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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

An American Odyssey

-Slow start, but once you get past the first 50 pages or so you won't want to put it down.

This book is really a set of very, very short stories all tied together into two main narrative lines. It can be very frustrating to some who just want to get the story moving, but that the main plotlines are not really the point. The wonder and randomness and beauty and brutishness of this thing we call life is the point. This is no "Pilgrims Progress" in which the main characters struggle and eventually reach a higher consciousness and understanding. However, it is a Post-modernist American Odyssey. In the original Odyssey, Odysseus goes from one adventure to the next on his way home from war. In it the reader (originally the listener) learns life lessons and Odysseus comes home a better man for all of his troubles.

Charles Frazier
Inman and Ada's adventures remind me of that but without the over-arching themes (thus, it is post-modernist), unless you consider the utter randomness and chaos (both good and bad) of life a theme. Are Ada and Inman better people as a result of their struggles? No, just different. Some characters become better people as a result of the war, some worse.

-Great book. Enjoyable read. I have not yet seen the movie, but I wonder how it can possibly do this book any justice.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. 

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