Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cold Mountain” as Want to Read:
Cold Mountain
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cold Mountain

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  220,435 ratings  ·  5,699 reviews
Cold Mountain is a novel about a soldier’s perilous journey back to his beloved near the Civil War's end. At once a love story & a harrowing account of one man’s long walk home, Cold Mountain introduces a new talent in American literature.

Based on local history & family stories passed down by Frazier’s great-great-grandfather, Cold Mountain is the tale of a wounded Confede
Paperback, 356 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 1997)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
6,445 books — 25,994 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeePride and Prejudice by Jane AustenTwilight by Stephenie Meyer
Best Books Ever
51,170 books — 201,622 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  220,435 ratings  ·  5,699 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Cold Mountain
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kick-ass, blog
Cold Mountain is quite possibly the most beautiful book that I've ever read. It's not for the faint of heart, however, as it's time consuming and requires a great deal of patience as Frazier takes his time with his descriptions of the landscape and the people as Inman, a soldier broken in spirit by the futility and waste of the Civil War, decides to walk home to Ada and his beloved Cold Mountain. That is not to say that Frazier wastes the reader's time or goes off on unnecessary tangents (althou ...more
Kevin Ansbro
"Be strong, saith my heart; I am a soldier; I have seen worse sights than this."
—Homer, The Odyssey

Having recently read The Odyssey, I was prompted by Goodreads friend, @JulieGrippo, to go on this journey - namely, Homer's epic voyage transposed to the terrain of 19th-century North America.

Inman (not as heroic as Odysseus), an army deserter wounded in the American Civil War, faces a treacherous, interminable journey home to his love, Ada (ergo Odysseus’s Penelope).

You can see from my five-st
A sweeping and tumultuous story of an injured American civil war soldier who goes AWOL and makes a relentless and dangerous journey back home to Cold Mountain, and to the woman he intends spending the rest of his life with. As poetic as Homer’s Odyssey, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain is an outstanding literary masterpiece. He tells the story of Inman and Ada, their past, people they meet on their travels, the challenges they face and the dreams they hold dear. A physical journey home and
Jun 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Considering the widespread acclaim this book and its subsequent film adaptation have received, I'm reluctant to write a negative review. Still, a dissenting opinion at least makes for an interesting read.

This was absolutely the most boring book I have ever read. It took me about a year to finish it, because every time I tried to pick it up, day or night, I was asleep in minutes. Though the descriptions of the picturesque mountainous landscape are often beautiful, I fail to see the point. I can'
Reading Road Trip 2020

Current location: North Carolina

. . . he held to the idea of another world, a better place, and he figured he might as well consider Cold Mountain to be the location of it as anywhere.

Like Inman, I have been trying to get to Cold Mountain for years now. My original inspiration came from a family of beloved Tar Heel next-door neighbors who introduced me to sweet tea, red velvet cake and unhurried speech. They made homemade ice cream in the summers while standing on the patio
How long would you wait for your lover, if you knew not whether they were alive, and you yourself had changed almost beyond recognition?

This is a beautiful, understated, unsentimental Odyssey of quiet longing, endurance, and transformation.

"This journey will be the axle of my life."
Inman's journey is across hundreds of dangerous miles, fleeing war and trying to get to where his love lives, four years after they parted.

"She had made her way to a place where an entirely other order prevailed fro
Will Byrnes
Oct 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Did not like it. Although it has an interesting structure and pretext, it is so intellectualized that it is hard to care about the characters at all. It seems like Frazier is more interested in showing off than in writing a gripping work of fiction.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

The best way I could find to describe the book is the American Civil War version of the Odyssey, with Inman as the wandering hero trying to find his way back home to the North Carolina Appallachians, and Ada as his Penelope tending the home fires. This is an oversimplification, but the epic scope is there, the perilous journey, the oddball characters met on the road, the mystical elements of prophecy, cursed fate, faithful love. Additional major themes tackled are the brutality and senselessness
Aug 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who know their classics
You've probably seen the movie made from this book.

It was a fine movie. It won Oscars.

But it cannot begin to capture the truly spectacular parts of this story because they are not the surface level narratives that make it onto the big screen.

