National Book Award, Fiction, 1997Here's the gripping audiobook version of the million-selling novel. A soldier wounded in the American Civil War, Inman turns his back on the carnage of the battlefield and begins the treacherous journey home to Cold Mountain - and to Ada, the woman he loved before the war began.
As Inman attempts to make his way across the mountains, through the devastated landscape of a soon-to-be-defeated South, Ada struggles to make a living from the land her once-wealthy father left when he died. Neither knows if the other is still alive.
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© Charles Frazier; (P) Random House Audio
"Magnificent." (Observer) "Audio intensifies the effect of Frazier's remarkable gift for quirky, conversational prose that has both the rhythm and the intensity of poetry." (The Times)
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Journeys are a pretty familiar way of exploring the world after the big collapse of civilisation (Book of Eli, The Road) and this is just what the American South has come to, the military, social and economic collapse of a decadent society. Through the post-war chaos one man just wants to head for home, but on route he has to pass the furies. This is no Oh Brother Where Art Thou however, for the curdled societies through which he travels home are now at war with themselves. Here is each against the other, where almost all are considered undesireable outsiders, and where the con-artist rules with a vicious recourse to violence and retribution. But the characters he meets are not all vile, though few if any are untouched by being within a deepening wasteland. And of course the returning soldier changes too, always aware of the fragility of life, of friendship, and of his goal to return home. The 'kindness of strangers' is rarely apparent, but at the most unlikely juncture people can learn a new respect for themselves and others. Meanwhile the folks back home also change out of recognition, to themselves and those who might seek them out. New skills are won and shared, new identities formed, threatened and defended. As the traveller and the homestead convergence the post-war South starts to emerge as something none would have wished to find, but all have some responsibly for creating. This might make the tale very depressing, but its ability to pick out the human moment in the strangest of places (betting on lacrosse with the Cherokee) means that overall I find this quite heartening, though without the more contrived bitter-sweet ending of the movie Sommersby. Even if you have already seen the film read or listen to the book. As is so often the case the book has so much more to offer than the film: your view of folk will never be quite the same. And if a civilisation should collapse, get home as quickly as possible and don't look back. It could happen here too.
"favourite book of all time"
This is my all time favourite book. Wish I could give it 6 stars
Nothing I've listened to or read
"Don't worry we won't use Nicole Kidman"
Excellent epic tale of love set against a background of the American Civil War. The descriptive passages contrast beautifully the trials and tribulations of a small cast of characters as they struggle to cope with the brutality of war and all its consequences.
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