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The Red Badge of Courage And Four Stories

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  269 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
A pioneer in the realistic school of American fiction and the true forerunner of Ernest Hemingway, Stephen Crane probed the thoughts and actions of trapped or baited men fighting the destructive forces in nature, in other human beings, and in themselves...
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 1997 by Signet Classics (first published 1960)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 445)
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Dec 28, 2014 Kris rated it liked it
Shelves: books-owned
A good lesson in history, but I didn't connect with the characters or stories very much. While Crane's descriptions are very vivid, the plot itself of Red Badge is rather... uneventful? I don't know, but besides being shot at, shooting at others, and carrying a flag, nothing much seems to happen. Of course I am not downplaying the brutality of war, but Crane just didn't get me very invested in the characters' lives. It felt devastating more in a general sense, rather than in a personal sense. Bu ...more
Feb 13, 2008 Judy rated it it was amazing
I think Crane is an amazingly powerful writer, and it is hard to take in the fact that he was still in his early 20s when he wrote this novel. The descriptions of being in battle, and the fluctuating emotions of the young soldier, ring true to me.

I know he had never fought in a war, but he had interviewed veterans. His prose has an almost hallucinatory quality to it at times, with vivid details or flashes of colour amid a sense of confusion.

The short stories included in this book are also good
Oct 20, 2015 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe how low this is rated: pretty much bottom of the barrel as far as Goodreads is concerned. I thought Crane did a marvelous and poetic job depicting a young, young soldier stewing in his thoughts during the Civil War. This, even though Crane was born years after the war was over. I didn't care as much for the frenetic scenes of action because his stationary writing was so good, to be honest. His short stories The Blue Hotel and particularly The Monster were also outstandingly done ...more
Lance Lumley
Jul 13, 2015 Lance Lumley rated it it was ok
Recommended to Lance by: library purchase
I never understood why this book is a classic. I have read it many times, and even taught it when I was an English teacher. Crane does write detail on the effects of a soldier's mind during the Civil War, but other than that, not really sure what is amazing about it. Very few characters have actual names in the book, along with the fact that the setting is not really explained as where they are at. Maybe this was intentional, I am not sure. I picked it up at a library book sale to add to my clas ...more
Sep 01, 2009 Nola.pass rated it liked it
This book was about a boy named Henry Fleming who joins the Civil War as a member of the Union party. During the first fight his regiment has to face, he deserts his regiment. He then finds his injured friend Jim Conklin and stays with him until he dies. Upon trying to return to his regiment he gets into a fight with a fellow soldier, who hits him with his rifle butt in the back of the head causing him to bleed. When he finally returns to his regiment with the help of a fellow soldier, he is nur ...more
Sep 25, 2014 Brad rated it liked it
This is a classic coming of age story set during the American Civil War. Crane's style seems a mix of early Realism and Expressionism, but it also feels like a overt break from the Romantic movement prior to the Civil War. The "youth" Henry Fleming goes to war with romantic ideals of heroism, but discovers fear, isolation, failure and finally maturity. After his first encounter with battle, Fleming runs and wrestles with his cowardice. He returns, but disguises his running as having been wounded ...more
Jun 19, 2013 Sheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When the Kapolei Public Library hosted a visiting exhibit for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, they also hosted half a dozen public programs about the American Civil War. One of those programs was a discussion of the Stephen Crane American classic, The Red Badge of Courage. I thought I was just going to reread a book that I had already read thirty plus years ago in high school, but instead, I experienced the blooming of a rose on my literary soul for one of America’s best piece of anti-wa ...more
I am finally reading the Red Badge of Courage in this old school 1960 edition that sat on my bookshelf all growing up. I am enjoying the beginning, but I can see how this would be really hard for jr. high kids.

OK, I really enjoyed this. It's kind of hard for me to describe well, but I liked it. It's a very narrow, focused book about one young boy going off to fight for the north in the Civil War. There's a brief part about how he talks himself into going and his dreams of glory, but then it rea
Jan 30, 2009 RØB rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of famous literary works and/or war novels
Recommended to RØB by: Nobody, but I remember Dave Bishline did a presentation on it in
Well I'm done with THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE part, and am now reading the short stories. I'll add to this as I go.