Before you can truly appreciate the quality of this book, you need to be familiar with at least Homer's Odyssey, Dante's Inferno, and parts of the Bible. You need to be on guard for a depth of symbolism and complexity of foreshadowing and allusion that will
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Stunning! This book is the perfect example of timing being everything. I tried to read this book when it was first released and I don't think I got passed the first 25 pages. I tried again after I saw the movie with the same outcome. Fast forward to 2016, the book obviously hasns't changed but I am a completely different reader and I LOVED this book. I'm pretty generous with 5 star reviews but I don't add many books to my favorites shelf which is where this one ended up. It is a slow burn and yo ...more
Oct 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Is it long? Yes. Does it sometimes take entire paragraphs or chapters to describe the scope of the landscape? Yes. Is it entirely worth it? Yes. This book is best described as an epic...for those that felt it was too long or boring, have you ever read The Odyssey? The comparison is made for a reason. This is not a book you take to the beach and read on vacation...this is a book you pick up on a rainy day when you call in sick in the middle of the week. This is a book that becomes like a return t ...more
Julio Genao
Aug 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
i nearly plucked my own eyes from my skull in frustration.


the dullity was like another character in the story, grimly tugging at my sleeve to expound at length on the state of his bunion, and what it meant in relation to the larger struggle of humanity to achieve some fool thing or another.

very, very slowly.
J.K. Grice
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a superb chronicle of a wayward soldier seeking escape from the Civil War. Frazier masterfully evokes the time period through his vivid prose, his characters, and the natural environment. The journey of Inman and this beautiful book still dwell in my thoughts 18 years later.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Cold mountain, Charles Frazier
Cold Mountain is a 1997 historical novel by Charles Frazier, The novel opens in a Confederate military hospital near Raleigh, North Carolina, where Inman is recovering from battle wounds during the American Civil War. The soldier is tired of fighting for a cause he never believed in. After considering the advice from a blind man and moved by the death of the man in the bed next to him, he decides one nightfall to slip out of the hospital and return home to Cold Moun
Em Lost In Books
I thought I knew when to give up on a book but apparently I have long way to go as I spent weeks on this dull book waiting for something to happen. But I am very angry at myself right now for wasting my precious reading time on this.
I am giving the book a rating of 3.5!

The edition I read has a golden circle embossed on the cover declaring it to be a “National Book Award Winner” and the blurb claims it to be “an authentic American Odyssey—hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving.” Can you blame me for starting the book with very high expectations?

Anyway, the plot is set in the backdrop of the American Civil War. Our hero, Inman, a Confederate soldier, is sorely wounded in the fighting. Disillusioned with the
demi. ♡
❥ 3 / 5 stars

I’m sorry to Inman and Ada but I must say that the most interesting and impressive thing in the book is Ruby.🤧

Note : External reading #3 (Grade 11)
Feb 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book far exceeded my expectations. It was grim and beautiful. It's a historical novel that brings you to the time and place with such an easy awkward passages setting the stage, just outstanding storytelling. The characters are well developed and authentic in their complexity. Also, it rang true with my experience of life, meaning that not everything ended satisfyingly for the characters. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to G by: Joe Hatcher
This is in my estimation one of the masterpieces of American fiction. I am surprised to be saying this, because I read it after I'd seen the film, and my expectations were not particularly high. Cold Mountain is the Odyssey retold in many respects not the least of which is its depiction of the horrors of violent expeditions far from home and the yet worse horrors of violence at home. It is a story of the Civil War as it affected those who were marginal to the state and had least to gain from the ...more
Emily B
Jan 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I read this book for my English literature A level. It wasn’t terrible but I didn’t find it the most exciting or engaging. Rather slow paced for me but I could see why another person might like t
Tyler McGaughey
Oct 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I really shouldn't like this book as much as I do. A historical romance? Come on.

Frazier's prose is in the tradition of that poetic backwoods style that you might find in some Faulkner or in the films of Terrence Malick and David Gordon Green. Definitely the product of a learned man trying to sound like he's from the sticks, equal parts Old Testament fire-and-brimstone and rootsy colloquialism. His story is ambitious in its attempts to convey feelings of the grandeur of America, smouldering pas
Feb 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
You're not gonna believe what happened to me! I started Cold Mountain! Julie suggested it and I got all excited and immediately downloaded it and started reading it at like 4 in the morning. I was going along, having fun, this certainly is a fast-moving story, and then....suddenly I was done.

I'd fucked up and downloaded some kind of bullshit abridged movie adaptation. It was like 50 pages long.

And the thing is, now I know everything that happens! I can't just...start reading the real book. It'l
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
I read this book before the movie was planned (at least to my knowledge), and I loved it from the beginning. It probably isn't the type of book you can read with lots of distraction around you, it requires a quiet setting where you can immerse yourself in the beautiful writing. Set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains the story of the Civil War is told as it relates to the lives of those who live in this rural area, and the devastating effect it has on everyone. However, the story is much more ...more
Carol Storm
Mar 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's Gone With The Wind Meets Easy Rider -- with all the phoniest elements of both American classics!

