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Thirteen Moons: A Novel

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Thirteen Moons: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780375509322
ISBN10: 0375509321
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Review-A-Day

"Thirteen Moons [is] the best evidence yet that somewhere between one page and 400, a lot can go wrong....Plodding through Thirteen Moons, one admires its scope and verisimilitude. But this tale is meant to be an elegy — both for a woman and an epoch of history. And in the end, you probably won't miss either. You'll mourn only that bygone era when reward and result bore a closer correlation." Noah Oppenheim, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Charles Frazier's Thirteen Moons is the story of one man's remarkable life, spanning a century of relentless change. At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and is sent on a journey through the wilderness to the edge of the Cherokee Nation, the uncharted white space on the map. Will is a bound boy, obliged to run a remote Indian trading post. As he fulfills his lonesome duty, Will finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief, and is adopted by him and his people, developing relationships that ultimately forge Will's character. All the while, his love of Claire, the enigmatic and captivating charge of volatile and powerful Featherstone, will forever rule Will's heart.

In a distinct voice filled with both humor and yearning, Will tells of a lifelong search for home, the hunger for fortune and adventure, the rebuilding of a trampled culture, and above all an enduring pursuit of passion. As he comes to realize, When all else is lost and gone forever, there is yearning. One of the few welcome lessons age teaches is that only desire trumps time.

Will Cooper, in the hands of Charles Frazier, becomes a classic American soul: a man devoted to a place and its people, a woman, and a way of life, all of which are forever just beyond his reach. Thirteen Moons takes us from the uncharted wilderness of an unspoiled continent, across the South, up and down the Mississippi, and to the urban clamor of a raw Washington City. Throughout, Will is swept along as the wild beauty of the nineteenth century gives way to the telephones, automobiles, and encroaching railways of the twentieth. Steeped in history, rich in insight, and filled with moments of sudden beauty, Thirteen Moons is an unforgettable work of fiction by an American master.

Review:

"When Frazier's debut Cold Mountain blossomed into a National Book Award–winning bestseller with four million copies in print, expectations for the follow-up rose almost immediately. A decade later, the good news is that Frazier's storytelling prowess doesn't falter in this sophomore effort, a bountiful literary panorama again set primarily in North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains. The story takes place mostly before the Civil War this time, and it is epic in scope. With pristine prose that's often wry, Frazier brings a rough-and-tumble pioneer past magnificently to life, indicts America with painful bluntness for the betrayal of its native people and recounts a romance rife with sadness. In a departure from Cold Mountain's Inman, Will Cooper narrates his own story in retrospect, beginning with his days as an orphaned, literate 'bound boy' who is dispatched to run a musty trading post at the edge of the Cherokee Nation. Nearly nine mesmerizing decades later, Will is an eccentric elder of great accomplishments and gargantuan failures, perched cantankerously on his front porch taking potshots at passenger trains rumbling across his property (he owns 'quite a few' shares of the railroad). Over the years, Will — modeled very loosely, Frazier acknowledges, on real-life frontiersman William Holland Thomas — becomes a prosperous merchant, a self-taught lawyer and a state senator; he's adopted by a Cherokee elder and later leads the clan as a white Indian chief; he bears terrible witness to the 1838–1839 Trail of Tears; a quarter-century later, he goes to battle for the Confederacy as a self-anointed colonel, leading a mostly Indian force with a 'legion of lawyers and bookkeepers and shop clerks' as officers; as time passes, his life intersects with such figures as Davy Crockett, Sen. John C. Calhoun and President Andrew Jackson. After the Civil War, Will fritters away a fortune through wanderlust, neglect and unquenched longing for his one true love, Claire, a girl he won in a card game when they were both 12, wooed for two erotic summers in his teen years and found again several decades later. In the novel's wistful coda, recalling Claire's voice inflicts 'flesh wounds of memory, painful but inconclusive' — a voice that an uncertain old Will hears in the static hiss when he answers his newfangled phone in the book's opening pages. The history that Frazier hauntingly unwinds through Will is as melodic as it is melancholy, but the sublime love story is the narrative's true heart." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"When Frazier's debut Cold Mountain blossomed into a National Book Award — winning bestseller with four million copies in print, expectations for the follow-up rose almost immediately. A decade later, the good news is that Frazier's storytelling prowess doesn't falter in this sophomore effort, a bountiful literary panorama again set primarily in North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains. The story takes place mostly before the Civil War this time, and it is epic in scope. With pristine prose that's often wry, Frazier brings a rough-and-tumble pioneer past magnificently to life, indicts America with painful bluntness for the betrayal of its native people and recounts a romance rife with sadness. In a departure from Cold Mountain's Inman, Will Cooper narrates his own story in retrospect, beginning with his days as an orphaned, literate 'bound boy' who is dispatched to run a musty trading post at the edge of the Cherokee Nation. Nearly nine mesmerizing decades later, Will is an eccentric elder of great accomplishments and gargantuan failures, perched cantankerously on his front porch taking potshots at passenger trains rumbling across his property (he owns 'quite a few' shares of the railroad). Over the years, Will — modeled very loosely, Frazier acknowledges, on real-life frontiersman William Holland Thomas — becomes a prosperous merchant, a self-taught lawyer and a state senator; he's adopted by a Cherokee elder and later leads the clan as a white Indian chief; he bears terrible witness to the 1838 — 1839 Trail of Tears; a quarter-century later, he goes to battle for the Confederacy as a self-anointed colonel, leading a mostly Indian force with a 'legion of lawyers and bookkeepers and shop clerks' as officers; as time passes, his life intersects with such figures as Davy Crockett, Sen. John C. Calhoun and President Andrew Jackson. After the Civil War, Will fritters away a fortune through wanderlust, neglect and unquenched longing for his one true love, Claire, a girl he won in a card game when they were both 12, wooed for two erotic summers in his teen years and found again several decades later. In the novel's wistful coda, recalling Claire's voice inflicts 'flesh wounds of memory, painful but inconclusive' — a voice that an uncertain old Will hears in the static hiss when he answers his newfangled phone in the book's opening pages. The history that Frazier hauntingly unwinds through Will is as melodic as it is melancholy, but the sublime love story is the narrative's true heart." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Charles Frazier is an intelligent, occasionally witty author who writes incredibly long-winded, sentimental, soporific novels. His first, 'Cold Mountain,' published nine years ago, was the most unlikely best-seller since 'Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All' (1989), by his fellow North Carolinian Allan Gurganus, and the most improbable National Book Award winner since John O'Hara's 'Ten North... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"One of the great Native American — and American — stories, and a great gift to all of us, from one of our very best writers." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Unfortunately, for the first fourth of the book, there is too much detail for the plot to easily bear. But, finally, the characters are able to step out from behind this blanket of particulars and incidentals and make the story work." Booklist

