? What has he come to believe of both sides, the Federals and the Confederates, their leaders, and their motivations for fighting? Is he being overly cynical? How does the fighting and the level of blind violence in the Civil War compare with other, more recent wars?

4. Inman remembers a conversation he had with a boy he met after the battle of Fredericksburg, when he pointed out Orion's principal star. The boy replied, "That's just a name we give it. . . . It ain't God's name." We can never know God's name for things, the boy continues; "It's a lesson that sometimes we're meant to settle for ignorance" [p. 117]. How does this statement correspond with the lessons learned by Ada and Ruby? What point does Cold Mountain make about the nature and limitations of human knowledge?

5. Inman has little use for conventionalreligion, but he liked one sermon of Monroe's: "That which shows God in me, fortifies me. That which shows God out of me, makes me a wart and a wen. There is no longer a necessary reason for my being. Already the long shadows of untimely oblivion creep over me, and I shall decrease forever" [p. 77]. What notion of "God" does this quotation endorse? What about the voice that spoke to Ruby when, as a child, she was in despair: Was this God's voice, and if so, in what does God consist? What do you conclude Frazier's ideas to be, and how do they differ from conventional Christianity?

6. How, finally, does Frazier portray the natural world: as benign, treacherous, cruel, or indifferent? Famous contemporaries of Inman and Ada--thinkers like Darwin, Wordsworth, and Emerson--were expressing new ideas, in poetry and prose, about nature. How do these ideas influence Monroe's thinking? "Monroe had commented that, like all elements of nature, the features of this magnificent topography were simply tokens of some other world, some deeper life with a whole other existence toward which we ought aim all our yearning" [p. 144]. What very different conclusions does Ada come to? How do Inman and Ruby view the natural world?

7. Remembering his friend Swimmer, Inman reflects that Swimmer's spells "portrayed the spirit as a frail thing, constantly under attack and in need of strength, always threatening to die inside you. Inman found this notion dismal indeed, since he had been taught by sermon and hymn to hold as truth that the soul of man never dies" [p. 20]. Which version of the soul seems to be borne out during the course of the book? Does Inman come to change his ideas during his journey?

8. Throughout Cold Mountain, the author works with the idea of the search for the soul. Inman, Ada, Ruby, Stobrod, Veasey, and the slaveholder's runaway son Odell are all in some way engaged upon this search. Which of them is, in the end, successful, and why?

9. Both Ada and Inman reflect, at different times, that they are living in a "new world" [p. 33]. . . . What changes is nineteenth-century America undergoing, and how do Ada and Inman's experiences, and the people they meet, reflect those changes? How, and why, is the ideal of womanhood changing?

10. Both Ada and Ruby were motherless children from the time they were born. How has that state affected their characters and formed their ideas? How has it molded their relationships with their fathers? Do both women reconcile themselves to their fathers in the end, and if so, why?

11. Was Monroe, overall, a good father to Ada? In what ways did he fail her, and in what ways did he contribute to her strength of character? In what ways did he deceive himself?

12. Several of Cold Mountain's characters meet their death during the course of the novel. How do these characters' deaths reflect, or redeem, their lives? What points are made by the particular deaths of Veasey, Ada's suitor Blount, Pangle, Monroe, and others?

13. Stobrod claims not to be Ruby's true father; his wife, he says, was impregnated by a heron. What other mythical or animistic images does the book offer, and what is their purpose? How does Frazier view, and treat, the supernatural?

14. What is the significance of the Cherokee woman's story about the Shining Rocks? What does it mean to Inman, and why is Ada skeptical? What does her reaction tell us about her character?

15. Charles Frazier has based his novel loosely on Homer's Odyssey. If you are familiar with The Odyssey, which incidents from it do you find reproduced in Cold Mountain, and how has Frazier reimagined them? Why do you think he might have chosen this structure for a Civil War novel? What similarities do the two works have in the way they deal with war? With love and marriage? With fidelity? With home? With spiritual growth? How is Inman like Odysseus?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 247 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(114)

4 Star

(73)

3 Star

(27)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(18)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 247 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2000

    What a Fantastic Trip

    I literally could not put this book down once I started reading it. With the turn of each page, I found myself becoming an even more curious and eager companion on Inman's journey. The unspoken connection between Inman and Ada is one most people can only long for. Ada's transformation is equally inspiring. Never before have I so highly recommended a book to friends, and never before have I recommended a book to strangers.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 1999

    A Magnificent, Gripping Story Better Heard Than Read

    There is a depth and richness to Mr. Frazier's reading of his book which makes the unabridged audio version superior to the printed one. At 449 pages, and with many long passages about the characters' thoughts, emotions, and world they inhabit, reading the book can - at times - be a stretch of one's patience. But when you listen to the book, you are transported by Mr. Frazier's voice to a world that is deep in belief, experience, and characters whose lives become part of your own. Having listened to Garrison Keillor on NPR's 'A Prairie Home Companion' for many years, I cannot help but make an overwhelmingly positive comparison when reflecting on Mr. Frazier's ability to draw you gently but unyieldingly into the triumphs and tragedies of the characters' lives as well as the spirit of the land along the Blue Ridge in the western Carolinas. Like Mr. Keilor, the author has deep roots in the territory that he describes, and there is simply no substitute for the kind of familiarity found in writers who draw well on their native surroundings. Note #1: Get the unabridged version of the tapes. Don't sell yourself short with the abridged. You don't really gain anything, and you'd lose a lot... Note #2: Women read a lot more books than men for a variety of explainable and unexplainable reasons and this book has the many elements guaranteed to attract the female audience. But I want to say this is a bonafide winner for men also, especially since the tape can become part of commuting to work. As a man, I am always wary of the way authors of historical novels can transform characters - especially men - into Jane Austen period pieces. Saps or heroes or whatever. Not true with this one. Mr. Frazier tells it straight on. It is a novel to be respected. Note #3: Although it is set during the Civil War, the major military events are distant and described in tragic remembrance. But the local version of the war is ever-present and intense. It's a very personal set of experiences framed by civilian life under a military rule that is mediocre, savage, and inept. For a fine novel on a major military event of the Civil War, listen to the tape version of 'The Killer Angels', a profile of the key decision-makers (both large and small) at Gettysburg.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    Absolutely a great read!!

