Divergent Views of NIGHTWOODS

Charles Frazier’s first novel, Cold Mountain, received great acclaim, as well as commercial success (it was on the hardcover best seller list so long that the paperback ended up being delayed for several months) and went on to win the 1997 National Book Award (beating out Don DeLillo’s Underworld). It was also the basis for a movie of the same title, which was nominated for six Oscars (Renee Zellwegger won for Best Supporting Actress).

Frazier’s second book, Thirteen Moons, came out nearly ten years later, to wildly divergent reviews. History may repeat itself with his third book, Nightwoods, arriving this coming Tuesday. Entertainment Weekly gives it a solid A, saying, “The book feels longer than its 260 pages — a good thing, given what a joy it is to luxuriate in its words.” The plotting also comes in for praise, “By the book’s climactic scenes in the shadowy mountain forest that gives Nightwoods its title, the unhurried, poetic suspense is both difficult to bear and impossible to shake.”

Michiko Kakutani, in the New York Timessees it differently; the book is “often heavy-handed” and Frazier’s prose is “ominous and purple” and “ridiculously melodramatic.” As a result, the the over-the-top passages “rip a hole in the textured emotional fabric of this novel, which Mr. Frazier has so painstakingly woven.”

Nightwoods: A Novel
Charles Frazier
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2011-09-27)
ISBN / EAN: 140006709X / 9781400067091

Unabridged audio, Random House Audio and Books on Tape; Large Print, Random House; Audio currently on OverDrive, eBooks available soon.

Random House Library Services begins a new series on their library blog called “Use Me: Book Promo to repurpose” with a trailer for Nightwoods, which they encourage librarians to use on library web sites, blogs, enewsletters, or library video monitors.

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