Review:

"Frazier's long-awaited second novel ambles off to a slow start, crawls along at a turtle's pace, and reaches its destination after some torturous plotting and doubtful characterization....A tiresome novel." Library Journal

Review:

"There are successful scenes along the way, and, as in Cold Mountain, the world of the Appalachian forest primeval is brought to life. But neither of the plot lines is effective, and the problem is Cooper." Louis Menand, The New Yorker

Review:

"It's fertile material — so why is this novel so much less moving than Cold Mountain?...Will's tale is, by turns, amusing, bawdy, bloody, and poignant, but finishing one baggy chapter never leaves you panting for the next. (Grade: B-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"[A] literary journey of magnitude. Whether on a plane, in an office or curled in a window seat, readers who absorb Will's story will find their own lives enriched. Thirteen Moons belongs to the ages." Michael Blake, The Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Will's (and Frazier's) love for his Cherokee family and the Eden of the Smoky Mountains created the power and beauty of Thirteen Moons' early chapters. Their loss, however, left the novelist and his hero empty and a promising novel adrift." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Review:

"[A] boisterous, confident novel that draws from the epic tradition....Frazier draws a massive canvas of historical fiction in Thirteen Moons, remaining true to the heartbreak of a land and its indigenous culture nearly torn asunder." Boston Globe

Review:

"Thirteen Moons — despite its often somber subject matter — is a considerably airier production [than Cold Mountain]: reminiscent, at times, of Thomas Berger's Little Big Man and a lot closer to Larry McMurtry than to Cormac McCarthy." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"[W]ithout Cold Mountain's perfect structure, Moons becomes an amiable companion in need of an editor....You will find much to admire and savor in Thirteen Moons, but you won't love it like you did Cold Mountain." USA Today

Synopsis:

This magnificent novel by one of America's finest writers is the epic of one man's remarkable journey, set in nineteenth-century America against the background of a vanishing people and a rich way of life.

At the age of twelve, under the Wind moon, Will is given a horse, a key, and a map, and sent alone into the Indian Nation to run a trading post as a bound boy. It is during this time that he grows into a man, learning, as he does, of the raw power it takes to create a life, to find a home. In a card game with a white Indian named Featherstone, Will wins — for a brief moment — a mysterious girl named Claire, and his passion and desire for her spans this novel. As Will's destiny intertwines with the fate of the Cherokee Indians — including a Cherokee Chief named Bear — he learns how to fight and survive in the face of both nature and men, and eventually, under the Corn Tassel Moon, Will begins the fight against Washington City to preserve the Cherokee's homeland and culture. And he will come to know the truth behind his belief that "only desire trumps time."

Brilliantly imagined, written with great power and beauty by a master of American fiction, Thirteen Moons is a stunning novel about a man's passion for a woman, and how loss, longing and love can shape a man's destiny over the many moons of a life.

