Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

74%

16 Critic Reviews

Rich in evocative physical detail and timeless human insight, this debut novel set in the Civil War era rural South considers themes...as a wounded soldier makes his way home to the highlands of North Carolina and to his prewar sweetheart.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

In 1997, Charles Frazier’s debut novel Cold Mountain made publishing history when it sailed to the top of The New York Times best-seller list for sixty-one weeks, won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Award, and went on to sell over three million copies. Now, the beloved American epic returns, reissued by Grove Press to coincide with the publication of Frazier’s eagerly-anticipated second novel, Thirteen Moons. Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, a Confederate soldier named Inman decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge mountains to Ada, the woman he loves. 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, the intrepid Ada is trying to revive her father’s derelict farm and learning 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 odyssey, hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving.
 

About Charles Frazier

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Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. Cold Mountain, his highly acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller and won the National Book Award in 1997. His second novel, Thirteen Moons, was a New York Times bestseller and named a best book of the year by the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
 
Published January 1, 1998 by Random House of Canada Ltd. 449 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, War, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Cold Mountain
All: 16 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Above average

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.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by John Mullan on Sep 16 2011

You might think that natural description is what an author provides to let a reader imagine a place, the background against which the characters are placed. Cold Mountain, which takes its title from a peak in the Great Balsam Mountains of Northern Carolina, certainly carries its author's knowledge of a particular area.

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Publishers Weekly

Good

Rich in evocative physical detail and timeless human insight, this debut novel set in the Civil War era rural South considers themes...as a wounded soldier makes his way home to the highlands of North Carolina and to his prewar sweetheart.

Read Full Review of Cold Mountain | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Examiner

Excellent
on Apr 21 2011

I cannot say enough good things about this book. It is definitely a keeper for my collection. My only warning is that in some places it is as brutal as the times they lived in, but, it is real! Still, I highly recommend it.

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Booklist Online

Above average
Reviewed by Mary Carroll on Jun 01 1997

Cold Mountain, based on a Frazier family story, is a satisfying read, though for some readers elements of the story (e.g., Ada’s dependence) are anachronistic.

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Suite 101

Good
on Jan 05 2010

It's a great read - far better than the movie because it is memorable. The images and emotion which Frazier creates is far more dramatic than anything visual could possibly be.

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AuthorsDen

Good
on Jan 04 2008

Cold Mountain is a fascinating read; filled with historical and geographical information wrapped around a beautiful love story. Frazier’s style is eloquent, lyrical, and mesmerizing.

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Scholars And Rogues

Below average
on Aug 21 2014

In truth, what Frazier had in Cold Mountain was the opportunity to write an epic akin to War and Peace about the American Civil War. Instead, whether under pressure from his editors or by his own design, he gave us a middle brow historical romance with a rushed and disappointing ending.

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Literary Kicks

Good

I just read Cold Mountain...for the second time. I'm convinced this book stands very tall amongst all books recently published, and I would eagerly put money down that it will be considered a true literary classic by future generations.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Vagalume on Jul 22 2015

Without a doubt, Charles Frazier’s novel was one of the best books I have ever read. Thanks to his book I rediscovered nature and thought about birds in a different way, as creatures with humanity and emotions.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
on May 30 2000

The critics maintain that the action of the novel is the movement of Inman and Ada toward one another and away from loneliness, but heck they never really knew each other terribly well before the War, so they are both in love more with the idea of each other than with the reality.

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Jules' Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Jules on Jun 05 2011

...it's a very enjoyable book, well written, the descriptions alone make it worth reading. Also, it's a good choice for readers who enjoy character development heavy books, rather than plot driven.

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The Blue Bookcase

Good
Reviewed by Ingrid on Aug 31 2011

I also think it's interesting to note that Frazier chose to situate his story in the South during the American Civil War...Pretty ambitious, but I think Frazier does an amazing job of it...

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Patti Smith

Good
Reviewed by Peppermint Ph.D. on Nov 25 2011

I'm so glad I read this...I had so many people tell me I wouldn't like the ending...but I did. Actually, it's a hard ending to say I "liked"....but it made sense to me.

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westonaprice.org

Good
Reviewed by Judy Williams on Jan 04 2005

Cold Mountain chronicles the saga of a wounded soldier named Inman in the waning days of the American Civil War...I really did enjoy this book so much. Hope the author plans on writing another book soon.

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Literary Chronicles Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Timothy Kiprop Kimutai on Mar 09 2012

Never have I read such lyrical prose anywhere, never have I seen the pit of human emotion-struggle, hope, defeat and perseverance-being shovelled so fully out. It is a story that will tug your heart and make you cry, and it is a book that will demand to be read and re-read and re-read till you go crazy.

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Reader Rating for Cold Mountain
70%

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