[Ebook] Cold Mountain By Charles Frazier – Thepurelynaturalcompany.co.uk

Cold Mountain Be strong, saith my heart I am a soldier I have seen worse sights than thisHomer, The OdysseyHaving recently read The Odyssey, I was prompted by Goodreads friend, JulieGrippo, to go on this journey namely, Homer s epic voyage transposed to the terrain of 19th century North America.Inman not as heroic as Odysseus , an army deserter wounded in the American Civil War, faces a treacherous, interminable journey home to his love, Ada ergo Odysseus s Penelope.You can see from my five stBe strong, saith my heart I am a soldier I have seen worse sights than thisHomer, The OdysseyHaving recently read The Odyssey, I was prompted by Goodreads friend, JulieGrippo, to go on this journey namely, Homer s epic voyage transposed to the terrain of 19th century North America.Inman not as heroic as Odysseus , an army deserter wounded in the American Civil War, faces a treacherous, interminable journey home to his love, Ada ergo Odysseus s Penelope.You can see from my five star rating that I was captivated by this book, but it could just have easily been demoted to three stars as it was very nearly hoisted by a petard of its own poetic prose.So I ll just get my two gripes out of the way, then we can all sit down and have a nice cup of tea Gripe 1One of my pet peeves is seeing dialogue that isn t neatly nestled between some perfectly respectable speech marks Why, Charles Frazier Why They were evidently good enough for Dickens, Hugo and Dostoyevsky yet, for some artsy reason, you didn t feel the need.Of course, the enlightened readers among us can get by without them but, applying the same logic, why bother with commas and full stops In fact, let s go the whole hog and eliminate vowels as well Huh Bloody vowels, making words much longer than they need to be Gripe 2More than most, I drool over a banquet of sumptuous prose Frazier writes beautifully and songbirds landed on my shoulders while I read, rather like a dreamy scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs All, it seemed, was perfectly spiffing in my world.But holy pretentiousness, Batman Surely, he didn t have to pack every blimmin paragraph with eminence until each one burst at the seams The high calibre prose, though meritorious, did quicksand the pace of my read and decelerated the narrative thrust of the story Ahhh, now isn t it just grand to get things off one s chest So, how about that nice cup of tea do you take milk and sugar The story, despite my two gripes, is a towering epic worthy of the utmost praise Evocative and monumental, it carries weighty themes of love, resilience, honour and devotion with great aplomb Granted, it doesn t flow like a cold mountain stream, but you won t often see writing as good as this in our modern age Reading Road Trip 2020Current location North Carolina 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.Like Inman, I have been trying to get to Cold Mountain for years now My original inspiration came from a family of beloved Tar Heel next door neighbors who introduced me to sweet tea, red velvet cake and unhurried speech They made homemade ice cream in the summers while standing on the patio Reading Road Trip 2020Current location North Carolina 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.Like Inman, I have been trying to get to Cold Mountain for years now My original inspiration came from a family of beloved Tar Heel next door neighbors who introduced me to sweet tea, red velvet cake and unhurried speech They made homemade ice cream in the summers while standing on the patio in bare feet and they produced vegetables from soil the color of coffee grounds while the rest of us stared down at the Florida sand, knowing that nothing would grow there.The Tar Heel husband of this family would alternately love on his wife in a demonstrative way I had never witnessed before, then occasionally produce a gun after too much moonshine and wave it menacingly in the air, terrifying his wife and all three daughters Somehow, order would always be restored the next day I have always known that these were my people.I have flirted with a move to North Carolina at several different junctures of my adult life, but the closest I have come to making that move is now Now, oraccurately, this summer And now well, you know The damned pandemic The thing that is upsetting the natural course of our daily lives, our dreams, our plans, our equilibrium, too But, though it is true that every age considers the world to be in a precarious state, at the very edge of dark, we are being threatened with something that so many others who have walked before us have faced pandemics, wars, depressions, recessions, tyrannical leaders, natural disasters.So, my plans are on hold Like Inman s Like Ada s Like Ruby s Like Stobrod s But, we keep on planning and we keep on dreaming, even if we do look up, as Inman does, and think sometimes, God, if I could sprout wings and fly I would be gone from this place, my great wings bearing me up and out, long feathers hissing in the wind.One foot after the other foot after the other foot after the other foot.It hurts So much of it hurts, and you d be hard pressed