Synopsis:

Charles Fraziers Thirteen Moons is the story of one mans remarkable life, spanning a century of relentless change. At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and is sent on a journey through the wilderness to the edge of the Cherokee Nation, the uncharted white space on the map. Will is a bound boy, obliged to run a remote Indian trading post. As he fulfills his lonesome duty, Will finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief, and is adopted by him and his people, developing relationships that ultimately forge Wills character. All the while, his love of Claire, the enigmatic and captivating charge of volatile and powerful Featherstone, will forever rule Wills heart.

In a distinct voice filled with both humor and yearning, Will tells of a lifelong search for home, the hunger for fortune and adventure, the rebuilding of a trampled culture, and above all an enduring pursuit of passion. As he comes to realize, “When all else is lost and gone forever, there is yearning. One of the few welcome lessons age teaches is that only desire trumps time."

Will Cooper, in the hands of Charles Frazier, becomes a classic American soul: a man devoted to a place and its people, a woman, and a way of life, all of which are forever just beyond his reach. Thirteen Moons takes us from the uncharted wilderness of an unspoiled continent, across the South, up and down the Mississippi, and to the urban clamor of a raw Washington City. Throughout, Will is swept along as the wild beauty of the nineteenth century gives way to the telephones, automobiles, and encroaching railways of the twentieth. Steeped in history, rich in insight, and filled with moments of sudden beauty, Thirteen Moons is an unforgettable work of fiction by an American master.

PRAISE FOR THIRTEEN MOONS

“Genius.”

-Time

“Gorgeous…Thirteen Moons calls Cold Mountain to mind in its wonder at the natural world; its pacificist undercurrents; its dismay at the dismantling of what matters, and its convication that one love, no matter how tortured and inexplicable, can be life-defining…fascinating…vivid and alive.”

-Newsweek

Thirteen Moons is rare in many ways and occupies a literary plane of such height that reviewing it is not really salient….Thirteen Moons has the power to inspire great performances from succeeding generations of writers….For those who simply value the literary experience, Thirteen Moons will provide the immense satisfaction of taking a literary journey of magnitude. Whether on a plane, in an office or curled in a window seat, readers who absorb Will's story will find their own lives enriched….Thirteen Moons belongs to the ages.”

-Los Angeles Times

Thirteen Moons brings this vanished world thrillingly to life…

One of the great Native American, and American stories, and a great gift to all of us, from one of our very best writers.”

« -Kirkus Reviews, starred review «

“There are things so masterful words cant do them justice. Fraziers writing falls in that category…With Thirteen Moons, hes doing important work fillnig in the gaps, helping restore the roots, of our knowledge of our own history.”

-Asheville Citizen-Times

“Fascinating…Reading Thirteen Moons is an intoxicating experience…This is 21st-century literary fiction at its very best.”

-BookPage

Thirteen Moons is rare in many ways and occupies a literary plane of such height that reviewing it is not really salient….Thirteen Moons has the power to inspire great performances from succeeding generations of writers….For those who simply value the literary experience, Thirteen Moons will provide the immense satisfaction of taking a literary journey of magnitude. Whether on a plane, in an office or curled in a window seat, readers who absorb Will's story will find their own lives enriched….Thirteen Moons belongs to the ages.”

-Los Angeles Times

“Once again, we are in the hands of an assured writer who knows how to bring history to life…Gorgeous.”

-New Orleans Times Picayune

“Magical…the history lesson in Thirteen Moons is fascinating and moving…You will find much to admire and savor in Thirteen Moons.”

-USA Today

“Incredibly powerful.”

-Melissa Block on NPR All Things Considered

“Verdict: A powerhouse second act….a brilliant success…Frazier's second act should convince everyone that he's here to stay. It is a powerful, dramatic, often surprising and memorable novel.”

-Atlanta Journal Constitution

Thirteen Moons is a boisterous, confident novel that draws from the epic tradition... Frazier is a natural storyteller, and throughout his picaresque tale are grand themes and eulogies”

-Boston Globe

“Warm hearted…Frazier is a remarkably meticulous and tasteful writer… Thirteen Moons is a worthy successor to the first novel

and a highly readable book.”

-Seattle Times

“Fiction of the highest order…Another indelible character. Charles Frazier has a knack for them.”

-Charlotte Observer

“Splendidly written.”

-New York Daily News

“What a story!... Frazier's creation, Will Cooper, is utterly charismatic….Frazier's genius lies in his ability to convey emotions that feel pure and genuine…It was worth the wait.”

-Dayton Daily News

“To Charles Frazier, words are playthings. Like very few other contemporary American novelists, he puts them together in such a way that they can transform an otherwise mundane moment, scene or conversation into one that is transcendent….No sophomore jinx here. Reading a Frazier novel is like listening to a fine symphony. He's a maestro whose pen is his baton, beckoning the best that each sentence has to offer. And just as you wouldn't rush a conductor, you should take the time to savor Fraziers work, to take in each thought, to relish the turn of phrase or the imagery of a craftsman.”

