Frazier, Charles: Cold Mountain
(researched by Azam Ahmed)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Charles Frazier.: Cold Mountain. New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press., 1997 Copyright Statement: Copyright 1997 by Charles Frazier Parallel Edition in Canada
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
First Edition published in trade cloth
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
[10], 1-356, [2]
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
This text was neither edited nor introduced.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
There are no illustrations in the book, however the paste down paper, the free end paper, the rear end paste down and rear free end paper are illustrated with 2 identical maps each taking up 2 pages. The maps are of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains. It is on light bluish paper and is drawn in red ink. The illustration is labeled with geographical details of the region. The title of the map is transcribed as follows: |MAP| |OF THE| |SOUTHERN BLUE RIDGE| |MOUNTAINS|
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
Size of Page: L x W - 9" x 5 3/4" Size of Text: L x W - 6 7/8" x 4 1/2" Excellent readability with large margins and clearly printed type. No wear, stains, or tears on pages. Text is 94R for 20 lines and is very readable. Overall apearance of book is excellent. Book printed in 1997 so relatively new, but has been kept in superb condition. Dust Jacket is unwrinkled and in excellent condition as well.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
Paper is smooth and white with granulated texture. It is woven and is in excellent state of preservation with no tears, stains, or foxing. The paper is standing up physically over time considering it was printed recently in 1997.
11 Description of binding(s)
Material: Cloth with dotted-line grain Color: Black spine with dark blue cover Stamping: Very orange Letters vertically displaying title of book in large font, beneath this is authors name in same color and font with slightly smaller fontsize. At base of spine horizontally positioned is the publishers information in an even smaller fontsize. Transcription of Spine: |COLD MOUNTAIN| |CHARLES FRAZIER| |ATLANTIC| |MONTHLY| |PRESS| Transcrption of Front and Back Cover: Nothing written on front or back cover. Colorless stamp of publishers logo on front cover.
12 Transcription of title page
Recto: |COLD| |MOUNTAIN| |(Insignia of some sort)| |Charles Frazier| |(Publishers Logo)| |ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS| |New York| Verso: Copyright 1997 by Charles Frazier
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
After looking at several websites there was no information on the whereabouts of the original manuscript.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
There is a dust jacket on the first edition which was later printed as the cover of the softback edition of the book. It is a picture of mountains, and the transcription is: |COLD MOUNTAIN| |A NOVEL| |BY| |CHARLES FRAZIER| The book is dedicated by the author to Katherine and Annie, and there are 2 quotes listed prior to the text pertaining to the novel, put in by the author. One quote relates to the war, and the other to cold mountain.
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
There were a few editions issued. There was the first edition which is hardback and the subject of the first assignment. The next edition is the limited edition in which 500 copies were printed; the author signed and numbered each copy. The other edition, which seems to have been printed first, is the uncorrected advance edition which has 367 pages as opposed to the other editions 356 pages. The cover of the limited edition and the first edition are the same, except for on the pictorial dust jacket the back cover of the signed edition has pre-publication praise from critics. There was another broadside edition published to commemorate one of the authors earlier reading of the novel. Only 126 copies were printed, 26 lettered A-Z and 100 numbered 1-100. There is also a hardback edition from Atlantic Monthly which sells for $24, and is neither a frst edition or limited edition.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
The first printing was 25,000 copies. After that there were 11 more printings which totalled 478,000 copies by 6/25/97.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Beeler Large Print, 1997 Vintage Book, 1998, 1997 Spectre, 1998, 1997 (London) Turtleback Books, 1998 Vintage Canada, 1998 Charnwood, 2000 (Leicester) Audio Books: Random House Audio, 1997, 1998 Books on Tape inc., 1998 Harper Collins Audio Books, 1998
