From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


  Previous post:   Judson, Daniel: The Violet Hour  
  Next post:   Winspear, Jacqueline: Among the Mad  


Frazier, Charles: Cold Mountain

  Amazon  

5 stars

I didn't want to read this book. I picked it up because my daughter was required to read it prior to starting high school, and I figured I'd keep her company. And as anyone following my tweets can attest, I hated it. I cursed it for being boring, cursed the school for assigning a book that could turn kids off of reading indefinitely. The degree to which my opinion of the book has since changed is almost comical.

Cold Mountain tells the story, usually in alternating chapters, of Inman, a Confederate soldier, and the woman he loves, Ada. When the book opens, Inman is in a hospital in North Carolina, having been shot in the neck in fighting outside of Petersburg, Virginia. When he's reasonably recuperated--his wound yet a supurating sore but no longer likely to kill him--he determines to walk home rather than return to the army, a trek that means months of hardship and could end in his being captured or shot by the Home Guard, who are on the hunt for deserters. Ada, for her part, is back home facing her own difficulties, the hard business of surviving, for which she has been woefully unprepared. The life stories of the various characters whom the two meet are woven into the narrative as well, so that the book is larger in scope than it would be if it were only focused on Inman and Ada.

A summary of the book can't possibly do it justice. In telling the small story of Inman and Ada, Cold Mountain manages to tell a much larger one: it describes the life of the average man in the South during the Civil War years, the grueling work that mere survival required. But against a miserable backdrop, the difficulties imposed by nature and by the cruelty of one's fellows, hope remains possible. And redemption.

So I'm no longer cursing Frazier's masterpiece (though I still think the early part about Inman's friendship with Swimmer would best be omitted). Nor am I cursing my daughter's assignment. In fact, I'm impressed that her school assigned a book that is not only challenging but also often indelicate. This is refreshing in world that is so often politically correct to the point of madness.

Comments

1.

The school mustn't have read the whole of Cold Mountain. I hope they won't stop at Cold Mountain and suggest other books that will definitely make the kids want to read more books.

2.

She's reading some great stuff in this class. They started with mythology, then just finished the Odyssey. I wish I'd had this English class in high school.

3.

Cold Mountain can be tough to read. The first time through it was a chore for me. The second time it started to clear up and each time since it has been amazing.
It takes work, but Frazier tells a wonderful tale. After the first time through, now when I read it, I'm always a bit sad when I reach the last page.

4.

Thanks for stopping by, Sean. It's definitely a book that would repay rereading.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In