-Denver Post

“Two for two…Here is a book brimming with vivid, adventurous incident…Charles Frazier set himself a daunting challenge with this book. He set out to write a historical novel that was retrospective and meditative, yet still vibrant and immediate with life. Thirteen Moons succeeds in classy fashion.”

-Raleigh News & Observer

“If current fiction is anything to go by, its hard for a novelist to make Santayana's puzzle pieces - lyricism, comedy, tragedy - fit together, as they do in real life and real history. Frazier has done it…Thirteen Moons makes you feel that change that happened so long before our own time, and makes you mourn it.”

-Newsday

“[Thirteen Moons] is superbly entertaining, and it packs enough emotional heft to measure up to most readers high expectations.”

-Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thirteen Moons is a fitting successor to Cold Mountain…fans of Frazier's debut will be cheered to discover that the new book is another compulsively readable work of historical fiction.”

-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“If there is any doubt that Frazier is an incredibly gifted storyteller - and not just a lucky name or a one-hit wonder - it will be put to rest with the publication of Thirteen Moons. Within 10 pages, this long-awaited new novel bears the reader swiftly out of the waking world into its own imagined universe like nothing else published this year.”

-Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Achingly beautiful descriptions of nature…Its rich, its beautiful.”

-Columbia State

“Forget the sophomore jinx. Frazier demonstrates that Cold Mountain was no one-hit wonder with this fully realized historical novel again set in the South….Again, Frazier shows himself a master of landscape and language, both often fresh and surprising in his telling.

-Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Thirteen Moons contains achingly beautiful passages of snowfalls, fog-wrapped rivers and moonlit forests. There are ribald and hilarious events, too, including a description of the Cherokee Booger Dance that is a masterpiece of satire. The love affair between Cooper and Claire threads its way through this pseudo-historic epic like a brilliant, scarlet ribbon. There is also a melancholy refrain that celebrates a wondrous time and place that is gone and will never return.”

-Smoky Mountain News

“Once again, we are in the hands of an assured writer who knows how to bring history to life…Gorgeous.”

-New Orleans Times Picayune

“Magical…the history lesson in Thirteen Moons is fascinating and moving…You will find much to admire and savor in Thirteen Moons.”

-USA Today

“Verdict: A powerhouse second act….a brilliant success…Frazier's second act should convince everyone that he's here to stay. It is a powerful, dramatic, often surprising and memorable novel.”

-Atlanta Journal Constitution

Thirteen Moons is a boisterous, confident novel that draws from the epic tradition... Frazier is a natural storyteller, and throughout his picaresque tale are grand themes and eulogies”

-Boston Globe

“Fiction of the highest order…Another indelible character. Charles Frazier has a knack for them.”

-Charlotte Observer

“What a story!... Frazier's creation, Will Cooper, is utterly charismatic….Frazier's genius lies in his ability to convey emotions that feel pure and genuine…It was worth the wait.”

-Dayton Daily News

“To Charles Frazier, words are playthings. Like very few other contemporary American novelists, he puts them together in such a way that they can transform an otherwise mundane moment, scene or conversation into one that is transcendent….No sophomore jinx here. Reading a Frazier novel is like listening to a fine symphony. He's a maestro whose pen is his baton, beckoning the best that each sentence has to offer. And just as you wouldn't rush a conductor, you should take the time to savor Fraziers work, to take in each thought, to relish the turn of phrase or the imagery of a craftsman.”

-Denver Post

“Two for two…Here is a book brimming with vivid, adventurous incident…Charles Frazier set himself a daunting challenge with this book. He set out to write a historical novel that was retrospective and meditative, yet still vibrant and immediate with life. Thirteen Moons succeeds in classy fashion.”

-Raleigh News & Observer

“[Thirteen Moons] is superbly entertaining, and it packs enough emotional heft to measure up to most readers high expectations.”

-Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thirteen Moons is a fitting successor to Cold Mountain…fans of Frazier's debut will be cheered to discover that the new book is another compulsively readable work of historical fiction.”

-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“If there is any doubt that Frazier is an incredibly gifted storyteller - and not just a lucky name or a one-hit wonder - it will be put to rest with the publication of Thirteen Moons. Within 10 pages, this long-awaited new novel bears the reader swiftly out of the waking world into its own imagined universe like nothing else published this year.”

-Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Forget the sophomore jinx. Frazier demonstrates that Cold Mountain was no one-hit wonder with this fully realized historical novel again set in the South….Again, Frazier shows himself a master of landscape and language, both often fresh and surprising in his telling.

