Cold Mountain Online PDF by Charles Frazier
Click Here to Download the Book The protagonist of Charles Frazier's initial novel is Inman, a disenchanted Confederate soldier who did not die as presumed after being gravely injured in a conflict In the course of the final days of the Civil War. Instead of hanging around to be sent back to the front lines, the soul-sick Inman runs off, and commences on a perilous and solitary journey through the traumatized South, making his way home to North Carolina and endeavoring solely to be rejoined with his dearest, Ada, who herself has been striving to keep up the family homestead she inherited. Cold Mountain is a intensely-imagined addition to the printed works of one of the most transformational eras in the history of America.
Reviews I didn't know much about this book other than it was made into a movie that I couldn't get past the first few minutes of. In fact, I'm ashamed to say that I had imagined that it would be the Civil War equivalent of a Nicholas Sparks book. I have never been so happy to have been so completely wrong. This was a phenomenal book. The writing is stark and poetic and the dialogue has a foreign, archaic color that succeeds in selling the time and place without becoming a caricature. The author also somehow manages to wrap the most gorgeous tone of soul-wrenching, God-forsaken loneliness around just about every word of this book. It's wonderfully atmospheric, and you can just about see the scenery and the insides of the dark little cabins in front of you. I though Inman was particularly well-written. He seemed almost like an Odysseus character in his endless wanderings and various encounters along the road. I liked how kind and fundamentally decent he was. It was obvious that the senseless slaughter and nightmare of the war had basically destroyed his outlook on the world, but he maintained a sense of himself despite it all, unlike many of the others in the story. I also liked this book for it's non-Gone with the Wind perspective on the Civil War in the South. I'm just about as Northern as it's possible to be. I've lived in NC for 4 years and Southern manners continue to confuse and frustrate me; I begrudge every half-hearted "ma'am" I utter; and I can't hardly tolerate the climate. This outlook, combined with a victor's version of history in school in Michigan, has generally led me to a bored, somewhat bemused, and horribly simplistic view of the war. Of course the South lost. What on earth could they have been thinking? One, fighting a war so you can carry on owning people and treating them like pack animals is a bad moral ground to stand on. Two, trying to destroy the union was stupid and mean - it's not like the South had any industry to sustain them through either war or peace. I liked this book because it owned up to both of these facts very honestly, and then presented the the main character wondering just what it was he had been fighting for exactly as a poor white man. Was it just for the sake of not liking the harsh-voiced Northerners interfering in the South's affairs? Inman never really seemed to decide on anything other than nothing, and that was almost as disconcerting as the violence itself. And on the other side, I liked the depiction of the "Federals" as jerks who didn't care at all about the rights of the slave,
but rather as men that just seemed to enjoy pillaging farms, shooting people, and torturing women and infants. It's a refreshing break from the saintly Abraham Lincoln-type depiction, and I imagine there is plenty of honesty in it to a degree. Overall, it was just a very good book. It was historical fiction done right, without cloying sentiment or false nostalgia for a mythic antebellum South. Beautifully done.
Charles Frazier has penned a novel within the Civil war setting ... which contains so much heart-felt emotion that its popularity is achieving "Gone with the Wind" proportions. The essence of its appeal is the writing style of the author. He creates imagery and visual landscapes with words in a lyrical poetic style. He captures the reverential and popular vernacular of the era. He builds characters that are life-like and believable as if he were relating a biographical experience. His use of similes, metaphors and symbols are sublte and highly effective. The titles of each chapter provide a glimpse of the literary genius of this author ... "shadow of a crow", "the ground beneath her hands", "verbs, all of them tiring", and "ashes of roses" -- all masterpieces. He relates the stark naked beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as if one were breathing the chilly misty morning air and touching the cool morning dew shimmering on the leaves of trees. He describes the life of the mountain people, capturing their courage and noble spirit. He does not spare us the harsh realities created by destruction and the resulting privation. The story begins when Inman, a soldier, is recovering in a Confederate hospital from nearly fatal wounds. He reflects on the changes war has wrought on his personality, his view of life, and how this would affect his future with Ada, his beloved sweetheart left behind in Cold Mountain, NC. As he recovers, he relives how they met and how their attraction for each other blossomed. During his recovery, he decides he can not kill any longer. Thus begins his long journey, trek back to his home. Along the way, he meets many unusual characters, all believable, who express their survival mechanisms in a variety of ways. The chapters alternate, between Inman's journey and adventures, returning to his beloved Cold Mountain, along with Ada's life, which is a struggle, to learn skills for which she is ill-prepared, cooking, farming, gardening, animal husbandry. She was a classically educated young lady with a certain near upper crust breeding. Fortunately she is befriended by a North Carolina mountain-girl native, who meets her on an equal level where through mutual agreement --- they meet each other's needs. Ruby is a hard-working farmer girl, who possesses the practical skills and physical endurance to make a farm become productive. Especially moving was a description how the self-taught fiddle (violin) player Stobrod, who also made his own violin, played music for a young dying girl, as her spirit ebbed and was leaving her physical body. He tried to slow down dance tunes to fit the occasion but just could not create a sluggish enough tempo. The girl was pleased with his playing and asked him for another but he played his full repertoire and knew no more. She challenged him to create a tune for her ... with the question, Have you never tackled it before? To which he replied, No. She said, "Best go at it. Time's short." The melody, mood, drones, and double stops he created caused the girl's mother to burst into tears ... it was a haunting tune in the Phrygian mode. The girl told him it ws the finest tune she ever heard, to which Stobrod modestly replied, "It wasn't neither." There are so many 'stories within stories' in each chapter it would be pointelss to describe more ... The book needs to be read for its imagery, charcterizations, and plot along with the many side stories of events which occur both to Inman on his trek while homeward bound and to Ada, as she and Ruby learn new skills and endure many hardships in their courageous struggle to survive. I will state I saw the film, "Cold Mountain" first and was moved to tears at least on three occasions based on that I was compelled to read the book. To my delight I discovered the film completely captured the author's words and intentions. My highest accolades to the author for writing such a deeply penetrating, soul searching and heart wrenching book. My highest praise to the film makers for keeping it true to the essence of the written word. Although, there are many more events described in the book which could *not* possibly be shown on film due to limitations of time ... a one and a half to two hours viewing... the film altered very little of the spirit and actual events depicted in the novel. This novel should not be a fast read ... it should be savored and enjoyed ... giving free range to the mind and emotions as they are deeply affected by each chapter.
I just finished this last night and I'm really glad I read it. I saw the movie when it came out and was so disappointed that I didn't ever have a desire to read the book but after a friend recommended it I picked it up and I'm really glad I did. Its an epic story, beautifully written, with wonderful detail and an absolute pleasure to read. I am very impressed especially since its a first novel for Charles Frazier.
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