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Thirteen Moons
Thirteen Moons
Author: Charles Frazier
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 t...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780812967586
ISBN-10: 0812967585
Publication Date: 6/5/2007
Pages: 432
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 134 ratings
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

glowbuggreen avatar reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book is filled with great description of images of an America long gone. It paints a beautiful picture but I really feel that Frazier fails to make the main character very appealing. It was written from the viewpoint of the main character so maybe the author was just trying to reflect his self assurance but I feel that it made him un-likeable half of the time. Started it last summer and still haven't finished it...just working my way through between books.
lnicolay avatar reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Excellent historical fiction depicting the plight of the American Indian in the years leading up to the Civil War and post war period. Frazier presents the characters of this novel in a human and touching manner. His descriptions of events and the countryside made this part of history very real to me. Highly recommend.
booknookchick avatar reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 116 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Although Frazier doesn't use a lot of dialogue, he is a master at description. Even though it's fiction, the story reminded me of a memoir.
Dodie avatar reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 139 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A wonderful book from the author of "Cold Mountain". A 12 year old orphan, Will Cooper, is sent into the Cherokee Nation because he is not wanted by his white family. He learns to manage the trading posts and becomes the adopted son of Bear. He teaches himself law and becomes the arbitrator for the Cherokee in Washington and becomes a senator. Between Chief Bear and Will Cooper they amass an incredible amount of land in the Smokey Mountains and become quite wealthy before Indian Removal only to loose most of it when the US Government steps in. And, there's a love story in there.

The Denver Post - "Reading a Frazier novel is like listening to a fine symphony. Take the time to savor it, take in each thought and relish the turn of phrase and imagery of a gifted craftsman"
SkovePublisher avatar reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I have to admit, I could not get through Frazier's previous work, Cold Mountain, but Thirteen Moons kept me hooked. It's a well written tale of a young man's journey to old age. Life, love, adventures in the mid-1880's, wild western edge of the U.S.
Read All 27 Book Reviews of "Thirteen Moons"

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MaGee avatar reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 43 more book reviews
Written in the first person, the author traces the life of Will Cooper starting with the time he was bonded at age 12 through ninety-something. The story begins and ends with Will sitting alone ruminating on his life. In between is an eloquently written story that take the reader into the not so glory days of early America.

Frazier writes with an eye to detail that puts the reader in the scene. Whether he is describing the density of a mountain forest, a night of dance in a Cherokee townhouse, or a lover's tryst the reader is a participant. Emotions are so vividly drawn that I felt them along with the characters.

This is a powerful story. I give it ****.
reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 39 more book reviews
Thirteen Moons (2006) by Charles Frazier is his third book and its another beauty. When 12-year-old Will Cooper is sent off on his own to be an indentured servant running a trading post on the border of the Cherokee Nation, it sets him on a lifelong journey searching for his place in the world and somewhere to call home. He is adopted by a Cherokee chief, Bear, falls in love, wins and loses fortunes, endures the Civil War and meets the likes of Davy Crockett and Andrew Jackson. Fraziers books are so beautifully rendered that the images of the places he writes about stay with you long after the reading of them.
mollyk avatar reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 3 more book reviews
This is a story of the life of Will Cooper, as told by himself, at the time period of the forced relocations of the Native Americans in the US.

My favorite thing about this book is Frazier's prose, very poetic, always thought provoking, yet easy to read.

I appreciate books that are real and convincing, not cliche and fake, and Frazier is definitely a writer of the first kind. I can't put into words how convincing he was, for example when writing the main character's thoughts on aging. He made me understand what the weariness of growing old really feels like, and I wonder how someone who wasn't yet sixty could have written so realistic a view on this issue. This is just one of the many descriptions in this book that made me wonder how he created such realistic feelings when he could not have experienced it himself. Another is his telling of what it was like in the Indians' townhouses during their parties.

I really enjoyed the book but have to admit the middle part was difficult to read at times, just because of the gruesome mistreatment of the Indians and the matter-of-fact descriptions in some death scenes.

This story revealed a seemingly legendary man to be a faulty human, completely honest in his reflections. And he is forever in love with a girl/woman who is frustratingly aloof about their relationship.

I would read it again just to listen to the poetry of the story. Beautiful writing.
boomerbooklover avatar reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 419 more book reviews
Well written novel about a very old man who looks back on a remarkable life. Hired out as an orphan, and adopted by Cherokees, he became a backwoods lawyer who fought for Native American property rights. Enjoyable, but I liked the author's Cold Mountain better.
reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 628 more book reviews
Very good historical fiction.
Readnmachine avatar reviewed Thirteen Moons on + 1408 more book reviews
There's a lot to like in âThirteen Moons'. First, probably, is the incredible job Frazier does in describing the hardwood forest environment of the Cherokee Territory that encompassed 140,000 square miles over land that later became parts of North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. When Will Cooper rides through this wild and beautiful landscape, the reader is right there with him, whether admiring it or struggling to survive in it.

Frazier also uses vocabulary that may have the reader searching through obscure word lists â the first sentence of the book declares that âthere is no scatheless raptureâ â but which continually conjures believable vocabulary and language usage of the post-Revolutionary, pre-Western expansion period of U.S. history.

And the background upon which he has placed this fictional memoir is one of the saddest and perhaps most misunderstood events in the clashes between European settlers and the native inhabitants â the dissolution of the Cherokee Territory and the forced relocation of its inhabitants to what eventually became Oklahoma, along the Trail of Tears (which Frazier accurately renders as âthe trail where they criedâ. Like any vibrant and living culture, that of the Cherokee was not monolithic. There were multiple factions and wildly varying responses to the nascent United States' demands; while Frazier doesn't go into great detail (the book would have been 1400 pages instead of 400 if he had done so), he spends enough time on it to get the job done. The job being to portray the attempts of his main character to help his adopted clan stay in their ancestral home.

Less satisfying is the character development of two of the main characters in the book â Claire, the woman Will loves, and the morally ambiguous Featherstone, whose presence in Claire's life makes the budding romance between her and Will tenuous at best and impossible at worst. The problem is that we really never quite understand why Will seems to continue to respect Featherstone; why he doesn't take what would appear to be the logical action when their conflict erupts into the open. Nor are we ever made privy to the reasons Claire keeps walking away from Will,

These problems keep the book from being truly remarkable; even with them, it is a rich and satisfying read.


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