to say which hurts , the physical or emotional pain, but pain goes eventually, and when it s gone, there s no lasting memory Not the worst of it anyway It fades Our minds aren t made to hold on to the particulars of pain the way we do bliss.And so, we continue walking, because, like Inman, most of us can see that there is little usefulness in speculating much on what a day will bring.We walk and we rejoice that we are readers and we know that a book may provide a holiness of such richness that one might dip into it at random and read only one sentence and yet be sure of finding instruction and delight.And it is good, so very good, to be reminded of how much others have suffered here, and how much solace holy words wherever we find them may provide us and how often we can delight in natural beauty And it is so good, so very good, to have reminders to look around us at what is precious to us and conjure the poetry of our lives, the words of spells and incantations to ward off the things one fears most.For, just as Odysseus was pushed by a great gale as soon as he was within sight of home, so will you be pushed away from goals and dreams and loved ones For, just as Inman is captured and tied and dragged back over all the terrain he has already traveled, so will you be waylaid and rerouted and broken.But, you ve got to keep on walking, straight as the crow flies, regardless of what happens to you on your journey You ve got to keep crawling toward your Cold Mountain, keep it always in front of you JourneyA sweeping and tumultuous story of an injured American civil war soldier who goes AWOL and makes a relentless and dangerous journey back home to Cold Mountain, and to the woman he intends spending the rest of his life with As poetic as Homer s Odyssey, Charles Frazier s Cold Mountain is an outstanding literary masterpiece He tells the story of Inman and Ada, their past, people they meet on their travels, the challenges they face and the dreams they hold dear A physical journey home and JourneyA sweeping and tumultuous story of an injured American civil war soldier who goes AWOL and makes a relentless and dangerous journey back home to Cold Mountain, and to the woman he intends spending the rest of his life with As poetic as Homer s Odyssey, Charles Frazier s Cold Mountain is an outstanding literary masterpiece He tells the story of Inman and Ada, their past, people they meet on their travels, the challenges they face and the dreams they hold dear A physical journey home and a journey of personal development, equally captivating, equally precarious and equally drawing the story to a climactic ending With a magician s hand, Frazier keeps us spellbound with the central story, while conjuring wisps of literary tales from Greek, Roman and English literature and weaving them into the narrative with the effortless hand of an illusionist Frazier is never obvious with the content of his story, even though Odysseus journey back from the Trojan War to his wife Penelope in Ithaca, reverberates throughout this novel This is not about a modern retelling of the Odyssey but rather enticing us to explore how the ancient folklore has been reshaped to provide a unique, clever and agonising alternative Within the narrative, we catch faded echoes of exotic characters such as Witches, Sirens, Cyclopes, Persephone, Calypso, Cerberus, Narcissus but their behaviour may or may not follow an expected path but it will always be imaginatively realised.Inman battles elements of nature as he travels through the winter cold, wet, hungry and at times disorientated He is an honest man and often reflectsthe wrong a man does flies back at himAs a soldier he has seen horrors and been part of those horrors, but he approaches every situation with a positive intent that fairness will be done Sometimes kindness is repaid and sometimes it is manipulated against him Regardless, Inman must face all his trials as he descends through the levels of hell who knows maybe there are nine of them and Dante makes an appearance as well Ada is joined by Ruby as she now tries to make her farm operational following the death of her father A lady of leisure, Ada must now face a harsh reality and journey through the challenges of hard work, growing crops, raising livestock, fixing fences and trading for goods Ruby is accomplished at this type of work and bluntly forces Ada to play her part in this endeavour Ada now goes to bed tired and physically exhausted and her outward appearance changes to sun drenched skin, rough skinned hands and practical work clothes.Frazier places nature as a constant reference point and uses it with distinguished ardour Elements of birds and trees add deeper appreciation of the signs nature is constantly presenting to us Nature with its mythical connections gives Frazier another wand to magically enthral us.This was a first buddy read with Julie and it was a joy to take our time and discuss the links and decipher the meaning of various scenes I am full of admiration for Charles Frazier after devouring his epic piece of work and I would highly recommend reading the book Another addition to my Top 10 books of all time Considering the widespread acclaim this book and its