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Thirteen Moons Paperback – 4 Oct 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (4 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340826630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340826638
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


What makes it so appealing is the voice of Will Cooper, which is potent, wry, insightful and utterly convincing . . . as rich a fiction as it is an eventful one. (Andrew Rosenheim, Time Literary Supplement)

'THIRTEEN MOONS will provide the immense satisfaction of taking 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.' (LA Times)

'Almost a decade since the publication of his bestseller Cold Mountain, Frazier has produced another no less-absorbing and richly textured account of America in the years leading up to and encompassing the Civil War. Frazier is adept not only at the set pieces. . . but also at the more intimate observations of people and places. It is this that makes his story both a powerful dramatisation of a shameful episode in American history and a compelling love story.' (Christina Konig, The Times)

Its narrative has a thoroughly human scale and informs just as much as it moves and entertains (Frank Egerton, The Times )

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)

'Frazier's keen observations and unforced, unsentimental depictions of animals are wonderful ... like the western it references, it's far-ranging, hard-fighting and soft-hearted.' (Guardian)

A novel whose prose is so carefully wrought that it reads like fragments of a long poem. (Telegraph)

Frazier is a timeless master magician who renders the texture of the landscape, emotion and history all excruciatingly real (Time Out)

It is this meeting of two conflicting ideas of personal and social history that gives Thirteen Moons its great wisdom. . . alive with wonder and adventure. Frazier is a wonderfully sensual writer (Richard Godwin, Literary Review)

Book Description

The epic journey of one man's life, by one of America's most outstanding writers.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I must qualify my review by saying that cold Mountain was one of my favorite reads of the 1990s and I have patiently been waiting for Mr. Fraizer's sophomore effort. I was thrilled to receive an advance readers copy through a friend in the industry! The great news is "Thirteen Moons" proves the author is more than a one hit wonder. This is historical fiction at its best, as we follow the first person account of the 19th century frontier life of Will Cooper. Ala "Little Big Man" this is a first person account told by an old man at start of a new century, his life a relic of the past. I loved the opening chapter as the 90 year old, cantankerous Will answers his phone, and in the white noise of this modern marvel he can hear the voice of his lost love Claire.

Will Cooper starts out as an orphan who is sold by his relatives to an "antique gentleman" who puts young Will to work at a remote trading post. Here he comes in contact with the great Cherokee Nation. Will's life blossoms and he has great success and terrible failures as a lawyer, a merchant, and even a state senator. Through all of this his bonds with the Cherokees remains strong and central to the story, he even is made a white chief of the nation. Through the structure of Wills life the story of the Cherokee Nation is told. He bears witness to the heartbreaking removal of the people from their land and the tragic "Trail of Tears." Will fights for the confederacy during the Civil War, and meets many of the iconic figures of the times such as Davey Crockett and Andrew Jackson. Through out his life Will is haunted by the memory of his one true love, Claire, a girl he won in a card game when he was 12. (I am reminded of Gus's Clara from "Lonesome Dove"-I guess we all have our Clara?).
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Frontier is a central concept in the American experience. While the most progress was usually made in the crowded cities of the East, the new American spirit, psychology, and perspective were born in the Frontier. Few can tell you much about Robert Fulton or Commodore Vanderbilt, but almost everyone can say something accurate about Davy Crockett.

In recent years, it has become popular to take the exalted view of the Frontier and to turn it into post-Modern ordinariness. Some do that with humor. Others do it by patching together wildly improbable events. I applaud those efforts because they bring balance back into something that has become too much of a myth.

Thirteen Moons is another shift in perspective, but one that's a shift aimed at creating a more normal view of the Frontier . . . one that escaped all but a few who actually lived in the Frontier. It's a perspective that views the Native American experience with the same validity and sympathy as the Frontiersmen's experiences. I found that refreshing.

So what's the story? Will Cooper, an orphan, is sold off as a bound apprentice to a trader and is to serve as the head of a trading post at the edge of the then-independent Cherokee Nation. Cooper's contacts are daily with the Native Americans and very rarely with those who resupply him. Not surprisingly, he grows up with a combined perspective that appreciates what "civilization" brings but honors and is uplifted by the real support he receives from Bear, the chief who adopts him into the tribe.

Cooper honors that relationship, even after the tide turns and the American government evicts the Cherokees. What's the plan? Cooper buys up enough of the unwanted high-altitude land to allow Bear's people to have a home without being moved further West.
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By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
An American saga. Will Cooper looks back on his life and reflects on his reluctance to accept "modern ways". Will, an orphan at 12, becomes "bound" to a store owner and is sent off from his home to run a trading post in a remote community of Indians (with a few rag-tag white folks) He wins a girl at a card game - and he continually longs for her to be his. Chief Bear adopts him as a member of the Cherokee tribe, he takes part in the Civil War and eventually becomes a member of the senate.

Some brilliant evocative scenes, such as his time in the wilderness trying to survive and find his way to the store and the actual running of the store. His description of how the Indian tribes were forced out of their homelands is particularly harrowing.

The language is a bit flowery in parts but the whole story is told with warmth and affection for a lost world.
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By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This life story of Will Cooper told in the first person a la "Little Big Man" starts so well as he looks back on his life from his humorous and yes cantankerous old age. I settled down to , I hoped , an informative, action tale of the old frontier lands beyond the Carolinas. Alas an excellent story of the shameful ethnic cleansing of the native Americans, the theft of the lands they had held for millenia and the corruption in high office became lost in rather tedious, over long, repetative descriptions of fairly irrelevant incident. As I was on holiday when I picked this one up I had time to read about 100 pages per day and therefore I did not lose the track of the underlying narrative . Had I been reading 20 to 30 pages per day I would have possibly lost the thread and given up before the end .
Having said that , there is much good in this work with fully drawn characters of all shades, loving relationships and at times high drama as Will describes his life from ambitious young lad to wealthy, influential land owner with all the ups and downs on his long journey into old age. The love he won and lost , the respect which he earned and the episodes in his life for which he felt only a sense of shame . For me there was a special interest in the regular reference to the Scottish influence and Mr. Frazier's obvious appreciation and knowledge of single malt whisky.
As always Charles Frazier has done his research and writes with believable authority. While this is not a "Cold Mountain" it is a worthwhile novel as long as you have time to devote to lengthy reading sessions.
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