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The Red Badge of Courage

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3.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  69,410 Ratings  ·  2,538 Reviews
First published in 1895, America's greatest novelof the Civil War was written before 21-year-oldStephen Crane had "smelled even the powder of asham battle." But this powerful psychologicalstudy of a young soldier's struggle with thehorrors, both within and without, that war strikes thereader with its undeniable realism and with itsmasterful descriptions of the moment-by-mo ...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published March 1st 1981 by Bantam Classics (first published 1895)
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John Johnson I would call it a realistic war novel. It is a descriptive story about the experiences of an 18-year old soldier in his first battle, but I don't see…moreI would call it a realistic war novel. It is a descriptive story about the experiences of an 18-year old soldier in his first battle, but I don't see it as a judgment of war.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily
Nov 29, 2008 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I feel almost guilty about how much I disliked this book. I know it's an important piece of literature, that it changed the way people viewed war, it's an American classic, etc. etc. But I could NOT stand it. I thought it was boring and I didn't really care what happened to the main character. I was totally distracted by how the author called him "the youth" instead of his name and I had to have my brother-in-law explain to me what the point of it was since I just couldn't tell. Maybe my tastes ...more
matt
Mar 21, 2007 matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This book made my heart race and made me hear gunfire.

I think Crane manages to create the perfect visceral novel. Sure there is symbolism if you want it, but at its core this book is about experience.

Like a delicate flower, this book is easily ruined by too much prodding attention. Just read it, take it in, let yourself get dragged into the story and imagery. Don't think, don't read it closely to prepare for a paper or discussion, just experience it.

I would never teach this book in a class. I wo
...more
Nathan Albro
Aug 01, 2011 Nathan Albro rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found it disappointing that The Red Badge of Courage, an American classic, was dull, had poor pacing, and lackluster characterization. There might be historical value in this novel, written by Stephen Crane who was born nearly five years after America’s civil war ended, but there is little to enjoy. The novel does focus on the psyche of the protagonist – more so then on the war itself, but I found myself not caring. I didn’t care for the characters nor did I care about the battles or the war. ...more
Thomas
2.5 stars

Intellectual Thomas thinks this story changed people's perception of war and made them think about the individual psychological processes involved in combat. He thinks that this book had a nice flow of thought that concluded with the narrator learning to be less whiny.

Thomas Thomas - the college-student Thomas that has almost no free time to read for fun, and therefore only wants to read satisfying books - feels that The Red Badge of Courage was super frustrating in that its author, Ste
...more
Stephanie
3 stars - classic tale of war with great battlefield descriptions!

Liked but didn't love. I am not still sure why.... I listened to this one and it was a fairly short read -- it just didn't pull me in entirely. I did think that the descriptions of the Civil War were quite vibrant and realistic. Further, it was interesting to see Henry evolve into a man of character and better understand what courage means.

The only female character is Henry's widowed mother who was in the very beginning parts of
...more
Moses Kilolo
Sep 23, 2013 Moses Kilolo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Henry Flemming set off to join the war, he perhaps did not have a clear picture of what lay before him, what his decision meant. Like every other young man (across the divide of time and circumstance) he envisions his return as a hero - an achieved man. but does he pause to consider the damn hardship of the battlefield? Perhaps not! At some point he actually runs, but his conscience torments him. A series of happenings (accidental- i think) push him back to track, and there he tries to prov ...more
Beth F.
Here is a recreation of my brain while reading this book: "Alright, it's about time I read this and so far, okay. I like the prose, I like the prose, I like the...um...STOP TALKING! Stop talking to each other! Shutup! I can barely understand you! UGH. Thank you. Nice prose...nice...okay, nevermind. Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. Gross. I hate fight scenes. Boring AND gross. Gross AND boring. Stop fighting. Stop talking. Get on with it...this is boring..."

Overall, I'd have to say that the dialog
...more
Lotz
Tolstoi made the writing of Stephen Crane on the Civil War seem like the brilliant imagining of a sick boy who had never seen war but had only read the battles and chronicles and seen the Brandy photographs that I had read and seen at my grandparents’ house.