subsequent film adaptation have received, I m reluctant to write a negative review Still, a dissenting opinion at least makes for an interesting read This was absolutely the most boring book I have ever read It took me about a year to finish it, because every time I tried to pick it up, day or night, I was asleep in minutes Though the descriptions of the picturesque mountainous landscape are often beautiful, I fail to see the point I can Considering the widespread acclaim this book and its subsequent film adaptation have received, I m reluctant to write a negative review Still, a dissenting opinion at least makes for an interesting read This was absolutely the most boring book I have ever read It took me about a year to finish it, because every time I tried to pick it up, day or night, I was asleep in minutes Though the descriptions of the picturesque mountainous landscape are often beautiful, I fail to see the point I can t understand why the lovers at the center of the plot even like eachother, and in general I find the characters motivation for doing anything completely inexplicable I don t wish to spoil the story such as it is for any would be readers, so I ll refrain from posting plot details Suffice it to say that the entire plot hinges on a series of events that conveniently take place, but seem to have no basis in reality Why, for example, did the protagonist undertake his long journey in the first place This is, to my mind, never made adequately clear Consequently, instead of rooting for the characters, I end up thinking, What a bunch of morons Did not like it Although it has an interesting structure and pretext, it is so intellectualized that it is hard to care about the characters at all It seems like Frazier isinterested in showing off than in writing a gripping work of fiction. How long would you wait for your lover, if you knew not whether they were alive, and you yourself had changed almost beyond recognition This is a beautiful, understated, unsentimental Odyssey of quiet longing, endurance, and transformation This journey will be the axle of my life Inman s journey is across hundreds of dangerous miles, fleeing war and trying to get to where his love lives, four years after they parted She had made her way to a place where an entirely other order prevailed fro How long would you wait for your lover, if you knew not whether they were alive, and you yourself had changed almost beyond recognition This is a beautiful, understated, unsentimental Odyssey of quiet longing, endurance, and transformation This journey will be the axle of my life Inman s journey is across hundreds of dangerous miles, fleeing war and trying to get to where his love lives, four years after they parted She had made her way to a place where an entirely other order prevailed from what she had always known Ada s journey takes place within a few miles of her home It s no coincidence that Inman s treasured book is a travel book whereas Ruby held a deep distrust of travel , even to the shops Times are tough, but at least Ada and Inman have confidence in who and what it is they yearn for StructureMost of the novel alternates between Ada s and Inman s separate struggles to survive, with backstory gradually provided by their reminiscences Each of Inman s chapters involves a dramatic encounter, good or bad, that sheds light on his character, as well as the trials of war and wilderness Ada is 26, orphaned, nearly destitute, and trying to cope with a little land, but no staff or skill The varying tempo works well.Both Inman and Ada cultivate the art of really seeing Inman is ever watchful, noticing every little sign in nature or people s behaviour that may signal danger a shadow behind leaves, a blade hidden in a hairdo Ada learns to see the signs of seasons, weather, harvest, birds, and animals.The language is sometimes a little archaic, as it should be Quotation marks are not used, but I didn t really feel their absence dialog is usually prefaced with a long dash.Civil WarAlthough the backdrop is the American civil war, I didn t feel hampered by my relative lack of knowledge of US history There was enough background detail to picture daily life, but the politics and the war were external to the characters, and hence to me as a reader.Right and Wrong Revenge and ForgivenessInman is a deserter badly injured, but a deserter none the less He was never a natural killer, is haunted by what he s seen and done , and doesn t believe in the cause anyway, if he ever did There are gangs wanting bounty for finding deserters, and desperate men who will kill for any reason and none Coupled with his inherently peaceful and forgiving nature, repeatedly put to the test, the risks are great Pondering the story of a man born blind, Inman asks himself What would be the cost of not having an enemy Who could you strike for retribution other than yourself But retribution isn t really his mindset he s almost too good to be true, given the hardships and dangers he faces, such as stealing food, but leavingmoney than it s worth, putting himself in grave danger to help strangers,and avoiding and preventing violence, even when it s not really his responsibility and would be easier to