Having read a little Hemingway (years ago, but it sticks with ya...or me, at least), it is clear to me now that Stephen Crane is a literary forefather of his. The stark and realistic style puts you right there. There's no flowery, buttered-up hogwash (which isn't to say I don't love that, too)--this is straightforward, dare I say stereotypically MANLY writing. I enjoyed the book--it a
Alex Nelson
Mar 25, 2012 Alex Nelson rated it liked it
I thought the book was hard to get into and absorb the story because there weren’t a lot of key events that were exciting and also the story was fairly plain and had a basic storyline. The main events were: Henry running away during the first battle and then trying to show bravery during the second battle. I liked how Henry realized his cowardice right away and wanted to correct his mistakes immediately. A resonating theme in the book is that doing something great that’s outside your comfort zo ...more
Andrew Osgood
I really liked this book because it was one that I got to read over the summer on my own. I liked how the story was written and it was really short which I love. I love reading short books! I think most people would be able to read this book but I feel like you need to have some background on certain things and subjects to be prepared to read it.
Feb 19, 2014 Thetravelingpanda rated it it was ok
Shelves: english-classics
I am not a big fan of Stephen Crane's stories, they are too realistic for me. Even if it does depict a realistic history that's precisely my problem it's too realistic. It gives me the same feeling as Zola, even if it's great in a stylistic point of view, the characters are too dark for me.
Jun 01, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it
Do not stop with The Red Badge of Courage. The four short stories are just as, if not more, powerful this his most recognized work. I once thought him a simple writer, but revisiting him years later the philosophy puts through. Add this to your reading list.
Jul 14, 2008 Tyler rated it liked it
Recommends it for: _Guys; War Fiends
Recommended to Tyler by: _Reading List
Aside from the eponymous tale, two of the other stories, including The Blue Hotel, turned out to be excellent short reads.

The use of rich language distinguishes the main story. The plot line was a bit stale and some of the expressions popped up with monotonous regularity; I thought the ending a bit weak. The writing, however, is descriptive and the story laid out cleanly enough to make these distractions minor points.

All the stories in this Signet version are held together by the general idea o
Nancy Shaffer
Jul 11, 2016 Nancy Shaffer rated it it was amazing
A quick (and important) read. Interestingly, this was first published in 1895 and Crane wrote it in 10 days.
Apr 24, 2013 Catherine rated it liked it
I've been wanting to read this book for a long time because I like Stephen Crane. I found the book full of great descriptions and wisdom, but I struggled with him calling Henry "The youth" because it created emotional distance from him. This story is a bit repetitive as well.

This book also contains one of the best short stories ever written: "The Open Boat". I love this story, and every time I read it, I love it even more. The other short stories in the book are also good, but "The Open Boat" i
Aug 01, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up at a bookstore a while back just to have on hand for when I was low on books and with our recent move I was between libraries so it finally got read. I am fascinated by Civil War stories so had always wanted to read it. Apparently it was a new way of writing at the time and it's still quite unique. Pre-Apocolypse Now. Crane uses some very "interesting" turns of phrase and some stunningly beautiful and precise langauge. It still packs a real punch. War is Hell yet again.
Oct 15, 2008 Jon rated it liked it
Recommends it for: yo mama
Shelves: read-2008
Although the style was a little outdated and seemed almost choppy at times between paragraphs, I was fascinated with the subject matter and the handling of the characters. The coloquial dialects that the author gave voice to were just fun to read outloud over and over again, and I was able to vividly visualize the battle scenes due to Crane's descriptive prose. Definitely the best Civil War story I've ever read, and I wish it had gone on longer.
I picked out this book thinking that the setting of war would interst Adam. But the language was a little to tough for him yet. Although wordy the book has interesting themes on courage (duh), manhood, self preservation and the disregard for life to name a few. The main character struggles with his own feelings in this area as he is part of a civil war battle. Definitely not an easy read, especially for kids.
Nov 04, 2007 Bracken rated it it was ok
It was an interesting story, with very interesting insights into the mind of male adolescents, but I didn't enjoy it. It was well written and descriptions were quite good, but I got bored of the book and made myself finish. I felt that I would be doing myself an injustice by putting down this classic prematurely. It aided in solidifying my dislike for war.
Zainab Jasim
Jan 19, 2014 Zainab Jasim rated it did not like it
Red Badge of Courage went through the Henry Flemming's time as a soldier in the civil war. As a lot of war stories tend to be, it was very dry.
Aug 19, 2012 Jenny rated it liked it
This book was written in a very detached way and it was easy for my mind to drift. I still enjoyed how it went from worry to joy to dejection to hard work and pride to a bit of sorrow and ending with acceptance and satisfaction.

Dec 25, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it
A story about how a young soldier finds himself enlisting to join the army fighting the civil war but then once there, he realizes that its not as he imagines. War language and situations included.
Jul 07, 2012 Daniele rated it it was ok
I didn't really like how the characters were not really given names. Also, I found it to be kind of repetitive with each chapter not varying much from the last.
Dec 21, 2008 Johnathon rated it liked it
Shelves: military, fiction, history
I good short book that relates the many emotions, from fear to bravery, experienced by troops in combat. (specifically in the Civil War)
Feb 15, 2008 Gina rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic
One of the greatest novels written about the Civil War. It shows the chaos and questions the meaning of bravery.
Jun 14, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know it's a classic, but I actually preferred the Four Great Stories to The Red Badge of Courage!
Jun 21, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok
nearly at the end....not really into books on war, just thought I should read it.
Keith Miller
The Red Badge of Courage And Four Stories by Stephen Crane (1997)
Ehhh, very good moral but as a teen I found it boring
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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.

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