-Seattle Post-Intelligencer

About the Author

Charles Frazier was born in Asheville, North Carolina. Cold Mountain, his first novel, was an international bestseller and won the National Book Award in 1997, as well as the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Suz, March 7, 2007 (view all comments by Suz)
Frazier eloquently intertwines the struggles and successes of the protagonist Will Cooper, and the displacement of the Cherokee Nation living in the mountains of North Carolina. Underlying the central story of Cooper and the removal of the Cherokee Nation, this book illustrates the 19th century transformation of America from rugged wilderness into a developed nation. Despite mixed reviews, ‘Thirteen Moons’ is a brilliantly imagined and well worth the time.
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(13 of 27 readers found this comment helpful)
mary1901, October 24, 2006 (view all comments by mary1901)
I had looked so forward to Charles Frazier's next novel, and was so disappointed to read the first review posted by Powell's, and the excerpts from a few others. Thank goodness I read to the end to see the avalanche of praise in the reviews of this book. As a Powell's customer, I don't find many of these earlier reviews (seems like mostly New York area reviews) helpful. The reader reviews here and many on Amazon are helpful. I've now read the book, and it's stunning, and, I hate to say it, really even better than Cold Mountain. Don't let these sourpusses keep you from this book. It's simply amazing.
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(12 of 21 readers found this comment helpful)
alsek, October 16, 2006 (view all comments by alsek)
Wonderful follow up to COLD MOUNTAIN. Certainly worth the ten year wait. Charles Frazier's compelling novel is set in his beloved mountains of western North Carolina and follows the incredible life of the orphan Will Cooper. Readers will delight in Frazier's mastery of history and language in his compelling second book. Wrap yourself up in a blanket, put some wood in the fireplace and open this book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375509322
Author:
Frazier, Charles
Publisher:
Random House (NY)
Author:
Frazier, Charles
Subject:
General
Subject:
Indians of north america
Subject:
Orphans
Subject:
Cherokee Indians
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Publication Date:
October 3, 2006
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.60x6.48x1.42 in. 1.60 lbs.