walk away He s certainlyforgiving than the disgraced preacher, Veasey.The Sustenance of Literature and MusicAn unexpected pleasure was the underlying thread of the solace to be found in books On the very first page, Inman is in military hospital settling his mind with a treasured copy of Travels of William Bartram Throughout the story, he returns to this book, in small snippets, at times of need view spoiler When he s reunited with Ada, he reads her an extract hide spoiler Ada s relationship with books fluctuates at her lowest point the characters seemed to lead fuller lives than she did , and when she s first dragooned into hard labour to make the land viable, she drops the habit of keeping a book in her pocket However, at the end of the day, reading aloud is a pleasure and a bonding experience for her and Ruby We glimpse the privilege of opening someone s eyes to the joys of powerful stories Another, seemingly irredeemable, character finds salvation in music, starting off with a handful of standard fiddle tunes, but making his own instruments and composing a large repertoire of moving pieces The grouping of sounds said something comforting to him about the rule of creation, a powerful argument against the notion that things just happen CouplesAt least as important as the relationship between Ada and Inman, and possiblyinteresting, is that between Ada educated, city girl, now alone in the country and Ruby an illiterate who was an almost feral child She comes to help Ada, not quite as a servant, not initially as a friend, let alone equal, but Ruby takes charge of instructing in the sense of educating Ada and even telling her what, when, and how to do To Ada, Ruby s monologues seemed composed mainly of verbs, all of them tiring and Ruby made a point of refusing to tackle all the unpleasant tasks herself Ada puts up with this because she realises that Ruby would not let her fail , whereas a hired hand might just walk away There are moments when view spoiler you wonder how far Ada and Ruby s friendship will go when Ruby puts Ada s bracelet on her own wrist but then puts it back again when Ada slips a ring on Ruby s finger which Ruby takes off The latter is just after Inman has returned, and Ruby has said We can do without him There s not a thing we can t do ourselves But when she realises Ada loves Inman, she backtracks completely, and tactfully contrives to leave them alone hide spoiler.Inman draws strength from his devotion to and memories of Ada He occasionally looks at other women water is a recurring theme , but it s all very chaste view spoiler Even when the young widow who s just lost her child, asks him to share her bed without touching, nothing happened nor did he really want it to hide spoiler Then there s Ruby s estranged, good for nothing father, Stobrod, and Ada s role in handling and healing their relationship.Nature NamesThere is mythical power in names Ada s education was academic and theoretical she knows the names of almost none of the plants and animals, and that is part of her helplessness in her new situation In contrast, Ruby has an encyclopaedic knowledge of such things, and thus she takes the lead in survival Ruby is also guided by signs that Ada s preacher father, Monroe, would have dismissed as superstition Ada chose to view the signs as metaphoric a way of being alert so that she could honor them But a hundred pages later, she writes to her cousin in Charleston about how field work has changed her, Should a crow fly over I mark it in all its details, but I do not seek analogy for its blackness I suspect it is somehow akin to contentment It s worth noting that the first chapter is titled the shadow of a crow and the last spirits of crows, dancing.The Ending and the EpilogueTwenty pages from the end, it was so tender and understated and perfect that I had to pause I was sure it would end badly, and I couldn t bear it view spoiler The reunion of Ada and Inman is wonderfully, but unsentimentally, done He finds her, dressed like a man, hunting turkeys, rather than in the fine skirts he d remembered She doesn t recognise him, so he apologies and walks away When she does recognise him by his voice , there are no dramas, just tentative steps towards an unknown present and even less certain future No previous formula of etiquette seemed to apply Even when left alone, they re unsure what to do so Inman reads a passage from Bartram and then does the washing up But eventually they talk, to rewrite even a shard of the past as lover do before they can move forward paired Eventually, The world was such a lonely place, and to lie down beside him, skin to skin, seemed the only cure Then they plan their future Their whole lives stretched ahead of them but also youth was about over for them and what lay ahead was another country entirely, wherein the possibilities narrowed down moment by moment It s all too good to be last Inman is shot by Teague s gang Ada gets to him in time to hold him as he dies.This is a horrible symmetry with much earlier mention of what happened to Ada s own parents, who met and loved when young, were separated for years, and joyfully reunited, but only very briefly, before one of them died.The epilogue