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The Red Badge of Courage & The Veteran (Classics)
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The Red Badge of Courage & The Veteran (Classics)

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3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  362 ratings  ·  27 reviews
One of the greatest works of American literature, The Red Badge of Courage gazes fearlessly into the bright hell of war through the eyes of one young soldier, the reluctant Henry Fleming. Written by Stephen Crane at the age of twenty-one, the novel imagines the Civil War's terror and loss with an unblinking vision so modern and revolutionary that, upon publication, critics ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 12th 2000 by Modern Library (first published 1990)
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Lyman Phillips
Aug 21, 2007 Lyman Phillips rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young readers
Shelves: classics
I reread this book after about 25 years, but it did not age well. I was hoping that this would be relevant to our current war-ridden times, but I think there are better options out there, such as My War: Killing Time in Iraq, by Colby Buzzell (California liberal slacker goes to war for a steady job), and Just Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq, by Jason Christopher Hartley (educated kid from a military family goes to Iraq and learns it is not all it was cracked up to be, but still lea ...more
Kip Lowery
I am taking some time to read some of the books for my 15-year-old daughter’s literature class, and just finished reading “Red Badge of Courage.” I have discussed some part with her already, but I wanted to write a short review about the book, just to pull from my brain the impression it made upon me—nothing fancy or not super in-depth. (some spoilers)

My wife and daughter said she cried at parts, and so, having cried at Where the Red Fern Grows, I prepped myself. But I just did not get the emoti
...more
Angie Palau
I read this in high school and only remembered a general "feeling" of lots of darkness, fear, and a red glow in a Civil War Setting. Having now re-read it, I still feel it that way. It's beautifully written, and it's very vivid. It provides a brief glimpse into the experience of a very young Union Soldier in the Civil War, who initially flees in terror from battle, then reclaims his courage and forges on.

It's technically an excellent book, and I understand why it is a classic because it transpor
...more
Meghan
Following the main character through his psychological angst regarding how he would react to conflict on the battlefield to his actual reactions and how his mind coped with these reactions was really interesting. I felt that Crane, despite having never been in battle himself, did an incredible job of portraying some very human characteristics. The worry about whether he would be a coward or actually be a hero; the shame and paranoia of running away; the quick re-painting of events in his mind an ...more
Jane G Meyer
Mad and I tried to listen to this story of the Civil War. I'm afraid we weren't brave enough to make it through to the end. We played it in the car--as we've done with other books while driving hither and yon, and because there is so very much narration and flowery description we kept losing track of the sparse action. It became maddening and we finally simply placed the CD's back in the case and dropped the whole thing in the library bin.

Perhaps someday I'll pick this story up in book form. May
...more
Nikolas Kalar
Though, without a doubt, a powerful and effective novel that certainly earns its gut-wrenching reputation, for my money, Stephen Crane is a much better story composer than he is a novelist. The short story included with this edition -- a sequel of sorts, The Veteran -- is considerably more enjoyable to read. Crane's prose are sluggish and tiring in the full form of a novel, but with the fire at his feet, in the limited frame of a short story, he writes with an authors fervor that is hard to deny ...more
Laura
I don't like American Lit. Crane may have something to do with this. The Red Badge of Courage is painfully slow. You have no sense of time with "the youth". He makes up for it with his use of synesthesia, imager, detail and use of the vernacular, but barely. This is somehow seen as a coming of age story: in a way it is but more like a work in progress. If you like slow ad all over the place type stories this is one for you.
Kelly
I found the main character's fears about being cowardly in battle riveting. I can appreciate Red Badge as one of the first modern American novels. However, high school students need to read a book about the reality of war from a grunt's perspective, but there are probably better choices -- such as Cold Mountain. Do most American high school students read such a book anymore? Or is that unpopular during our wartime?
Matthew
This was one of those books I had been meaning to read for a long time. The writing is poetic in form but the author does not romanticize the subject matter. The main character is a human being and an individual but at the same time he has the feeling of a man whose life is out of his control. He can only react to his surroundings and his reactions feel very real.
Dominique
I remember reading this book in junior high and really enjoying it. Re-reading now almost 25 years later has given me new insight. As an adult I can't stand this book. It drug on and on. Discussing the symbolism and such in a group style, in a classroom environment, seemed to have made this book interesting. Without that? Boring. Blah.
Ryan
I read this in junior high school and didn't really get all the fuss back then. I figured it must have been because I didn't like the fact that I was forced to read it so I read it again as an adult. That wasn't the case. I have no appreciation for this book. Whatever I was supposed to take away from it, I didn't.
Kyra
Again, it was a book that was forced upon me by my English teacher. It was pretty strange and difficult to understand or follow, but it had about one or two moments. Therefore, I bestow my generous rating of 2 to this (somehow) classic American novel.
tom
Feb 19, 2013 tom rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I liked it but didn't feel that impressed by it. In my opinion it was a little over rated but managed to keep my interest atleast to finish it. There are some valauable lessons to be learned here.
Haley
I read this book for English, also! It puts a great insight into the Civil War and becoming a hero! Really great book. I liked it a lot.
Andy
Feb 27, 2011 Andy added it
haven't read it since high school so I don't remember if it's worth reading, if you know, drop me a liwait actually don't
Erin
It has never taken me so long to get through a 100 page book. It wasn't hard reading, it just never kept my attention.
Reed Gilbride
From a teaching standpoint, it became more enjoyable the longer I spent thinking and talking about it.
Andee Schuck
The Veteran is the perfect end to The Red Badge of Courage. I'm glad Henry finally found his courage ...more
Christina
Make sure you read "The Veteran" epilogue-ish thing at the end. It changes/solidifies everything.
Melanie
A fascinating and often poetic analysis of fear that takes the Civil War as its setting.
Garth
May 16, 2012 Garth marked it as to-read
civil war education... its been on my shelf for months, so far so good.
Jen
Good old fashioned honor, bravery and integrity.
Deven
Good book but moderately predictable.
Jesse Macicak
Read for book report. It was OK.
Coy
Best Civil War book I've ever read.
Stacy
An overhyped piece of "literature."
Danielle
Danielle marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2015
Kim Musillani
Kim Musillani marked it as to-read
May 24, 2015
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19879
Stephen Crane was an American novelist, poet and journalist, best known for the novel Red Badge of Courage. That work introduced the reading world to Crane's striking prose, a mix of impressionism, naturalism and symbolism. He died at age 28 in Badenweiler, Baden, Germany.

More about Stephen Crane...
The Red Badge of Courage The Red Badge of Courage and Selected Short Fiction  Maggie: A Girl of the Streets The Open Boat and Other Stories The Open Boat

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