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Cold Mountain
Cover of Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain
A Novel
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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.

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.

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About the Author-
  • Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. He now lives in Raleigh with his wife and daughter, where they raise horses. Cold Mountain is his first novel. His second, Thirteen Moons, will be published by Random House on October 3rd, 2006.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 19, 1997
    Rich in evocative physical detail and timeless human insight, this debut novel set in the Civil War era rural South considers themes both grand (humanity's place in nature) and intimate (a love affair transformed by the war) as a wounded soldier makes his way home to the highlands of North Carolina and to his prewar sweetheart. Shot in the neck during fighting at Petersburg, Inman was not expected to survive. After regaining the strength to walk, he begins his dangerous odyssey. Just as the traumas of life on the battlefront have changed Inman, the war's new social and economic conditions have left their mark on Ada. With the death of her father and loss of income from his investments, Ada can no longer remain a pampered Charleston lady but must eke out a living from her father's farm in the Cold Mountain community, where she is an outsider. Frazier vividly depicts the rough and varied terrain of Inman's travels and the colorful characters he meets, all the while avoiding Federal raiders and the equally brutal Home Guard. The sweeping cycle of Inman's homeward journey is deftly balanced by Ada's growing sense of herself and her connection to the natural world around the farm. In a leisurely, literate narrative, Frazier shows how lives of soldiers and of civilians alike deepen and are transformed as a direct consequence of the war's tragedy. There is quiet drama in the tensions that unfold as Inman and Ada come ever closer to reunion, yet farther from their former selves. BOMC and QPB selections; paperback rights to Vintage; rights sold in Germany, the U.K. and France; film rights sold to Lynne Pleshette. (June) FYI: Frazier's great-great-grandfather was the source of this story about a Civil War soldier who deserted and walked home.

  • James Polk, The New York Times Book Review “Charles Frazier has taken on a daunting task--and has done extraordinarily well by it... a Whitmanesque foray into America: into its hugeness, its freshness, its scope and its soul."
  • Alfred Kazin, The New York Review of Books “Charles Frazier's feeling for the Southern landscape is reverential and beautifully composed. He has written an astonishing first novel."
  • Malcolm Jones, Newsweek “An astonishing debut . . . The genuinely romantic saga of Ada and Inman is a page turner that attains the status of literature."
  • Christian Science Monitor “A richly rewarding first novel . . . Wonderfully convincing, finely detailed."
  • Newsday “Strikingly beautiful . . . In its vivid evocation of a time and place, its steady storytelling momentum, and its unabashed affirmation of a fiction that takes moral choice seriously, Cold Mountain calls to mind Snow Falling on Cedars."
  • People “A great read--a stirring Civil War tale told with epic sweep [and] loaded with vivid historical detail."
  • Fred Chappell, Raleigh News & Observer “As close to a masterpiece as American writing is going to come these days."
  • The New Yorker “This novel's landscape is finely drawn, full of dark beauty and presentiment, and so are its characters."
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Measured and graceful . . . savor it. You'll find the characters living in your head for a long time."
  • The Washington Post Book World “An exciting work of fiction."
  • San Francisco Chronicle “A rare and extraordinary book . . . heart-stopping . . . spellbinding."
  • Deirdre Donahue, USA Today “A haunting, beautifully written tale."
  • Kaye Gibbons “Deserves all the literary prizes that might be lying about."
  • Daily Telegraph "The novel is above all a sustained flight of the imagination."
  • Beth Macy, The Roanoke Times “Cold Mountain offers compelling glimpses into the surreal horrors of [the Civil War]. . . . Inman's gripping odyssey alternates with the story of princess-turned-pauper Ada. . . . Civil War buffs, old-time music devotees and love-story suckers--there's something in this book for everyone"
  • Eva Ciabattoni, Los Altos Town Crier “Frazier's spare prose is rich in detail and nuance and never misses a beat in evoking the Civil War-era South. . . . Open this book to any page and you will find a description, simile, metaphor or word choice to take you breath away."
  • Ann Klaiman, The Salida Mountain Mail “[A] spectacular book. . . . About loneliness and isolation and reaching out."
  • Erica Wager, The Times (London) “A remarkable first novel, a romance of love, of friendship, of family, of land. Frazier has inhaled the spirit of the age and breathes it into the reader's being."
  • John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil “Heartbreakingly beautiful . . . elegantly told and convincing down to the last haunting detail."
  • Frank Conroy “A superb novel--thrilling, richly detailed and powerful. I was spellbound."
  • Larry Brown, author of Father and Son “This is one of the best books I've read in a long time, and I cried when it was over. It's simply a miracle."
  • Robin Powers, St. Helens Book Shop, St. Helens, OR, Book Sense quote “A parallel narrative: Inman is seriously injured at the end of the Civil War and begins a dangerous journey home, and Ada has struggled to learn firsthand how to keep alive on her family farm. A beautifully written love story, with much to discuss."
  • Kate Atkinson “A beautiful book, written in exquisite prose."
  • Willie Morris “Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain is the most impressive and enthralling first novel I have read in a long time. It is a magnetic story, ambitious in scope, with richly developed characters and beautiful evocations of landscape. Though set in an earlier time, it is contemporary in the profoundest sense, with resonance of A Farewell to Arms."
  • Ann Beattie “Charles Frazier's novel is at once spare and eloquent, a panorama that the author stills long enough to make a portrait--a very evocative portrait of Inman, a soldier who is trying to escape a ruined world. Interspersed with so many moments of sadness, the many moments of compassion seem entirely convincing and are very affecting; when Ada 'wanted to tell him how she had come to be what she was,' the understatement--as it is so often in Cold Mountain--is almost shattering. And then comes the ending."
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A Novel
Charles Frazier
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