compensates for the tragedy of Inman s death by showing Ada and her daughter living happily with Ruby, Ruby s husband, their children, and Ruby s reformed father However, without that, the final scene would be touching and, slightly ambiguous, which I think I prefer hide spoiler Reminds me Of The links are to my reviews of these books The quiet stoicism, solace in literature, and connection to the soil, reminded me of one of my two favourite books, Stoner.The almost literal saving power of books in the midst of turmoil and deprivation is something Jeanette Winterson stresses in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal.The harsh beauty of the mountains, coupled with love and longing, reminded me a little of Brokeback Mountain The similarity of title may be a factor, too.Quotes The first smear of foggy dawn and he waited for the world to begin shaping outside Nature sometimes calls attention to its specific features and recommends them for interpretation Educated beyond the point considered wise for females but impractically for the demands of an exposed life Though not a childless couple, they had retained an air of romance in their marriage, as the barren often do The foul country was vague and ominous in the moonlight He would like to love the world as it was Hate took no effort other than to look about When it became too dark to read and the air turned blue and started to congeal with mist Celebration had been a lacking feature of her life since survival had such a sharp way of focusing one s attention elsewhere She had lived so long as to have achieved a state of near transparency Gypsies had a fine honesty in their predatory relationship with the rest of mankind I know what he means, but Dying there seemed easier than not Inman had seen so much death it had come to seem a random thing it no longer seemed dark and mysterious He feared he might never make a civilian The easement of maiden, spinster, widow , though if your knowledge of anatomy is to a degree hypothetical , your fantasies may focus on fingers, wrists and forearms A path so coiled and knotted he could not say what its general tendency was He felt fuddled and wayless Marrying a woman for her beauty makes nosense than eating a bird for its singing The pain settled to a distant noise, like living by a river In a dead man s clothes he felt he had donned the husk of another life as a ghost must, occupying the shape of the past to little effect A suggestion of trees as in a quick sketch, a casual gesture toward the form of trees as if there were no such thing as landscape The sentimentality of finding poignancy in the fall of leaves, of seeing it as the conclusion to the year and therefore metaphoric UPDATE re the FilmIf you love this book, or think you may read and love it in the future, avoid the the 2003 film starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Ren e Zellweger It s not that it s an awful film though the acting, accents, and very fake looking snow and scenery are pretty poor , and it s not the many very many tweaks they made to the plot some are inevitable with any adaptation from one medium to another No, the problem is that it seems to miss the entire point and atmosphere of the book By a long, long way There are some gory battle scenes, but in general, it s a sunny romance The sun is shining far too much of the time, even in Inman s dangerous travels, most of the hardship is soft focus, the power of the landscape is mostly missing, and the power of books is sidelined Inman s Bartram is important, but only because, in the film, it was Ada s parting gift, so it s a memento from a lover, rather than something separate, butprofound The best way I could find to describe the book is the American Civil War version of the Odyssey, with Inman as the wandering hero trying to find his way back home to the North Carolina Appallachians, and Ada as his Penelope tending the home fires This is an oversimplification, but the epic scope is there, the perilous journey, the oddball characters met on the road, the mystical elements of prophecy, cursed fate, faithful love Additional major themes tackled are the brutality and senselessness The best way I could find to describe the book is the American Civil War version of the Odyssey, with Inman as the wandering hero trying to find his way back home to the North Carolina Appallachians, and Ada as his Penelope tending the home fires This is an oversimplification, but the epic scope is there, the perilous journey, the oddball characters met on the road, the mystical elements of prophecy, cursed fate, faithful love Additional major themes tackled are the brutality and senselessness of war, women emancipation, Native American Cherokee Trail of Tears, music as soul healer and the majesty of naturehe 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 Inman is a young man born and raised in the high country, at the foot of Cold Mountain, the highest peak in this scarcely populated corner of North Carolina He goes to war not out of any patriotic fervor or deep seated political convictions, but in search of adventure and excitement The four years in the trenches cure him of any romantic feelings about organized