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Thirteen Moons: A Novel

by

Thirteen Moons: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780812967586
ISBN10: 0812967585
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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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:

"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:

"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:

"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

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:

"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

Synopsis:

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 uncharted wilderness of the Cherokee Nation. 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 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.

Named ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by

Los Angeles Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune,

and St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“A literary journey of magnitude . . . Thirteen Moons belongs to the ages.”

-Los Angeles Times

“A boisterous, confident novel that draws from the epic tradition: It tips its hat to Don Quixote as well as Twain and Melville, and it boldly sets out to capture a broad swatch of Americas story in the mid-nineteenth century.”

-The Boston Globe

“Frazier works on an epic scale, but his genius is in the details-he has a scholars command of the physical realities of early America and a novelists gift for bringing them to life.”

-Time

“A powerhouse second act . . . a brilliant success.”

-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Compulsively readable . . . a fitting successor to Cold Mountain.”

-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Magical . . . fascinating and moving . . . You will find much to admire and savor in Thirteen Moons.”

-USA Today

“Genius.”

-Time

“Mesmerizing . . . a bountiful literary panorama . . . The history that Frazier hauntingly unwinds through Will is as melodic as it is melancholy, but the sublime love story is the narratives true heart.”

-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Brimming with vivid, adventurous incident.”

-Raleigh News & Observer

“Reading a Frazier novel is like listening to a fine symphony. . . . Take the time to savor Fraziers work, to take in each thought, to relish the turn of phrase or the imagery of a craftsman.”

-The Denver Post

“[Four stars] . . . Commanding . . . Fraziers faithful will not be disappointed.”

-People

“Superbly entertaining.”

-Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Fascinating . . . vivid and alive.”

-Newsweek

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

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

gjames, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by gjames)
Charles Frazier is a master at creating characters and story. A great look at the expanding frontier, and the lives that were interrupted by it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Zangmo, January 5, 2011 (view all comments by Zangmo)
I found this novel very interesting, well written, and nostalgic. It's about desire but somehow as the narrator ages, the desire morphs into an intellectual distance that keeps him from responding to change. I'm still considering the interplay among the narrator's love of books, the use of the 19th century's treatment of the Indians, the narrator's attachment to Indians but without really confronting the dichotomy between Featherstone, the author's image of an Americanized Indian, and Bear, an Indian who tries to keep at least something of the Cherokee past alive. The betrayal of Charley and his family seems to set the narrator on a negative path,at least in regard to keeping up with his responsibilities. But is it even possible for him to keep up the entangled mess of promises/loans etc. that he has woven to try to keep Bear and his tribe together over a period of many years? This is unclear. The narrator does not seem interested in really entering the world of the dispossessed except insofar as he himself feels dispossessed but his dispossession is not cultural in the same way as the dispossession of the Indians although he attempts to make their dispossession his own. A lot to chew over about in this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
thegreenangel, January 23, 2010 (view all comments by thegreenangel)
If one is expecting the caliber of Frazier's first novel, Cold Mountain, one will be disappointed. Although enjoyable, Thirteen Moons shouldn't be compared to the brilliance of the other novel. So, given that, I would still recommend this as a nice read. Frazier's prose here tends to be overworked and rather than illuminating his scenes, clouds it with too much detail, too much antiquated vocabulary, making what would otherwise be delightful passages feel like drudgery. I felt as if, without the aid of a dictionary, complete comprehension would allude me; thus making me, the reader, feel not only humble, but slighted by the author. I appreciate command and dexterity of language from writers, but when one goes beyond the realm of servicing his novel, his story, for...I don't know...showmanship or language grandiosity, then I have, rather than admiration for such usage, disdain. It makes for incomprehensibility, lack of clarity, and the worst sin of all, it detracts from the flow of the plots so much so that it is more comfortable to either pick up another novel or reach for the remote.

Still and all, it's a good story, reminiscent to me of Dustin Hoffman's self admitted favorite, Little Big Man. If Frazier had visions of a screenplay in mind while conceiving this story, he was on the mark. Perhaps that's why he wrote it the way he did; not really caring if his novel readers would like it, but aiming for Hollywood instead. That's probably more cruel than I wish to be, but after his first success, why not; That's Show Biz. Take it on your next plane trip and it'll serve as a wonderful segueway into conversation with your attractive seatmate, if nothing else.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812967586
Author:
Frazier, Charles
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Subject:
General
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.04x5.30x.98 in. .70 lbs.

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Thirteen Moons: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Random House - English 9780812967586 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.)
"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 , "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 , "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."
"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 , "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."
"Synopsis" by , 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 uncharted wilderness of the Cherokee Nation. 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 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.

Named ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by

Los Angeles Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune,

and St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“A literary journey of magnitude . . . Thirteen Moons belongs to the ages.”

-Los Angeles Times

“A boisterous, confident novel that draws from the epic tradition: It tips its hat to Don Quixote as well as Twain and Melville, and it boldly sets out to capture a broad swatch of Americas story in the mid-nineteenth century.”

-The Boston Globe

“Frazier works on an epic scale, but his genius is in the details-he has a scholars command of the physical realities of early America and a novelists gift for bringing them to life.”

-Time

“A powerhouse second act . . . a brilliant success.”

-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Compulsively readable . . . a fitting successor to Cold Mountain.”

-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Magical . . . fascinating and moving . . . You will find much to admire and savor in Thirteen Moons.”

-USA Today

“Genius.”

-Time

“Mesmerizing . . . a bountiful literary panorama . . . The history that Frazier hauntingly unwinds through Will is as melodic as it is melancholy, but the sublime love story is the narratives true heart.”

-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Brimming with vivid, adventurous incident.”

-Raleigh News & Observer

“Reading a Frazier novel is like listening to a fine symphony. . . . Take the time to savor Fraziers work, to take in each thought, to relish the turn of phrase or the imagery of a craftsman.”

-The Denver Post

“[Four stars] . . . Commanding . . . Fraziers faithful will not be disappointed.”

-People

“Superbly entertaining.”

-Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Fascinating . . . vivid and alive.”

-Newsweek

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