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4.0 out of 5 stars53
4.0 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 13 April 2013
Not exactly a page turner. For me, there were times when i felt that i had read a chapter that really did not need to be there. It didnt add much to the overall novel.

The premise is quite good, and at points the story is intriguing. The writing is good, not brilliant, but good. However, the plot and writing seems to wander about, and for me, not much happens
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VINE VOICEon 29 September 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The author published his first book "Cold Mountain" in 1997 followed by "Thirteen Moons" seven years later, before this, his latest offering in 2011. So, long intervals between, but each book was well worth waiting for. In "Nightwoods" he returns again to the mountains and forests of North Carolina and the people who live there, the old hunting men and their dogs sitting around campfires, telling old stories and sipping their moonshine whisky, the changing of the seasons, the changing colours of the forest trees in the Fall.
Luce lives alone in an old hunting lodge beside a lake, with the township situated on the opposite shore. She is the product of a dysfunctional family, an estranged father, returned from the war and brutalised by the experience, a mother who has run away from an unhappy marriage leaving no means of communication. The State places in her care the young twin children, Dolores and Frank, of her recently murdered sister Lily, who witnessed the murder and are traumatised and refuse to speak. With the help of Maddie, an old woman living nearby, Luce sets out to win their trust.
Stubblefield, a former schoolfriend of Luce, returns to the valley to claim ownership of the lodge which has been left to him by his grandfather. Stubblefield, there's a name to ponder, Dickens had a penchant for choosing odd names for his characters but Stubblefield is up there with the best of them. He joins them in the lodge and with the children riding Maddie's old pony Sally they explore the surrounding countryside following old Indian trails,logging tracks and streams. Swimming in the lake, in the evenings lying on the floor of the lodge listening to the radio broadcasting haunting country music and playing old vinyl records on the gramophone.
The children are starting to talk and Luce and Stubblefield are reaching an understanding when a real bad guy appears in the town, the children's stepfather, recently cleared of Lily's murder
The story is like a journey down a river, flowing gently, wide and broad, drifting, the sun glinting on the water, then around the bend the banks narrowing, the water running silent and black with hidden depths where danger lurks.
A story to delight and satisfy, capturing a time and place with the author creating real people and making the reader care about them, their images lingering in the memory.
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on 31 March 2013
The plot is a reheated version of the movie "Night of the Hunter" directed years ago by Charles Laughton. It's been given the trademark "Frazier prose" makeover although I can't envisage Robert Mitchum as "Bud" Johnson. A nice if unexceptional read but not half as good as "Cold Mountain".
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on 7 August 2013
So descriptive I thought the story would never begin and when it did we get traumatised twins, substance addled police and a lonely hearts duo. Plus the slowest chase in literature.
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on 16 December 2011
After Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons it doesn't quite have the same emotional impact but nevertheless an excellent read. More like Cormac McCarthy than E.L. Doctorow.
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on 6 January 2013
I got this fo my partner who really enjoyed it: the author is good at drawing you into the times about which he writes. Item delivered in good time and condition.
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VINE VOICEon 27 October 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Charles Frazier is brilliant writer. Like Cold Mountain this book is also set in the wilderness of the Appalachian Mountains which he describes beautifully. The story this time is set in more modern times (1960s I think) and is quite chilling. It was well paced and I found Buds character very frightening. A good book to curl up with in front of a blazing fire on a dark night.
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on 19 August 2012
This book is probably the best read I have had in the last 10 years. Beautifully written in a racy style reminiscent of Jack Keriouc
Worth the money easily
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on 27 June 2014
Read this book as it was chosen by a book club. Very good descriptions but I got a bit muddled with the story at times. Not my type of book.
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VINE VOICEon 20 October 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
...Cold Mountain was so celebrated. I hadn't read Charles Frazier's work before, but Nightwoods does him credit. Funny how the hanging sentences which would normally drive me batty enhance this story. Full of humour, Southern eccentricity and unsentimental, no-nonsense practicality, the characters that people Nightwoods are take-it-or-leave-it disfunctional and strangely loveable.

Luce takes in - and takes on - her murdered sister's traumatized twins, Dolores and Frank, and gradually learns by dogged perseverance how to cope with and love the sociopathic pair. Unfortunately for the accidental family, the twins' father Bud suspects the twins know where his stolen money is and is determined to get at it; the twins and their aunt are in the way of what's rightfully his. Enter Luce's unlikely beau and hero, Stubblefield, and an unlikely romance blooms amid danger and disaster.

The wonderful thing about Nightwoods is that while Bud is an unsavoury and pretty unsympathetic character, you can still detect the beginnings of the traits which his children may well have inherited from him. The difference is that Bud is the full-blown article; the children still have some hope of redemption (or, at least, curbing). Frazier does not paint in flat black and white but full, rich, shaded colour. You can see how the children could well have inherited something from their aunt, too. You can see how Stubblefield fell in love with his unorthodox muse. You can see how Luce takes after her father, though there is little love lost between them. This being the kind of book it is, Stubblefield doesn't so much rescue Luce and the children as much as they save each other. The story leaves some ends loose for the characters and the reader, but it's nothing like a cliffhanger: it's just the way things end up and you just live with the uncertainty as part of living. Family is family, love is love, blood will out - truisms and truths of the South affectionately and beautifully portrayed in Nightwoods.
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