killing, leaving him sorely wounded and spiritually crushedAnyone could be oracle for the random ways things fall against each other It was simple enough to tell fortunes if a man dedicated himself to the idea that the future will inevitably be worse than the past and that time is a path leading nowhere but a place of deep and persistent threat The way Inman saw it, if a thing like Fredericksburg was to be used as a marker of current position, then many years hence, at the rate we re going, we ll be eating one another raw His one comfort in the long bed ridden hospital weeks is a travel book describing the mountains back home, a Bartram guide that will accompany him on all his travels once he decides to turn his back on the war and walk back home As a deserter he is forced to hide during the day and walk only by night, stealing what scarce food he could find Local militias are combing the territory looking for his ilk, andthan once Inman is forced to fight his way free The destruction of his character is visible most of all in the way he is still living in a world where the options are kill or be killed , always ready to solve his problems at gunpoint Inman is no angel of peace, making his separate peace and searching for redemption He is still very much a professional killer, a desperado who will let nothing stand in his way, a PTSD victim that belongs in a hospital rather than roaming freeYou will be living fitfully Your soul will fade to blue, the color of despair Your spirit will wane and dwindle away, never to reappear Your path lies toward the Nightland This is your path There is no otheris the refrain of a Cherokee curse that marks every step Inman takes.Yet, glimpses of his former character resurface in the way he takes the part of the less fortunate than himself, usually women in distress like Sara a teenage war widow with a small child and a pig There was nothing about her story remarkable other than that it was her life As he leaves the lower lands and comes closer to the high hills, Inman s struggles becomedesperate due to lack of food and exhaustion, yet his spirit becomes free of his flesh and soarsGod, if I could sprout wings and fly, I would be gone from this place, my great wings bearing me up and out, long feathers hissing in the wind The world would unfurl below me like a bright picture on a scroll of paper and there would be nothing holding me to ground The watercourses and hills passing under me effortless and simple And me just rising and rising till I was but a dark speck on the clear sky Gone on elsewhere To live among the tree limbs and cliff rocks Elements of humanity might come now and again like emissaries to draw me back to the society of people Unsuccesful every time Fly off to some high ridge and perch, observing the bright light of common day Inman chapters in the book alternate with the story of Ada Monroe Ada is a preacher s daughter from Charleston, who moved to the mountains hoping her father s illness tuberculosis wil improve When he dies, she is left alone on the farm they bought, utterly helpless to fend for herself,Monroe tried to keep her a child and, with litle resistance from her, he had largely succeeded She is a poster child of the Victorian morals and fetish for women as delicate and useless hothouse flowers Some readers might find her part of the novel boring, but for me it was as compelling as the journey of Inman Ada too is enchanted by the beauty of the mountains and is interested in all the forms of life around her initially in an aestethic way through watercolours and journal entries, later through the healthy sweat of her labours and the satisfaction of doing things with your own hand Ada is helped along by Ruby, a local girl who learned very early to fend for herself when she was abandoned by her drunken father Stobrod Not even Ada s farm is safe from the ravages of war Refugees from places sacked by the Northern Army pass through, local militias make their own law burning and pillaging The most reprehensible thing in the whole book is this description of the total war concept, where you set out to destroy non military targets in order to demoralize your adversary Unfortunately the tactichas become the norm in modern times where nothing is considered civilian any.A third storyline is introduced later in the novel, but it was one of my favorites, given my own passion for blues music Initially Ruby s father Stobrod is presented as a lowlife rascal, but years away in the war have changed him in unexpected ways His salvation comes through musicOne thing he discovered with a great deal of astonishment was that music heldfor him than just pleasure There was meat to it The groupings of sounds, their forms in the air as they rang out and faded, said something comforting to him about the rule of creation What the music said was that there is a right way for things to be ordered so that life might not always be just tangle and drift but have a shape, an aim It was a powerful argument against the notion that things just happen.I will stop here in order to not spoil the ending of the novel, as the paths of Inman and Ada converge, although many are probably familiar with it from the movie version I