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Thirteen Moons: A Novel Used Hardcover
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Product details 432 pages Random House - English 9780375509322 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When Frazier's debut Cold Mountain blossomed into a National Book Award–winning bestseller with four million copies in print, expectations for the follow-up rose almost immediately. A decade later, the good news is that Frazier's storytelling prowess doesn't falter in this sophomore effort, a bountiful literary panorama again set primarily in North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains. The story takes place mostly before the Civil War this time, and it is epic in scope. With pristine prose that's often wry, Frazier brings a rough-and-tumble pioneer past magnificently to life, indicts America with painful bluntness for the betrayal of its native people and recounts a romance rife with sadness. In a departure from Cold Mountain's Inman, Will Cooper narrates his own story in retrospect, beginning with his days as an orphaned, literate 'bound boy' who is dispatched to run a musty trading post at the edge of the Cherokee Nation. Nearly nine mesmerizing decades later, Will is an eccentric elder of great accomplishments and gargantuan failures, perched cantankerously on his front porch taking potshots at passenger trains rumbling across his property (he owns 'quite a few' shares of the railroad). Over the years, Will — modeled very loosely, Frazier acknowledges, on real-life frontiersman William Holland Thomas — becomes a prosperous merchant, a self-taught lawyer and a state senator; he's adopted by a Cherokee elder and later leads the clan as a white Indian chief; he bears terrible witness to the 1838–1839 Trail of Tears; a quarter-century later, he goes to battle for the Confederacy as a self-anointed colonel, leading a mostly Indian force with a 'legion of lawyers and bookkeepers and shop clerks' as officers; as time passes, his life intersects with such figures as Davy Crockett, Sen. John C. Calhoun and President Andrew Jackson. After the Civil War, Will fritters away a fortune through wanderlust, neglect and unquenched longing for his one true love, Claire, a girl he won in a card game when they were both 12, wooed for two erotic summers in his teen years and found again several decades later. In the novel's wistful coda, recalling Claire's voice inflicts 'flesh wounds of memory, painful but inconclusive' — a voice that an uncertain old Will hears in the static hiss when he answers his newfangled phone in the book's opening pages. The history that Frazier hauntingly unwinds through Will is as melodic as it is melancholy, but the sublime love story is the narrative's true heart." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When Frazier's debut Cold Mountain blossomed into a National Book Award — winning bestseller with four million copies in print, expectations for the follow-up rose almost immediately. A decade later, the good news is that Frazier's storytelling prowess doesn't falter in this sophomore effort, a bountiful literary panorama again set primarily in North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains. The story takes place mostly before the Civil War this time, and it is epic in scope. With pristine prose that's often wry, Frazier brings a rough-and-tumble pioneer past magnificently to life, indicts America with painful bluntness for the betrayal of its native people and recounts a romance rife with sadness. In a departure from Cold Mountain's Inman, Will Cooper narrates his own story in retrospect, beginning with his days as an orphaned, literate 'bound boy' who is dispatched to run a musty trading post at the edge of the Cherokee Nation. Nearly nine mesmerizing decades later, Will is an eccentric elder of great accomplishments and gargantuan failures, perched cantankerously on his front porch taking potshots at passenger trains rumbling across his property (he owns 'quite a few' shares of the railroad). Over the years, Will — modeled very loosely, Frazier acknowledges, on real-life frontiersman William Holland Thomas — becomes a prosperous merchant, a self-taught lawyer and a state senator; he's adopted by a Cherokee elder and later leads the clan as a white Indian chief; he bears terrible witness to the 1838 — 1839 Trail of Tears; a quarter-century later, he goes to battle for the Confederacy as a self-anointed colonel, leading a mostly Indian force with a 'legion of lawyers and bookkeepers and shop clerks' as officers; as time passes, his life intersects with such figures as Davy Crockett, Sen. John C. Calhoun and President Andrew Jackson. After the Civil War, Will fritters away a fortune through wanderlust, neglect and unquenched longing for his one true love, Claire, a girl he won in a card game when they were both 12, wooed for two erotic summers in his teen years and found again several decades later. In the novel's wistful coda, recalling Claire's voice inflicts 'flesh wounds of memory, painful but inconclusive' — a voice that an uncertain old Will hears in the static hiss when he answers his newfangled phone in the book's opening pages. The history that Frazier hauntingly unwinds through Will is as melodic as it is melancholy, but the sublime love story is the narrative's true heart." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Thirteen Moons [is] the best evidence yet that somewhere between one page and 400, a lot can go wrong....Plodding through Thirteen Moons, one admires its scope and verisimilitude. But this tale is meant to be an elegy — both for a woman and an epoch of history. And in the end, you probably won't miss either. You'll mourn only that bygone era when reward and result bore a closer correlation." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "One of the great Native American — and American — stories, and a great gift to all of us, from one of our very best writers."
"Review" by , "Unfortunately, for the first fourth of the book, there is too much detail for the plot to easily bear. But, finally, the characters are able to step out from behind this blanket of particulars and incidentals and make the story work."
"Review" by , "Frazier's long-awaited second novel ambles off to a slow start, crawls along at a turtle's pace, and reaches its destination after some torturous plotting and doubtful characterization....A tiresome novel."
"Review" by , "There are successful scenes along the way, and, as in Cold Mountain, the world of the Appalachian forest primeval is brought to life. But neither of the plot lines is effective, and the problem is Cooper."
"Review" by , "It's fertile material — so why is this novel so much less moving than Cold Mountain?...Will's tale is, by turns, amusing, bawdy, bloody, and poignant, but finishing one baggy chapter never leaves you panting for the next. (Grade: B-)"
"Review" by , "[A] literary journey of magnitude. Whether on a plane, in an office or curled in a window seat, readers who absorb Will's story will find their own lives enriched. Thirteen Moons belongs to the ages."
"Review" by , "Will's (and Frazier's) love for his Cherokee family and the Eden of the Smoky Mountains created the power and beauty of Thirteen Moons' early chapters. Their loss, however, left the novelist and his hero empty and a promising novel adrift."
"Review" by , "[A] boisterous, confident novel that draws from the epic tradition....Frazier draws a massive canvas of historical fiction in Thirteen Moons, remaining true to the heartbreak of a land and its indigenous culture nearly torn asunder."
"Review" by , "Thirteen Moons — despite its often somber subject matter — is a considerably airier production [than Cold Mountain]: reminiscent, at times, of Thomas Berger's Little Big Man and a lot closer to Larry McMurtry than to Cormac McCarthy."
"Review" by , "[W]ithout Cold Mountain's perfect structure, Moons becomes an amiable companion in need of an editor....You will find much to admire and savor in Thirteen Moons, but you won't love it like you did Cold Mountain."
"Synopsis" by , This magnificent novel by one of America's finest writers is the epic of one man's remarkable journey, set in nineteenth-century America against the background of a vanishing people and a rich way of life.

At the age of twelve, under the Wind moon, Will is given a horse, a key, and a map, and sent alone into the Indian Nation to run a trading post as a bound boy. It is during this time that he grows into a man, learning, as he does, of the raw power it takes to create a life, to find a home. In a card game with a white Indian named Featherstone, Will wins — for a brief moment — a mysterious girl named Claire, and his passion and desire for her spans this novel. As Will's destiny intertwines with the fate of the Cherokee Indians — including a Cherokee Chief named Bear — he learns how to fight and survive in the face of both nature and men, and eventually, under the Corn Tassel Moon, Will begins the fight against Washington City to preserve the Cherokee's homeland and culture. And he will come to know the truth behind his belief that "only desire trumps time."

