Heidi's Reviews > Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
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Aug 28, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: literary_fiction, historical-fiction
Recommended for: those who know their classics
Read in March, 2001

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 boggle your mind.

I always knew the movie didn't really get the book, but when my dad (who has not read the book) referred to it as "a chick flick" because he thought of it primarily as a love story (which it is, but not that kind), then I really realized what one misses when one has not read the book.
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02/02/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Daniele absolutely! 'boggle the mind' is a spot on summation.


Cjhays My husband considered it to be a "chick flick" too, because it was made from a book that I had read and loved, so I had to go with my brother to see it. Later, I rented it, and my husband turned up his nose again, so I just put it in and started watching. It got so late that I went to bed, and turns out my husband stayed up till it was over! And, I might add, he thoroughly enjoyed it. :)


Daniele Cjhays wrote: "My husband considered it to be a "chick flick" too, because it was made from a book that I had read and loved, so I had to go with my brother to see it. Later, I rented it, and my husband turned up..."

ha! finally, he saw the light.


message 4: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim I was able to enjoy the book without reading Dante's Inferno. I don't see how that corressponds to this book but perhaps I should read that before my response can be relevant.


Heidi Tim, I didn't mean that you can't enjoy the book without reading Dante's Inferno. Certainly you can; it's just a good story. But there is a great deal of allusion to the journey up the levels of Dante's hell throughout Inman's walk home. They are intermixed with allusions to Homer's Odyssey (probably the most obvious) and some biblical stories. I think the story is a good, worthy one without being aware of these references, but recognizing them gave me an appreciation for Frazier's excellence as an author that transcends the surface-level story. But to prevent giving the impression that I'm more literarily versed than I really am, I should admit that I read this book in a high school English course in which I had the benefit of a teacher pointing many allusions out to me that I surely would not have recognized on my own.


message 6: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Ely campbell Seen the movie now I wanna read the book


Cecily I plan to watch the film in the next few days, but the book is certainly not chick lit or any sort of soppy romance. Did you persuade your dad otherwise?


message 8: by Ted (last edited Sep 15, 2015 12:27PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ted Never seen the movie, but I absolutely loved the book, especially the thread about mountain music that winds through the story.

Nice review, Heidi. You found much more in it than I noticed, I thank you for that.


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