Cold Mountain Cold Mountain question

Too Slow and Too Detailed
JDS JDS Mar 15, 2013 05:58PM
I Thought that if Frazier didn't use as much detail he might have had an ok book on his hands. But combine alot of detail with a book that moves at a snail's pace and you get a very bored reader. I tried to really get into it but just couldn't. Do you think that Frazier could have put in less detail but keep the same vision of the scene?

Of course it's not very fair to compare a literary work with a thriller. Thriller's run on adrenaline--action, reaction, new action--"one damn thing after another." Literary works aren't really concerned with action per se. Most concern character development, narrative technique and, yes, description. On the other hand, thriller's are usually unable to sustain much scrutiny. They are much thinner below the surface, often verging on the formulaic. Good books succeed by giving the reader what they want. However, it is on the reader if he or she picks up a literary work expecting it to be all about action, and then is disappointed. This is the reader's mistake, not necessarily a bad book.

This is one of my absolute favorite books! While I agree that it is a 'slow' book, it's SUPPOSED to be that way. What happens when you are waiting for someone? Time stands still. The pace and details of the book make YOU wait right along side Inman and Ada.

I also found "Cold Mountain" a frustrating read, but it was more the episodic nature of the book than the detailed description. Complete contrast to plot-driven adrenaline ride "Davinci Code" which I read the same week. Also, the ending of "Cold Mountain" seemed contrived to pull the heartstrings. Oddly, "Cold Mountain" kept haunting me while Davinci Code was forgotten as soon as I put the book down. Basically, I appreciated the book far more after I read it than during the process.

I loved the slow pace ... it really got me into the time period, the sense of Inman being alone, traveling the country, trying to get back home and figure things out along the way --- in a way that no other style of writing could. I felt like I could see the nature and the countryside around him. The book took me to another place, and I too felt haunted by it afterwards. the movie was a pale disappointment, not in the same league.


I love this book. It's the American version of The Odyssey. In a time of so much destruction and despair, each trial that he overcomes gets him one step closer to love and happiness.

This is one of the few cases where I like the movie just as much as the book. Casting Jack White and using his musical talent was a brilliant move.

Cold Mountain is one of the best books I've ever does move slowly at times, but pretty much every sentence is finely crafted. It's incredibly well written. All that detail serves a purpose...when rereading CM (which I've done a few times), Inman and Ada feel like old friends. If you're looking for fast-paced action, stick with Dan Brown and James Patterson. When you're ready for literature, read CM.

I don't read many modern writers. I'm more a Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Remarque & Steinbeck kind of guy but I found Cold Mountain one of the better novels by a contemporary writer I have read. Ian McEwan and Paul Watkins are two others. I enjoyed The Reader by Bernhard Schlink although I've read nothing else by him. I've attempted Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and found it so poor that I didn't finish it. I always fall back to Hemingway & Remarque. Most others pale by comparison.

I very much disappointed a friend who loaned me Cold Mountain. Parts of it were interesting and most certainly the women in the story were... but, the rest boring.

I did like the comment above about time standing still and I will think about that as I've been "feeling time whiz by of late".

This could well rank in the top 10 of Like or Dislike books. However, I would not go out of my way to recommend it.

I could not have enjoyed this book more. It took me probably three months to get through it, it is indeed detailed and slow, but I loved every shining moment of hope and every tiny setback. As has been said, it's a story of waiting and moving forward, which in real life is much slower than even the book's storyline. I loved it.

Brilliant book that far surpasses the weak film effort.

JDS wrote: "I Thought that if Frazier didn't use as much detail he might have had an ok book on his hands. But combine alot of detail with a book that moves at a snail's pace and you get a very bored reader. I..."

To each his own. But this is exactly what I loved about it.

I read this book as a freshman in high school and I thought slow and boring. Wondering if it's worth trying to read again as an (albeit young) adult. This thread is making me lean towards trying again.

The book was good untill the ending. The ending didn't seem to be the same writer. I thought maybe an editor was involved to make the ending more suitable for a movie audience. To bad

I don't read just to get through a book, so the detail and slowness didn't affect me (I wish it would have never ended- I was rationing it as I read it). Donna, I think with that mindset you are leaving yourself out of a good read. This isn't a history book and this isn't about "fairness" it's a slice of life- in this case no black lives. If you were to write a story about northern Maine and the Civil War, the internal strife of a town, say Bangor over whether to support the war, you could have a great story about the Civil War and never involve a black person. I'm not saying it wouldn't be as good a story (for readers with your interest)but it's storyline. I thought that was just an especally narrow criteria for judging something, particularly if you read it all the way through

I preferred the movie to be frank. Its a rare case of the movie surpassing the book.

Cold Moiuntain was to long, to ploding, to detailed boring to plow through.

I thought the book was great. Its a style of writing. Even before I started reading the book I knew it would be very, very detailed.
im the type though I have to be in a certain mood to read these type of books.:)

E.S. I agree. A brilliant book but I did like the film also. Or maybe it was just the scenery and the music.

The worst thing about this book is that it left me with such a yearning for more of the same, when there is no other book quite like it. Really excellent.

Donna (last edited May 14, 2013 01:01PM ) Apr 03, 2013 09:05PM   -1 votes
I'm too much a historian to appreciate any book that leaves Black people OUT of the American Civil War. I don't care that it's a love story. If it disenfranchises such a huge group of people at such a pivotal time, I hate it.

Since posting this comment, I have received torrential negative responses. I could care less, unless there is some empirical data to back what you have to say. I am appalled that others have felt the need to go back and check my over 1,000 ratings and reviews for some little flaw somewhere. I will not do that with yours; some of us do have lives. Continue at will, but I am going back to mine.

The comment about Last of the Mohicans (to which I had conceded 3 stars) is true, though entirely off topic, and so I have edited my review of that book. Now if you want to continue your discussion, feel free, but understand that I am deleting further notifications. I said what I meant, have said it publicly many times and places, and I stand by it.

Knock yourselves out. I'm moving on.

Donna Davis Good point. I read it a very long time ago for a professor who expected us to lavish praise on it. Have reviewed it and agree with you there; changing ...more
May 14, 2013 12:44PM · flag
Greg Miller I wouldn't be so quick to downgrade Cooper, either. For example, when I read Huckleberry Finn now, it's tough to read some of the racial references, b ...more
May 14, 2013 06:28PM · flag

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