6 Last date in print?
Book still in print by following publishers: Vintage Books Turtleback Books Atlantic Monthly Press
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
As of 6/97 there were 1,458,280 copies of Cold Mountain sold. Another 2 sources say by 1998 1.6 million copies were sold.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
1997- 1,458,280 copies sold Other info Not Available
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
After searching through the 1997 and 1998 Publishers Weekly's the only information found was commentaru on the effectiveness of the advertisement of NPR shows "All things Considered" and "Fresh Air". According to the magazine, these had the greatest effects on sales as far as advertising.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
After searching through the 1997 and 1998 Publishers Weekly's this information could not be found.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Other media includes upcoming movie and audio books. Audio books included in other editions section above. Upcoming Movie Release Date: December 25th, 2003 (pushed back from the fall of 2002; first aiming for 2001) Distributor: Miramax Films (USA); MGM (international) Production Company: Mirage Enterprises Cast: Jude Law (Inman), Nicole Kidman (Ada), Renee Zellweger (Ruby Thewes), Eileen Atkins (Maddy), Kathy Baker, Lucas Black (Oakley), James Gammon, Brendan Gleeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Hunnam, Jena Malone, Taryn Manning, Natalie Portman (Sarah), Giovanni Ribisi, Ethan Suplee, Donald Sutherland, Melora Walters (Lila), Ray Winstone
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Several translations available in several languages: Leng shan = Cold mountain / (Chinese) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950-; Yu, Eryan. Publication: Taibei : Qing zhou chu ban she, 2000 Document: Chinese : Book : Fiction Unterwegs nach Cold Mountain : Roman / (German) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950- Publication: M¸nchen : Diana Verlag, 1999 Document: German : Book : Fiction Hideghegy / (Hungarian) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950-; Rakovszky, Zsuzsa, Publication: Budapest : Magveto, 1999 Monte frÌo / (Spanish) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950- Publication: Barcelona : Editorial Lumen, 1998 Retour ? cold mountain : roman / (French) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950-; Dumas, Marie Publication: Paris : Calmann-LÈvy, 1999 Unterwegs nach Cold Mountain : Roman / (German) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950- Publication: M¸nchen : List, 1998 Unterwegs nach : Roman / (German) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950- Publication: M¸nchen : List, 1998 3rd Edition Studengora / (Croatian) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950- Publication: Zagreb : Algoritam, 2000 Be-hazarah el Kold Maíunten / (Hebrew) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950-; Nirgad, Lia. Publication: Tel Aviv : ëAm ëoved, 1999 Zimna gÛra / (Polish) Author: Frazier, Charles, 1950-; Lewikowa, Zdzislawa. Publication: Warszawa : Swiat Ksiazki, 1998
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
This book was not serialized. After looking through the following there was no evidence of any serialization of the text. - Book Browser Review ñ Fruitful www.bookbrowser.com/Reviews/FrazierCharles/cold.html - Shadows on the Wall - www.shadowsonthewall.co.uk/shworks.htm - Not Fruitful - Twelve Great Books for Reading Men ñ http://scla.net/rasd/12Bks4men.htm - Not Fruitful - Azrael and Phoebeís Kitty Critics corner ñ Not Fruitful www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/barnsbury/293/critics.historic.html - USC ñ www.sc.edu/spcoll/amlit/frazier/frazier.html - Fruitful - Salon.com ñ www.salon.com/july97/colddiary970709.html - Fruitful
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
There are no sequels to this novel. This was the authors firs novel and he is now beginning work on his second novel which is an unrelated story. - Book Browser Review ñ Fruitful www.bookbrowser.com/Reviews/FrazierCharles/cold.html - Shadows on the Wall - www.shadowsonthewall.co.uk/shworks.htm - Not Fruitful - Twelve Great Books for Reading Men ñ http://scla.net/rasd/12Bks4men.htm - Not Fruitful - Azrael and Phoebeís Kitty Critics corner ñ Fruitful www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/barnsbury/293/critics.historic.html - USC ñ www.sc.edu/spcoll/amlit/frazier/frazier.html - Not Fruitful - Salon.com ñ www.salon.com/july97/colddiary970709.html - Fruitful