liked the book better, especially as I thought the movie insisted too much on Ada and Ruby and not enough on Inman and his troubles on the road Yet it was a faithful adaptation, and over it was filmed around my usual mountain weekend haunts in the Southern Carpathians arc, a lovely country, rugged in places, rolling hills over the next horizon, huge forests and welcoming locals The descriptions of the Appalachians feltthan usually familiar and appealingThe track was ill used, so coiled and knotted he could not say what its general tendency was It aimed nowhere certain but up The brush and bracken grew thick in the footway, and the ground seemed to be healing over, so that in some near future the way would not even remain as scar For several miles it mostly wound its way through a forest of immense hemlocks, and the fog lay among them so thick that heir green boughs were hidden Only the black trunks were visible, rising into the low sky like old menhirs stood up by a forgotten race to memorialize the darker events of their history I did have some minor issues with the book, mostly about the slow pacing and the surprising literacy of Inman given his modest origins, but the superb prose of Frasierthan made up for it Just don t expect a fast paced adventure, and you might have a very rewarding read on your hands Highly recommended for lovers of Nature and introspective historical fiction I ll end with a Wordsworth quote Ada uses in the book to describe the mountainsEarth has not anything to showfair Dull would be the soul who could pass by a sight so touching in its majesty link to a gallery of my mountain photos mountain views Cold Mountain Is A Novel About A Soldier S Perilous Journey Back To His Beloved Near The Civil War S End At Once A Love Story A Harrowing Account Of One Man S Long Walk Home, Cold Mountain Introduces A New Talent In American LiteratureBased On Local History Family Stories Passed Down By Frazier S Great Great Grandfather, Cold Mountain Is The Tale Of A Wounded Confederate Soldier, Inman, Who Walks Away From The Ravages Of The War Back Home To His Prewar Sweetheart, Ada His Odyssey Thru The Devastated Landscape Of The Soon To Be Defeated South Interweaves With Ada S Struggle To Revive Her Father S Farm, With The Help Of An Intrepid Young Drifter Named Ruby As Their Long Separated Lives Begin To Converge At The Close Of The War, Inman Ada Confront The Vastly Transformed World They Ve Been DeliveredFrazier Reveals Insight Into Human Relations With The Land The Dangers Of Solitude He Also Shares With The Great Th Century Novelists A Keen Observation Of A Society Undergoing Change Cold Mountain Recreates A World Gone By That Speaks To Our Time You ve probably seen the movie made from this book.It was a fine movie It won Oscars.But it cannot begin to capture the truly spectacular parts of this story because they are not the surface level narratives that make it onto the big screen.Before you can truly appreciate the quality of this book, you need to be familiar with at least Homer s Odyssey, Dante s Inferno, and parts of the Bible You need to be on guard for a depth of symbolism and complexity of foreshadowing and allusion that will You ve probably seen the movie made from this book.It was a fine movie It won Oscars.But it cannot begin to capture the truly spectacular parts of this story because they are not the surface level narratives that make it onto the big screen.Before you can truly appreciate the quality of this book, you need to be familiar with at least Homer s Odyssey, Dante s Inferno, and parts of the Bible You need to be on guard for a depth of symbolism and complexity of foreshadowing and allusion that will boggle your mind.I always knew the movie didn t really get the book, but when my dad who has not read the book referred to it as a chick flick because he thought of it primarily as a love story which it is, but not that kind , then I really realized what one misses when one has not read the book Stunning This book is the perfect example of timing being everything I tried to read this book when it was first released and I don t think I got passed the first 25 pages I tried again after I saw the movie with the same outcome Fast forward to 2016, the book obviously hasns t changed but I am a completely different reader and I LOVED this book I m pretty generous with 5 star reviews but I don t add many books to my favorites shelf which is where this one ended up It is a slow burn and yo Stunning This book is the perfect example of timing being everything I tried to read this book when it was first released and I don t think I got passed the first 25 pages I tried again after I saw the movie with the same outcome Fast forward to 2016, the book obviously hasns t changed but I am a completely different reader and I LOVED this book I m pretty generous with 5 star reviews but I don t add many books to my favorites shelf which is where this one ended up It is a slow burn and you have to be patient and take your time but the reward is so worth it The story is beautiful and haunting and I am so glad that I kept trying and finally found the right time to read this


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