—Ernest Hemingway

I think Hemingway’s quote sums up the book pretty well. The Red Badge of Courage was written when Crane had never seen battle; it is the product of a young man’s imagination (he was only in his early twenties), trying to viv
...more
Teresa
Nov 11, 2015 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa
Não gosto nada de livros sobre guerra; mas como de Stephen Crane adoro O Monstro e releio muitas vezes No Deserto, achei por bem ler um seu romance do qual se diz ser um "livro que se tornou um estudo clássico da psicologia do medo.". E lá me alistei como leitora da primeira obra escrita sobre a Guerra da Secessão.
Como dizem que não se deve desistir dos livros, aguentei, corajosamente, até cerca de 73 batalhas, mas na 74 soçobrei e, gravemente ferida de tédio, desertei.
Fico sem saber se o heró
...more
Tara Ferrin
Jul 10, 2008 Tara Ferrin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes
Shelves:
I actually finally finished the book last night. I say finally not because I didn't enjoy it, because I did, but it definitely was a tougher read than I'm used. The language is older more descriptive, and at times hard to figure out, but in the end I think it made me appreciate it more. I'm not going to pretend that I understood even half of what the author was trying to say, but It did affect me, and spoke to me personally at times. In my opinion he's a brilliant writer.
It's a story of a very
...more
Henry Avila
Dec 29, 2012 Henry Avila rated it it was amazing
The Battle of Chancellorsville,in northern Virginia, 1863,one of the bloodiest,24,000 casualties,of the war between the states, is the focus of this novel.Henry Fleming a farm boy, not yet a man, from New York State, goes off to fight during the American Civil War. Against the tearful pleading of his widow mother,not to,Henry out of patriotism or boredom, wants to join the Union Army.Many months pass,of training and marching, until Fleming gets into action.Some of his friends,boys he grew up wit ...more
Sticherus
Mar 06, 2011 Sticherus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, hey. There's this guy. His name's Henry, but that's not really important. He really wanted to join the army, cuz, well, that's what all the cool kids were doing. So he did. And hey, who doesn't wanna blow shit up? I know I'd wanna blow shit up. Everybody loves blowing shit up.
Anyway, so yeah. That happened. They all sat around for a while, and then there was this one fight, and then there was this other fight, and some stuff happened. Nothing to get excited about. And oh yeah, after that the
...more
Wolfman
Mar 23, 2008 Wolfman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen Crane died at the turn of the century in his late 20's, making him a rock star. I bet all of the college kids in the 1910's and 20's had posters of him on their walls. Or maybe portraits.

There isn't that much time in The Red Badge of Courage for you to get too attached to any characters, not even our hero The Youth, Henry Fleming. But you can totally empathize with his Desire to do Something Grand, his fear, his sense of accomplishment, and generally fickle human nature. Plus, Stephen C
...more
Laura
Mar 04, 2009 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I always seem to write reviews for books I love. That really is a tragedy, because books I hated should be acknowledged here too.

This review is a warning to all. Especially the younger set that may still encounter this book in school. If you have a choice, do not read this book, sometimes they offer an array of books to chose from. I am still baffled at how this book was ever deemed a good choice for use in schools. It is the most boring and painful book I have ever read, to this day, and I read
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
عنوان: نشان سرخ دلیری؛ نویسنده: استیفن کرین؛ مترجم: غفور آلبا؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، 1335، در 245 ص
عنوان: نشان سرخ دلیری (متن کوتاه شده)؛ نویسنده: استیفن کرین؛ مترجم: جعفر مدرس صادقی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر مرکز، 1374، در 157 ص

نشان سرخ دلیری رمانی رئالیستی و جنگی است که به اعتقاد صاحب نظران نقطه ی اوج خلاقیت، و شاهکار بی نظیر استیفن کرین است، ماندگاری و شهرت آن گواه مدعاست، از عجایب روزگار این که در جایی خواندم، استیفن کرین، در زمان نگارش کتاب، هیچ جنگی به چشم
...more
Jim
Feb 27, 2016 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another triumph of audio books, I finally managed to get through this one. I had to read it for school 40+ years ago & barely managed to skim enough to pass the test. As short as it is, I found it quite boring, even in audio format. Yet I find the book fascinating on several levels. That Crane could write this so well without ever having been a soldier is incredible. The chaos of battle & boredom of waiting comes through so clearly - just too clearly for far too long & too repetitive ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

Certainly Stephen Crane was not a minimalist. He seemed to have treated straight expressions, simple words, directness and the pared down style as undesirable. I could imagine, for example, Hemingway describing a prisoner with a non-fatal foot wound as one who was angry and who had told his captors to go to hell and to fuck off. Stephen Crane preferred to have it like this:

"One of the prisoners was nursing a superficial wound in the foot. He cuddled it, babywise, but he looked up from it often t
...more
Andrew
Jul 05, 2009 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Red Badge of Courage was a very meaningful book for me. This book is about a boy named Henry who thinks that when his squad gets into battle, he will not have the courage to stay and fight. He hasn’t actually been in a fight yet, his squad has been resting and he thinks that they are going to go into a fight soon. When he thinks that his platoon is going to all die, he runs from the fight. He sees a lot of injured men that he admires and can’t stand to be with them. He sees his old friend Ji ...more
C.B. Cook
This is a relatively short book, and although there is some hard-to-read dialect, it's certainly enjoyable. The tale of war is a hard, bloody one to read about, but definitely something that we should all think about. This book won't leave my mind any time soon (since I'll still be answering questions about it for American Lit. ;) ).