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Charles Frazier was born in Asheville, NC in 1950. He grew up in the southern part of the Appalachian Mountains, a place he says he will always consider home. His father was a principal of a high school, and would end up being the source for the inspiration of Charles's first and only novel Cold Mountain. The inspiration being the story his father told him of his great-great uncle and his great grandfather fused into one character known as Inman. Considering his first work was a co-authored manual Developing Communication Skills for the Accounting Profession, nobody thought the native North Carolina resident would receive so much success with this first novel. Similar to Homer's Odyssey, Cold Mountain tells the story of Inman and his pilgrimage through the Appalachians back to his home after deserting the civil war. His immense success has been as great a shock for him as it has been for his publisher, Atlantic Monthly Press. When the transcript arrived on the desk of a young editor at the firm, it was immediately recognized as a promising work, and shortly thereafter was bought for a low 6 digit number. Now with over a million sales nationwide, the world is wondering what is next for Frazier. He has already signed a contract for his next novel for 8 million dollars with Random House publishing group, and it is due out in 2005. In fact, he has even signed the movie rights for his unwritten book for 3 million. Frazier was educated at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for his undergraduate studies, receiving a BA in 1973. He spent some time at Appalachian State after graduating doing research where he met his wife Katherine. He then attended USC for his graduate work, and received his PhD in 1986. After receiving his PhD he moved to Colorado and undertook graduate work at the University of Colorado at Boulder. After his daughter was born he decided to move back to his native land of North Carolina where he commenced to teach at North Carolina State. Throughout this time he had published several different pieces, at the age of 30 he had co-authored Developing Communication Skills for the Accounting Profession his first published work. His next work, which was also co-authored Adventuring in the Andes : The Sierra Club Travel Guide to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, the Amazon Basin, and the Galapagos Islands was published in 1985 by sierra club books. In addition to this he published a short story which appeared in an anthology "Licit Pursuits" The Best of the West 2: New Short Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri published by Peregrine Smith in 1989. After extensive searches, the locations of his manuscripts could not be determined. Before Frazier started on Cold Mountain, he already knew he wanted to write a book, however he had not quite drawn it together. After his father told him the tale about his great-great uncle and his trip home after deserting the army, he realized that was the perfect story. He combined what he knew of his great grandfather and created his character Inman, the actual name of his great-great grandfather. Frazier now lives with his wife and daughter on a ranch in Raleigh, NC where he raises horses. A very laid back and humble man, he compares himself to "a doughnut-shop waitress winning the lottery and keeping her job."
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Charles Frazier received perhaps some of the best criticism that any first novelist has ever gained. It was a major success almost instantaneously, as praise for the novel showered down from nearly every critic. Praised for it's beautiful writing, its meticulous attention to detail, and every other aspect of the novel, it was nearly impossible to find negative criticism about the novel. A book only published in 1997, it found it's way to many AP English reading lists only a few years after publication. Considered by Kaye Gibbons the best civil war novel since Michael Sharaa's The Killer Angels, it is also praised for its accuracy and attention to historical context. Critics dubbed the novel an elegant and beautiful story, a portrait of this period and the lives of two people. Rick Bass, a contemporary novelist, wrote one of the most praising critiques of the book "This novel is so magnificent-in every conceivable aspect, and others previously unimagined--that it occurred to me that the shadow of this book, and the joy I received in reading it, will fall over every other book I ever read. It seems even possible to never want to read another book, so wonderful is this one. Cold Mountain is one of the great accomplishments in American literature." Praise like this resonated through the press and other critiques of the novel when it emerged. Alfred Kazlin from the New York Times Book Review also said "Charles Frazier's own feeling for the Southern landscape is reverential and beautifully composed. He has written an astonishing first novel, if that is what it is? The prose is so silky and arch in capturing the stiff speech of the period that the book must have had much unpublished work behind it." While the first response slathers praise all over the novel, the second is a more reserved and careful response. However, both commend Frazier for this excellent job for a first novel, and praise him for his writing ability. The Kirkus Associates Book review contained the most criticism I could find about the novel, "A grim story about a tough, resourceful Southern family in the Civil War is somewhat submerged by the weight of lyrical detail piled on the tale, and by the slow pace of the telling. There's no doubt that Frazier can write; the problem is that he stops so often to savor the sheer pleasure of the act of writing in this debut effort? The tragic climax is convincing but somewhat rushed, given the many dilatory scenes that have preceded it? A promising but overlong, uneven debut." This criticism was emphasized in one other place by author Clay Reynolds who felt, "The novel is marred only slightly by an overabundance of culinary instruction. Such passages become somewhat tedious in their frequency if not