All the old Southern lies are here, chillun. Slavery wasn't so bad. We weren't fighting for slavery. The war was not our fault. Slavery was not our fault. Nothing is ever anyone's fault, except for the damned meddling Yankees who started the war for no reason at all! We are all prisoners of history. We know our darkies . . . and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

But at the same time there are plenty o
May 31, 2008 rated it it was ok
What an absolute abomination. The only thing that saves this from the doom of getting just one star is... well, at present I am even unable to think of that. Actually, I did laugh when Ada got attacked by a rooster. The books lacks a real story, is over-long, and whoever gave Mr Frazier a thesaurus should seriously reconsider their actions, because the excessive descriptions cause the reader to lose the will to live. Moreover: why, oh why, is it compared to The Odyssey? I fail to see how anyone ...more
Jay Schutt
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great story, but overly descriptive.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Kristen by: Cindy Bravo
Shelves: high-brow
Just loved this book. I always enjoy books that do a good job of creating atmosphere through descriptive writing. This book is one of the best of that sort. The story itself is enjoyable, but what I liked even more was the detailed description of life in the civil war era. We have the idea from many movies and books that the south in the Civil War was all plantations and cotton, lovely ladies and dashing gentlemen. This south is something that Margaret Mitchell simply did not acknowledge, and it ...more
Sallie Dunn
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slow moving and lyrical prose that interweaves the stories of Inman and Ada as they strive to survive the last year of the civil war. For Inman, trying to get back home to Cold Mountain and away from the brutality of war and, for Ada, trying to learn the art of survival in a world that has turned topsy-turvy from all that she ever knew growing up the pampered preacher’s daughter. This writer is a tad descriptive but, oh, what a beautiful and moving piece of literature. Five stars!
Dec 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are so many good reviews on this book. Links to some of my favorites at the bottom. There are also a number of reviewers who were bored silly and rated this one low. Cold Mountain is forever 5 Stars for me. The language was magical and captivating, the characters vivid, the South of the late Civil War ominous yet, in places, inviting. This is a book I can read many times. Inman, the wounded Confederate soldier has released himself from further fighting and is walking back to Cold Mountain. ...more
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The best experience I ever had reading a book. I recommend reading it in the winter, but whatever. The winter I read it was the coldest & saddest winter I have ever experienced. The book, taking place in the late 1800's, reminded me that some things cannot ever change with the times: Struggle. Heartbreak. Love. Adversity. Fear. Uncertainty. The human inclination to survive. To name a few. That said, though, this was not a depressing book. Somehow, it gave me an unexpected and strange kind of fai ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier - 4 stars 6 17 Aug 06, 2020 01:15PM  
On the Southern L...: * Final Impressions: Cold Mountain: March 2018 19 42 Apr 04, 2018 03:43PM  
On the Southern L...: * Initial Impressions: Cold Mountain: March 2018 23 41 Mar 29, 2018 06:48PM  
Blast from the Past: January Book- Cold Mountain 2 33 Jan 18, 2018 10:36AM  
1000 Books Before...: Cold Mountain 1 7 Feb 18, 2017 01:39PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Snow Falling on Cedars
  • The Joy Luck Club (Oxford Bookworms Library: Stage 6 Reader)
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear
  • The Shipping News
  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • The Thorn Birds
  • The Red Tent
  • Lonesome Dove
  • The Cider House Rules
  • The Secret Life of Bees
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring
  • Atonement
  • Shōgun
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (Penguin Readers)
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family
  • Water for Elephants
  • The Color Purple
See similar books…
Charles Frazier is an award-winning author of American historical fiction. His literary corpus, to date, is comprised of three New York Times best selling novels: Nightwoods (2011), Thirteen Moons (2006), and Cold Mountain (1997) - winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.

Librarian Note: There are multiple authors in the goodreads database with this name. more info here.

Related Articles

His Favorite Books with Rural Settings: Trek into the wilderness with these recs from the Appalachian native behind Nightwoods, a novel set at an...
11 likes · 10 comments
“She fit her head under his chin, and he could feel her weight settle into him. He held her tight and words spilled out of him without prior composition. And this time he made no effort to clamp them off. He told her about the first time he had looked on the back of her neck as she sat in the church pew. Of the feeling that had never let go of him since. He talked to her of the great waste of years between then and now. A long time gone. And it was pointless, he said, to think how those years could have been put to better use, for he could hardly have put them to worse. There was no recovering them now. You could grieve endlessly for the loss of time and the damage done therein. For the dead, and for your own lost self. But what the wisdom of the ages says is that we do well not to grieve on and on. And those old ones knew a thing or two and had some truth to tell, Inman said, for you can grieve your heart out and in the end you are still where you are. All your grief hasn't changed a thing. What you have lost will not be returned to you. It will always be lost. You're left with only your scars to mark the void. All you can choose to do is go on or not. But if you go on, it's knowing you carry your scars with you. Nevertheless, over all those wasted years, he had held in his mind the wish to kiss her on the back of her neck, and now he had done it. There was a redemption of some kind, he believed, in such complete fulfillment of a desire so long deferred.” 344 likes
“He tried to name which of the deadly seven might apply, and when he failed he decided to append an eighth, regret.” 176 likes
More quotes…