Brilliantly imagined, written with great power and beauty by a master of American fiction, Thirteen Moons is a stunning novel about a man's passion for a woman, and how loss, longing and love can shape a man's destiny over the many moons of a life.

"Synopsis" by , Charles Fraziers Thirteen Moons is the story of one mans remarkable life, spanning a century of relentless change. At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and is sent on a journey through the wilderness to the edge of the Cherokee Nation, the uncharted white space on the map. Will is a bound boy, obliged to run a remote Indian trading post. As he fulfills his lonesome duty, Will finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief, and is adopted by him and his people, developing relationships that ultimately forge Wills character. All the while, his love of Claire, the enigmatic and captivating charge of volatile and powerful Featherstone, will forever rule Wills heart.

In a distinct voice filled with both humor and yearning, Will tells of a lifelong search for home, the hunger for fortune and adventure, the rebuilding of a trampled culture, and above all an enduring pursuit of passion. As he comes to realize, “When all else is lost and gone forever, there is yearning. One of the few welcome lessons age teaches is that only desire trumps time."

Will Cooper, in the hands of Charles Frazier, becomes a classic American soul: a man devoted to a place and its people, a woman, and a way of life, all of which are forever just beyond his reach. Thirteen Moons takes us from the uncharted wilderness of an unspoiled continent, across the South, up and down the Mississippi, and to the urban clamor of a raw Washington City. Throughout, Will is swept along as the wild beauty of the nineteenth century gives way to the telephones, automobiles, and encroaching railways of the twentieth. Steeped in history, rich in insight, and filled with moments of sudden beauty, Thirteen Moons is an unforgettable work of fiction by an American master.

PRAISE FOR THIRTEEN MOONS

“Genius.”

-Time

“Gorgeous…Thirteen Moons calls Cold Mountain to mind in its wonder at the natural world; its pacificist undercurrents; its dismay at the dismantling of what matters, and its convication that one love, no matter how tortured and inexplicable, can be life-defining…fascinating…vivid and alive.”

-Newsweek

Thirteen Moons is rare in many ways and occupies a literary plane of such height that reviewing it is not really salient….Thirteen Moons has the power to inspire great performances from succeeding generations of writers….For those who simply value the literary experience, Thirteen Moons will provide the immense satisfaction of taking a literary journey of magnitude. Whether on a plane, in an office or curled in a window seat, readers who absorb Will's story will find their own lives enriched….Thirteen Moons belongs to the ages.”

-Los Angeles Times

Thirteen Moons brings this vanished world thrillingly to life…

One of the great Native American, and American stories, and a great gift to all of us, from one of our very best writers.”

« -Kirkus Reviews, starred review «

“There are things so masterful words cant do them justice. Fraziers writing falls in that category…With Thirteen Moons, hes doing important work fillnig in the gaps, helping restore the roots, of our knowledge of our own history.”

-Asheville Citizen-Times

“Fascinating…Reading Thirteen Moons is an intoxicating experience…This is 21st-century literary fiction at its very best.”

-BookPage

Thirteen Moons is rare in many ways and occupies a literary plane of such height that reviewing it is not really salient….Thirteen Moons has the power to inspire great performances from succeeding generations of writers….For those who simply value the literary experience, Thirteen Moons will provide the immense satisfaction of taking a literary journey of magnitude. Whether on a plane, in an office or curled in a window seat, readers who absorb Will's story will find their own lives enriched….Thirteen Moons belongs to the ages.”

-Los Angeles Times

“Once again, we are in the hands of an assured writer who knows how to bring history to life…Gorgeous.”

-New Orleans Times Picayune

“Magical…the history lesson in Thirteen Moons is fascinating and moving…You will find much to admire and savor in Thirteen Moons.”

-USA Today

“Incredibly powerful.”

-Melissa Block on NPR All Things Considered

“Verdict: A powerhouse second act….a brilliant success…Frazier's second act should convince everyone that he's here to stay. It is a powerful, dramatic, often surprising and memorable novel.”

-Atlanta Journal Constitution

Thirteen Moons is a boisterous, confident novel that draws from the epic tradition... Frazier is a natural storyteller, and throughout his picaresque tale are grand themes and eulogies”

-Boston Globe

“Warm hearted…Frazier is a remarkably meticulous and tasteful writer… Thirteen Moons is a worthy successor to the first novel

and a highly readable book.”

-Seattle Times

“Fiction of the highest order…Another indelible character. Charles Frazier has a knack for them.”

-Charlotte Observer

“Splendidly written.”

-New York Daily News

“What a story!... Frazier's creation, Will Cooper, is utterly charismatic….Frazier's genius lies in his ability to convey emotions that feel pure and genuine…It was worth the wait.”