in their detail." The main focus of criticism is the overabundance of unnecessary and often painful details that permeate the novel. Nearly all of the responses to this novel were positive, praising Cold Mountain for every element of its composition. This response also resonated the novels reception by the people, as it sold over a million copies in its first year. -New York Times Book Review-http://query.nytimes.com/search/full-page?res=9906E0D91439F930A25754C0A961958260 -Book Review Digest AldRefIndx z1219.c96 93rd Ed. 1997 p707 -http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail//books/0871136791/reviews/ref%3Dpm%5Fdp%5Fln%5Fb%5F6/104-0427854-3623968 -http://www.salon.com/aug97/entertainment/fraz970829.html -http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides/cold_mountain.asp#critic - Kirkus Reviews v65 April 1 1997 p503 Z1219.k57 - Publishers Weekly v244 May 5 1997 p196 Z1219.p98
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Charles Frazier received perhaps some of the best criticism that any first novelist has ever gained. It was a major success almost instantaneously, as praise for the novel showered down from nearly every critic. Praised for it's beautiful writing, its meticulous attention to detail, and every other aspect of the novel, it was nearly impossible to find negative criticism about the novel. A book only published in 1997, it found it's way to many AP English reading lists only a few years after publication. Considered by Kaye Gibbons the best civil war novel since Michael Sharaa's The Killer Angels, it is also praised for its accuracy and attention to historical context. Critics dubbed the novel an elegant and beautiful story, a portrait of this period and the lives of two people. Rick Bass, a contemporary novelist, wrote one of the most praising critiques of the book "This novel is so magnificent-in every conceivable aspect, and others previously unimagined--that it occurred to me that the shadow of this book, and the joy I received in reading it, will fall over every other book I ever read. It seems even possible to never want to read another book, so wonderful is this one. Cold Mountain is one of the great accomplishments in American literature." Praise like this resonated through the press and other critiques of the novel when it emerged. Alfred Kazlin from the New York Times Book Review also said "Charles Frazier's own feeling for the Southern landscape is reverential and beautifully composed. He has written an astonishing first novel, if that is what it is? The prose is so silky and arch in capturing the stiff speech of the period that the book must have had much unpublished work behind it." While the first response slathers praise all over the novel, the second is a more reserved and careful response. However, both commend Frazier for this excellent job for a first novel, and praise him for his writing ability. The Kirkus Associates Book review contained the most criticism I could find about the novel, "A grim story about a tough, resourceful Southern family in the Civil War is somewhat submerged by the weight of lyrical detail piled on the tale, and by the slow pace of the telling. There's no doubt that Frazier can write; the problem is that he stops so often to savor the sheer pleasure of the act of writing in this debut effort? The tragic climax is convincing but somewhat rushed, given the many dilatory scenes that have preceded it? A promising but overlong, uneven debut." This criticism was emphasized in one other place by author Clay Reynolds who felt, "The novel is marred only slightly by an overabundance of culinary instruction. Such passages become somewhat tedious in their frequency if not in their detail." The main focus of criticism is the overabundance of unnecessary and often painful details that permeate the novel. Nearly all of the responses to this novel were positive, praising Cold Mountain for every element of its composition. This response also resonated the novels reception by the people, as it sold over a million copies in its first year. -New York Times Book Review-http://query.nytimes.com/search/full-page?res=9906E0D91439F930A25754C0A961958260 -Book Review Digest AldRefIndx z1219.c96 93rd Ed. 1997 p707 -http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail//books/0871136791/reviews/ref%3Dpm%5Fdp%5Fln%5Fb%5F6/104-0427854-3623968 -http://www.salon.com/aug97/entertainment/fraz970829.html -http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides/cold_mountain.asp#critic - Kirkus Reviews v65 April 1 1997 p503 Z1219.k57 - Publishers Weekly v244 May 5 1997 p196 Z1219.p98