High Violence
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Steven Peterson
The difference between cowardice and courage. What is it? Where is the dividing line? Can one be both a coward and courageous? Stephen Crane addresses these issues in "The Red Badge of Courage." The exploration of these issues is competently done, set in the context of the Civil War. The protagonist learns from his cowardice and becomes an effective soldier, removed from the romanticism of battle. . . .
Joey
Oct 10, 2015 Joey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Re-read 10-10-15. 2.5 stars originally. I read this about 30 years ago in high school and I didn't care much for it. I'm glad I did a re-read. It has now become one of my all time favorites. The realism of the battles had me checking for bullet holes after every chapter. A truly great classic.
Jacqui
Jan 29, 2011 Jacqui rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
I have no idea how this average review can be 3/5. The Red Badge of Courage is one of many books that address fear in the face of death. Henry, a brand new and young soldier in the Civil War, doesn't know how he will react to battle. When his regiment charges the enemy, Henry defects. He is ashamed, but through a variety of circumstances and enormous personal growth (we love this in our novels) becomes a hero among the soldiers of his regiment.

This book made popular the term 'red badge of courag
...more
Alex
Since I'm heading into a WWI segment, I thought I might take the opportunity to backtrack and cover this other nominee for "Best War Novel Ever." Only takes a few minutes anyway, right?

The first half is pretty amazing. Crane deals with the concept of cowardice unflinchingly and with a ton of psychological insight. The way he describes exactly what's going on in his protagonist's head, minute by minute...this is pretty great stuff.

I think it loses a little juice in the second half, which deals wi
...more
Christine
Aug 07, 2007 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this as a very young kid (I was no more than 8 years old). I thought it was amazing then, and I re-read it when I was in my 20's and appreciated it even more. However I doubt I'll be up for another re-read anytime soon, because I can't handle harrowing stories of war the way I once could, even ones as beautifully written as this one.

But there will always be a place for it on my bookshelf. Um ... or in one of my many boxes of books that hasn't yet been unpacked after 3 years in our
...more
Soycd
May 11, 2015 Soycd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“He vaguely desired to walk around and around the body and stare; the impulse of the living to try to read in dead eyes the answer to the Question.”

Henry Fleming is a naive eighteen year old eager to achieve ultimate glory in the battlefield during the American Civil War. When he encounters his first real difficulty he succumbs to fear and decides to run away. After that he must find the strength to turn his fate around and go on a hero's journey that allows him to accomplish his goal.

At times
...more
Stenwjohnson
Aug 10, 2013 Stenwjohnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is surprisingly little 19th century American fiction that describes the Civil War combat experience. Contemporaneous memoirs, poems, and histories abound, but Ambrose Bierce’s short stories and Stephen Crane’s “The Red Badge of Courage” are likely the most prominent examples of literary war narratives from that century. Both are remarkable for their combination of stylized lyricism and brutal, near-cynical unsentimentality. Bierce was a seasoned war veteran but Crane was only 24 when his n ...more
Amanda
Jun 14, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another librivox recording.

I've been doing a lot of yard work so my trusty ipod is filled with librivox books. I hate yard work. This is the only way I can get through it.

I'm not a fan of war anything: books,movies, stories. But my friend just finished listening to The Red Badge of Courage and suggested I try it. I'm still not a fan of war books. This one wasn't bad, but the descriptions of the war, of the injuries was really more than I wanted.

The person we're supposed to root for is Henry aka
...more
Leah Angstman
This book is surprisingly awesome. I do not put credence in what other people consider "classics," other than in their historical merit, but this book actually stands up to the test of time. It is an excellent, bloody, deep account, not just of the Civil War battles, themselves, but of the psychological effects of those battles from minute to minute, before, during, and after, then during again. The intense study of the dark and the descriptive purple-prose walk through the protagonist's head as ...more
Natasha GJ Nanny Nakia
Reseñado en mi blog Nanny Books

En la Universidad recibí un par de libros "de regalo" de esta colección descatalogada, que por alguna razón abandonaron a la intemperie. Sin embargo, los acepté con gran cariño y me sorprendí con la calidad que escondían. Sí, los ejemplares están muy dañados, amarillos, con algunas hojas sueltas, dobladas y un poco rotas; pero con el texto legible. Este es último libro de la colección que reseño, ya que no he encontrado ningún otro en la Uni, así que a la experienc
...more
Maida
11-year old Maida would have given this novel 5/5 stars. However, after reading other war novels that far exceed The Red Badge of Courage, in terms of both quality & scope— i.e., Gone With the Wind, Parade’s End, A Dance to the Music of Time— my adult self realizes that although the themes presented in The Red Badge of Courage are important (and were even groundbreaking for that time), the quality of writing is unfortunately quite poor.

*3/5 stars*
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Around the Year i...: The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane 1 9 Apr 15, 2016 09:28AM  
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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.

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“It was not well to drive men into final corners; at those moments they could all develop teeth and claws.” 49 likes
“Over the river a golden ray of sun came through the hosts of leaden rain clouds.” 14 likes
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