Charles Frazier's sophomore(ic?) effort

A New Yorker book reviewer a few weeks ago neatly punctured my high expectations of Frazier's new book Thirteen Moons, but this vicious Slate review absolutely eviserates the thing. Calls it "a disgrace"! If you love negative reviews, you gotta read it.

Man, what a disappointment. I admit to loving Cold Mountain. I read it twice. The voice in that book hooked me and didn't let go. I was mesmerized, smitten. But was I fooled? I remember one of our workshop teachers dismissing the book in class as a "cheap McCarthy knockoff," and I thought no, you are wrong, sir. Is it possible that Cold Mountain was great and Thirteen Moons sucks? Or did Cold Mountain suck more subtly? Has anyone here read the new one?

I can sense the "I-told-you-so's" ... (winces, glancing sheepishly in TLB's direction).


Brando said...

Just don't mention the other TLB (The Lovely Bones)!

gerry rosser said...

Cold Mountain didn't suck.

Haven't read new book.

TLB said...

No one was more surprised than I was to discover that I didn't like Cold Mountain. It had a lot going for it in the beginning, but dissolved into sentimental claptrap. Thirteen Moons sounds absolutely awful, but I may check it out of the library and see if the critics are just taking it out on him for that $8 million advance.

gillymonster said...

You know, I reacted to Cold Mountain similarly, TLB. Except that I didn't find the beginning to have much going for it, really. Living in the Appalachian foothills at the time, in a place not so different from, and indeed not so far away from, the actual Cold Mountain, I found Frazer missed big time. In a novel ostensibly about place, the fictional place was not genuine--it was romanticized, sentimentalized, but never realized.

So disappointed was I that I didn't read it again, which I suppose I should, now, nearly ten years (can it be?) later and with a distance from the place that might allow me to understand his sentimental treatment.

Dexter said...

Cold MOuntain was good but should not have won NBA over Pynchon our DeLillo...still peeved at that.

TLB said...

My North Carolina friends didn't like the book either, gilly.