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Many times Bestsellers are simply entertaining novels. There is often little gravity to the material, and they are simply written to sell copies without any true literary merit. Cold Mountain decidedly breaks free of this characterization and is considered by nearly all who read it as a serious piece of literature. Winner of the National book award, it surprised even the publisher with its success, gaining praise from nearly every critic who reviewed the book. Having written no prior novels, Frazier was faced with an arduous task creating an Odyssey-like adventure through the mountains of North Carolina for his protagonist Inman. In the end, the product was a wonderful book worthy of both its critical acclaim, and it's success as a bestseller. Its tremendous success among the critics resonated through the general public as well, selling over 1 million copies it's first year. Rick Bass, a fellow novelist, said "This novel is so magnificent-in every conceivable aspect, and others previously unimagined--that it occurred to me that the shadow of this book, and the joy I received in reading it, will fall over every other book I ever read. It seems even possible to never want to read another book, so wonderful is this one. Cold Mountain is one of the great accomplishments in American literature." Commentary this rich seems over elaborated, however, it falls in line with what nearly every critic says. The New York Times Book Review said, "Charles Frazier's own feeling for the Southern landscape is reverential and beautifully composed. He has written an astonishing first novel, ? The prose is so silky and arch in capturing the stiff speech of the period that the book must have had much unpublished work behind it." The author's manipulation of language is praised for its silkiness, and his story is praised for its beauty. These two aspects are important factors in determining the quality of this book. These are also essential qualities to be considered for The National Book Award, which Cold Mountain won. Several critics showered praise over this novel, pleased with the writing and the plot, as well as the authentic nature of the writing. By authentic nature I am referring to the manner in which Frazier describes his surroundings, and the language used in the story. He uses words particular to that region and identifies plants that only a person familiar with the Appalachian Mountains would know. He also refers to objects that were particular for the time period, lacing his book with so many authentic characterizations, as the New York Times noted, there must have been a great deal of research done before the writing was started. Clay Reynolds a fellow novelist comments that "The beauty of the prose of this novel, however, defies too much criticism. In both dialogue and narration, Frazier evokes authentic 19th-century vernacular and speech rhythms with such casual ease that it's hard to believe this book was written in the 1990s. Details of costume, tools, weaponry, housewifery and geography are marvelously woven into the story. One feels the weariness of the characters, their hunger and their misery, just as one experiences the depths of their emotions, the extremes of their desperation." On a more critical note Clay Reynolds noted, "Also, Frazier's inclusion of the names of so many trees, plants, birds, animals and other elements of woodcraft and naturalistic observation defies credibility. While it's believable that a wild survivalist such as Ruby would have a full knowledge of such things, it strains reality that Inman would be able to identify such a variety of trees and plants, particularly when identifying them is of no particular importance to him or, for that matter, to the story at hand." Although this is not praise, it elicits an important point. This comment reflects the wealth of facts and knowledge that the author accumulated about this region and what he felt were important enough to put in his book. Having grown up in this region himself, he felt a particular passion towards the area. Although some critics felt Frazier may have overdone the presence of these naturalistic details, these details are another factor that sets Cold Mountain apart from other bestsellers like those of Daniel Steele's or other highly prolific writers for instance. His careful research in determining the actual words and speech and other factors sets this novel in a separate category from many other bestsellers. While Reynolds is harsh on Frazier's naturalistic detail, he congratulates him on his legitimate usage of speech, costumes, tools, and weaponry. This extra effort and time spent on research for his novel is reflected in his writing, producing a work of quality. The novel takes place in an Era important to all Americans, the Civil War. This period has produced many writings and text about it, however Cold Mountain was considered by Kaye Gibbons to be the best Civil War novel since Michael Sharaa's The Killer Angels. The novel offers an interesting spin on the Civil War, depicting the journey of a War deserter and his struggle to get back home through the Appalachians. At the same time it also tells of a woman and her struggle to survive and make a living. The novels civil war context, and the Odyssian adventure of the main character give the book a serious tone, often important when assessing the overall quality of a book. Not that the book must be serious, but that it must have a serious context or address an issue of meaning. The book offers an interesting look at this era in American History, and a look at the people of a particular region. The Civil War remains a period of intrigue for all Americans, an essential and founding part of our history. Frazier, who is a relative Civil War buff, chose to add a love story and a long adventure to the story, to illustrate more than just the horrors of war. "I realized that there are two kinds of books about a war: there's an Iliad, about fighting the war, and about the battles and generals, and there's an Odyssey, about a warrior who has decided that home and peace are the things he wants. Once I decided that I was writing an Odyssey kind of book instead of an Iliad kind of book, I could move forward with it with some sense of happiness."