    I have written a review about this book when I first read it and I must say it really is a wonderful fiction piece. I read this novel during the junior year of highschool, and now as a Graduate Student who has a more in-depth understanding on literary works, this books still continues to hold up and remains in my top-3 books of all time. Although some casual readers may be turned off by the length of it, I suggest stick with it and you will not be disappointed.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2011

    Awesome

    a classic

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    o my god what is wrong with you people!

    There must be something wrong with many of the people who wrote those negative reviews. this book was definetly one of the best storys i have read in a long time and i am an avid reader. i know everyone is entitled to their opinions but come on guys! many reviewrers are saying the book was long, drawn out, and hard to understand. Well obviously no one has the capacity to see what beautiful writing really is these days. this book will keep a seasoned reader compelled beginging through end. Caution: not for readers who find themselves picking up the latest book in the gossip girl series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2004

    Boring!

    I was so disappointed with this book. I struggled to get through it. It was too wordy. I don't need 3 paragraphs to tell me how the bird flew away. I didn't understand what any of the side stories had to do with the plot. And was there even a plot? I didn't even know there was any kind of love story supposedly between these 2 characters. This was a complete waste of time.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    .

    .

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 4, 2010

    Cold Mountain

    A very intellectual book. Is a great read for those who have high lexile scores. I found the characters very real and their stories touching. I would definatly recommend this book.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2010

    Love That Lasts 'Til The End

    This book portrays a great love story during the Civil War. Inman the main character is an injured soldier who escapes from the hospital in search of his true love, Ada. Both of their journeys are being followed as they are on their way to see each other. Their journeys are long and difficult with many obstacles and challenges, that delay their reunion. It is the love and devotion they have for each other that keeps them going and determined to see one another. Ada doesn't know much of how to raise a farm, but when her father dies, she has no choice but to learn how. Ruby contributes to her knowledge of her new responsibilities. Also after her father dies Inman becomes the one thing on her mind. What she doesn't know is that she is also what he thinks and dreams of to help him get through his tough circumstances. If only Inman would have known that the war was going to last much longer than he thought, he wouldn't have signed up to fight in it. He wouldn't have wanted to be away from her for as long as he had been. One theme that is throughout the book is the separation that they place on themselves in order to find true understanding in the world and each other. This story is expected to be one of a great soldier's experiences during the Civil War, but turns out to be one of how love has no boundaries. I enjoyed the novel because it is very different from anything I have read before. It made me think and really intrigued in the characters. I liked following the stories separately and watching them come together near the end. What I didn't like was how long it took to come together. I think that other should read this because it was a learning experience, as well as, a great book to read. It doesn't just give you something to read, but it gives you something to think about while you're not reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2001

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........

    Too slow, too boring, completely failed to capture my interest. I probably got through the first 50-100 pages and couldn't take it anymore.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Good story. Well constructed, but the characters let something to be desired

    See above.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Don't bother

    After three weeks and 70 pages I closed
    the book to go to something else.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Highly recommend.

    Read the book and then watch the movie. Well worth the time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2013

    Picturesqe World

    Frazier is as much a poet as a novelist. Cold Mountain is a naturalistic story, part adventure and part romance. Fans if Mccarthy will enjoy it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 6, 2013

    Great Read!

    This book was great in so many ways. Historically interesting. Really gave you a feel of the trials of living through the Civil War. And the love story was intense and I couldn't put the book down. I'm going on to read more of this authors books....I'm hooked. I highly recommend it. It would be great for a book club....lots to discuss!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Good, good, good! Enjoyed the book and the movie.

    Good, good, good! Enjoyed the book and the movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 8, 2012

    I am a junior in high school and when my English teacher present

    I am a junior in high school and when my English teacher presented the class with a reading list for an independent assignment, I dreaded picking a book. When I scanned the page, I picked this book at random; and it turned out to be a good choice. Admittedly, I only read the first 83 pages of the book due to a very short reading period and a very busy schedule, but this review is one of the first 83 pages.
    The beginning of this book is two completely different stories; one of a civil war survivor who is recovering from a neck wound in a hospital in a city, and one of a privileged farm girl who has fallen on hard times after the death of her father.
    Inman’s story begins of him recovering in the hospital and dreading the day he is well enough to get back to the war. When his roommate dies, he realizes that he must leave. He leaves and begins his slow journey with his sights set on Cold Mountain. During his long journey every event seemed to remind him of the war he just left, the large wound on his neck a constant reminder of how he got it.
    Ada is a young farm girl who finds herself on her father’s beloved farm. She is struggling to make ends meet financially and since before her father’s death, she never worked a day in her life. She is struggling to keep up the farm as well as make food for herself. She receives help from a local girl named Ruby who teaches her to survive on her own.
    The amount that I read of this book was exceptional and I plan to read it out of the classroom because I enjoyed it so much. I completely recommend this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Fantastic!

    I have had this book for several years & re-read it lots of times. Very richly described & a good lesson of life at that time. Highly recommend...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Good reading.

    This book is good reading for those who like the civil war era.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 247 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)