-Dayton Daily News

“To Charles Frazier, words are playthings. Like very few other contemporary American novelists, he puts them together in such a way that they can transform an otherwise mundane moment, scene or conversation into one that is transcendent….No sophomore jinx here. Reading a Frazier novel is like listening to a fine symphony. He's a maestro whose pen is his baton, beckoning the best that each sentence has to offer. And just as you wouldn't rush a conductor, you should take the time to savor Fraziers work, to take in each thought, to relish the turn of phrase or the imagery of a craftsman.”

-Denver Post

“Two for two…Here is a book brimming with vivid, adventurous incident…Charles Frazier set himself a daunting challenge with this book. He set out to write a historical novel that was retrospective and meditative, yet still vibrant and immediate with life. Thirteen Moons succeeds in classy fashion.”

-Raleigh News & Observer

“If current fiction is anything to go by, its hard for a novelist to make Santayana's puzzle pieces - lyricism, comedy, tragedy - fit together, as they do in real life and real history. Frazier has done it…Thirteen Moons makes you feel that change that happened so long before our own time, and makes you mourn it.”

-Newsday

“[Thirteen Moons] is superbly entertaining, and it packs enough emotional heft to measure up to most readers high expectations.”

-Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thirteen Moons is a fitting successor to Cold Mountain…fans of Frazier's debut will be cheered to discover that the new book is another compulsively readable work of historical fiction.”

-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“If there is any doubt that Frazier is an incredibly gifted storyteller - and not just a lucky name or a one-hit wonder - it will be put to rest with the publication of Thirteen Moons. Within 10 pages, this long-awaited new novel bears the reader swiftly out of the waking world into its own imagined universe like nothing else published this year.”

-Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Achingly beautiful descriptions of nature…Its rich, its beautiful.”

-Columbia State

“Forget the sophomore jinx. Frazier demonstrates that Cold Mountain was no one-hit wonder with this fully realized historical novel again set in the South….Again, Frazier shows himself a master of landscape and language, both often fresh and surprising in his telling.

-Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Thirteen Moons contains achingly beautiful passages of snowfalls, fog-wrapped rivers and moonlit forests. There are ribald and hilarious events, too, including a description of the Cherokee Booger Dance that is a masterpiece of satire. The love affair between Cooper and Claire threads its way through this pseudo-historic epic like a brilliant, scarlet ribbon. There is also a melancholy refrain that celebrates a wondrous time and place that is gone and will never return.”

-Smoky Mountain News

“Once again, we are in the hands of an assured writer who knows how to bring history to life…Gorgeous.”

-New Orleans Times Picayune

“Magical…the history lesson in Thirteen Moons is fascinating and moving…You will find much to admire and savor in Thirteen Moons.”

-USA Today

“Verdict: A powerhouse second act….a brilliant success…Frazier's second act should convince everyone that he's here to stay. It is a powerful, dramatic, often surprising and memorable novel.”

-Atlanta Journal Constitution

Thirteen Moons is a boisterous, confident novel that draws from the epic tradition... Frazier is a natural storyteller, and throughout his picaresque tale are grand themes and eulogies”

-Boston Globe

“Fiction of the highest order…Another indelible character. Charles Frazier has a knack for them.”

-Charlotte Observer

“What a story!... Frazier's creation, Will Cooper, is utterly charismatic….Frazier's genius lies in his ability to convey emotions that feel pure and genuine…It was worth the wait.”

-Dayton Daily News

“To Charles Frazier, words are playthings. Like very few other contemporary American novelists, he puts them together in such a way that they can transform an otherwise mundane moment, scene or conversation into one that is transcendent….No sophomore jinx here. Reading a Frazier novel is like listening to a fine symphony. He's a maestro whose pen is his baton, beckoning the best that each sentence has to offer. And just as you wouldn't rush a conductor, you should take the time to savor Fraziers work, to take in each thought, to relish the turn of phrase or the imagery of a craftsman.”

-Denver Post

“Two for two…Here is a book brimming with vivid, adventurous incident…Charles Frazier set himself a daunting challenge with this book. He set out to write a historical novel that was retrospective and meditative, yet still vibrant and immediate with life. Thirteen Moons succeeds in classy fashion.”

-Raleigh News & Observer

“[Thirteen Moons] is superbly entertaining, and it packs enough emotional heft to measure up to most readers high expectations.”

-Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thirteen Moons is a fitting successor to Cold Mountain…fans of Frazier's debut will be cheered to discover that the new book is another compulsively readable work of historical fiction.”

-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“If there is any doubt that Frazier is an incredibly gifted storyteller - and not just a lucky name or a one-hit wonder - it will be put to rest with the publication of Thirteen Moons. Within 10 pages, this long-awaited new novel bears the reader swiftly out of the waking world into its own imagined universe like nothing else published this year.”

-Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Forget the sophomore jinx. Frazier demonstrates that Cold Mountain was no one-hit wonder with this fully realized historical novel again set in the South….Again, Frazier shows himself a master of landscape and language, both often fresh and surprising in his telling.

-Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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