(Frazier, Bookbrowse.com) The epic scale and foundation of the work add to its greatness as a work, and his use of the Odyssey in correlation with the Civil War seems to grant the novel a certain amount of merit. "I went back and reread the Odyssey and tried not to write parallel scenes or anything like that but just to have a recognition, as I wrote, that that was a literary ancestor of the story."(Frazier, PBS) Frazier's Odyssian parallel gives his book an even deeper sense of literary legitimacy. Frazier, while never having written any novels prior to Cold Mountain, had published a few other things in conjunction with other writers. He wrote a book on traveling through South America, and one about Accounting. Having been a Professor at NC State, he chose to write his book, and sent of a copy before it was even complete. Shortly thereafter it was picked up and he completed his work. Never imagining his book would receive the acclaim it did, his public persona remains very low profile. He once commented that the only difference he sees since his bestseller is that his phone rings more often now, also comparing himself to a doughnut shop waitress winning the lottery and keeping her job. Although he interviews, and travels to bookstores for readings, he stays very low key and out of the papers. This creates a positive effect because it allows his writing to do all of the talking. Rather than promoting his book, he lets his story captivate readers. During 1997 when this book was written there was no particular contemporaneous event that would have sparked the popularity of this novel. Although the past few years have been filled with US military intervention, and this is a war novel, the parallel can hardly be made. Neither can be related, because our military action has been nondescript, and Cold Mountain does not really deal with the actual battles of the Civil War. A great deal of historical and political detail went into the writing of this novel. Frazier admittedly researched a great deal before he even began writing, spending a great deal of time in libraries looking at civil war documents and other pertinent data. One controversy the story brings up in relation to historical data, is the involvement of these mountain communities in the civil war. "I was interested in why a man like Inman went to this war--why he volunteered. "It wasn't his fight," was my first thought on it--he didn't own slaves and very few people he would have known did. Only about seven or eight percent of people in the southern mountains owned slaves. I think that he, and people like him, were fighting because they thought they we repelling an invasion of their homeland. But what I began to think about the politics of that war was that is was two economic systems--you had this slave/agricultural system in the South and a growing industrial capitalist system in the North, and then you had people like Inman who lived in an older economic system, kind of like subsistence farming. You had people like that in the North and South, and one of the tragedies of the war to me was that those people got caught up, caught in the crossfire of this war. Many of them died fighting somebody else's battle."(Frazier, Book Browse) Frazier's brings up a controversial point, asking why these people were even involved in this war in the first place. This is a similar argument brought up today when the US gets involved in other countries battles, and heavy questions like these seem important for any novel to be considered a good book. He successfully makes a point without preaching to the reader by addressing issues in the subtle manner. The controversy that the author illustrates fulfills the notion that a good book must address a serious issue. Currently the movie Cold Mountain is in production, set to release sometime in 2003 or 2004. It has been picked up by Academy Award winning director Anthony Minghella, and is starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renee Zeilweiger. While this has not been released it undoubtedly will have an effect on the sales of Cold Mountain, certainly increasing the copies sold in at least the United States. Cold Mountain surprised many people when it won the National Book Award, including the author himself. This very selective award is not often won by bestsellers because copies sold do not shape this decision. A book is chosen based on its quality as great writing, and here clearly Cold Mountain pertains. From the critics who all praised the novel, to the general public that found the novel worthy of buying over 1 million copies, Cold Mountain easily fits the criteria of a good book. There is a controversial and meaningful point to the novel, it is well written, and it is a very developed use of language that implies a great deal of work by the author. The novel stayed on the bestseller list for 43 weeks, a substantial amount of time to remain popular. Perhaps it's success can be attributed to the National Book Award, maybe the critical acclaim it received, possibly the interest the public has in a story relating to the Civil War, whatever the reason it remained popular be, there is definite evidence to prove this book is in fact great.
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