• Thirteen Moons

  • A Novel
  • By: Charles Frazier
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,650 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This magnificent novel by one of America's finest writers is the epic of one man's remarkable journey, set in 19th-century America against the background of a vanishing people and a rich way of life.  

At the age of 12, under the Wind moon, Will is given a horse, a key, and a map, and sent alone into the Indian Nation to run a trading post as a bound boy. It is during this time that he grows into a man, learning, as he does, of the raw power it takes to create a life, to find a home. In a card game with a white Indian named Featherstone, Will wins - for a brief moment - a mysterious girl named Claire, and his passion and desire for her spans this novel.

As Will's destiny intertwines with the fate of the Cherokee Indians - including a Cherokee chief named Bear - he learns how to fight and survive in the face of both nature and man. Eventually, under the Corn Tassel Moon, Will begins the fight against Washington to preserve the Cherokee's homeland and culture. And he will come to know the truth behind his belief that "only desire trumps time".

Brilliantly imagined, written with great power and beauty by a master of American fiction, Thirteen Moons is a stunning novel about a man's passion for a woman, and how loss, longing, and love can shape a man's destiny over the many moons of a life.

Don't miss Charles Frazier's debut novel, Cold Mountain.
©2006 3 Crows Corporation (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A bountiful literary panorama....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)

What listeners say about Thirteen Moons

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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Performance
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Best Novel of 2006!

Every year or so, I find a novel that so engages me that I can't put it down and feel a certain sadness as the end of the story draws near -- like knowing you will be leaving a good friend soon and you want to make the best of every remaining moment. This novel is it! You will be transported into a life well lived and a story told without unnecessary sentimentality but with the kind of passion that drives a person to make a difference. Buy this book!

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A fascinating, great epic tale

While different from Cold Mtn, 13 Moons is a great tale of love and honor. I listened to the last 6 hours of it virtually non-stop, I was so taken with it. It's a fascinating story of the south's Indian's (Cherokee, primarily) and pre-Civil War politics that is little heard. Contrary to the other reviewer, I thought the reader was excellent.

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Extraordinary!

An absolutely compelling novel, so rich in characters and in descriptions of the land. Frazier's use of language is breathtaking and his characterizations are alive. Love story, adventure, hero's journey, tragic history - all come alive in Frazier's narrative. And Will, the protagonist, and Will, the narrator, are made for each other. The southern accent and phrasing are just right! Don't miss this remarkable performance.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

If you're a plot junkie, pass this one by

Some of the other reviewers complained about the plot, and if you're looking for a strong plot with a whiz-bang ending, you will be disappointed. As one of the other reviewers pointed out, however, this is a tale to be sipped and, I add, savored.

Thirteen Moons is an epic tale, rich and elegant in its own way. It's a dip into a well of memory, desire, and longing. The ending left me with a feeling of nostalgia so poignant that I was in a funk for hours.

Will Patton is, as always, fantastic. He is, in my opinion, the best audiobook narrator there is.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A good history lesson

Having grown up in the mountains of western North Carolina, I was especially enthralled with this novel. Not only was it a great novel, but it was also history of North Carolina. Cold Mountain was a great book. However, I must say this one surpasses it by far. I hope it will become a movie also.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AA
  • 02-28-09

Like going home

As a native of western North Carolina, reading Thirteen Moons was like a trip home. I could see myself walking the woodland paths of my youth, smelling the earthy odors of wet moss and crushed evergreens, and hearing the crackle of oak leaves underfoot. I heard the voice of my elders, speaking in a different time and place, when life moved at a slower pace.

Thirteen Moons left me homesick for youth and my beloved mountains. It left me yearning for Will Patten's voice. It made me book a flight home.

It's on the top of my "recommended reading" list.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

You know when you really enjoy a book and you think it is so great that you want to shout its praises to as many people as possible? You want to write an eloquent review, extolling the books many virtues – its beautiful prose, rich detail, dynamic characters and satisfying ending. Thirteen Moons is not such a book, although I had hoped and expected it to be. Too bad, because it TRIES strenuously to be a masterpiece, and in doing so falls far short of the mark.

It seems as though Charles Frazier has read too many of the accolades previously heaped upon him. Thirteen Moons is so filled with bombast that it becomes almost unbearable. At the same time it attempts to speak in a “down home hillbilly” voice (the story is told in the first person by its main character, Will Cooper), filled with more “I reckons” than Huckleberry Finn. In my opinion, it just does not work. The author’s heavy hand is all over this book.

There is scant little dialogue between the characters. Instead, Will Cooper narrates much of the story, making it feel more like a documentary than a novel. Also, Will has a bizarre infatuation with the story’s love interest, Claire Featherstone, who moves inexplicably in and out of his life. Rather than invoking a romantic image in my mind, I was left more with the feeling that this woman needed extensive psychotherapy.

All in all this book is not a complete bust. I felt it did a respectable job in describing the crime against humanity wrought upon the Cherokee Nation by the white man. Some of the details of the time and place were interesting as well. However, Thirteen Moons should have been more interesting than a boring history book.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Darn Good Story

Frazier can turn a phrase with the best authors. The world he paints jumps off the page and lives in the reader's mind. Most of the characters are well fleshed out -- with the exception of Claire, whose motivations and emotions remained obscure. Her lack of dimension would be my only criticism of this book.

His depiction of this era in American history, and the viewpoint from it's written, make for engaging reading. The narrator was just about perfect as Will Cooper. I even liked the music; usually I find it distracting as with the Patterson books, but this added a nice touch. I highly recommend this audiobook.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing storytelling

If you care about good storytelling grab this book right now as there is nothing better out there. It's amazingly good storytelling, with wonderful bitter-sweet story in entirely enjoyable language with few pinch of good humor here and there.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Evocative and Transporting

I am amazed at some of the previous reviews. To say that this story is anything other than transending is incredible to me. The story needs to be sipped and listened to without relation to time. I sometimes believe that we are all to caught up with the fast pace of life and we cannot appreciate the beauty of such an elegant and evocative story. The prose is haunting and the characters become part of your imagination in a nearly holographic way. Mr. Frazier allows you to be transported to another time and reality- a reality where you see the characters in your mind and believe in their realness. If you allow yourself to be ensconced in a wonderful story, and have the ability to drone out our all too hurried world, then you are ready to enjoy a remarkable journey when listening to Thirteen Moons!

12 people found this helpful