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Any additional comments?
This audio version of The Red Badge of Courage should help many high school students get through English class. It is frequently included in high school curriculum because of its distinctive style, color imagery, and ironic tone.
The story centers around Henry, an idealistic teenager in the Union Army during the Civil War, who flees his regiment at the first sight of combat. As the story unfolds, you see into Henry's inner psyche and the conflicting emotions he is feeling. You see Henry's cowardice at first, his slow maturation, and eventual heroism. By the end of the book, the listener is rewarded by seeing Henry become an experienced and successful soldier.
Steven Jay Cohen did an excellent job narrating. He brought the characters to life, using a variety of accents and giving each character their own distinct voice. I could almost feel the pain that many of the wounded soldiers were experiencing. Bravo!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Where does The Red Badge of Courage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
The Red Badge of Courage ranks high among all the audiobooks I have listened to so far and very high among American books. I put it right up there with Moby Dick, The Scarlet Letter, and Huckleberry Finn.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Red Badge of Courage?
The battle scenes are unlike anything I have heard before. I got nauseated because they were so bloody, and realistic. I felt I was right there in the middle of battle. Like Henry Fleming, I wanted to flee the field.
What about Steven Jay Cohen’s performance did you like?
Steven Jay Cohen has a great ability to capture the dialects and accents of the common foot soldier from the North or South. He did not just read the book; he inhabited the characters. This made the audiobook easy to follow.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Yes, when Henry Fleming ran away and came upon the dead body of a soldier against a tree in a clearing. Ants crawled over the face of the corpse. One ant carried a tiny chunk of flesh. Henry was so terrified that the corpse was going to pop up and pursue him like a zombie, that Henry backed out of the clearing, always keeping his eyes on the corpse.
Any additional comments?
This is a visceral read. War is not pretty. If you want to know what war is like for a soldier, read this book. The events are particular to the Civil War, but Henry Fleming's experience as a soldier are universal and timeless.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Loved this book and totally disagree with the reviews that criticise it for (I paraphrase) it's so called poor pacing and lack of narrative flow, for in reality it is a deliberate, meandering, poetic sojourn through one young man's rite of passage via the medium of war. Using the the term 'youth' throughout, despite us knowing the character's name, the author evokes a sense of an intensely personal reaction to the alien events happening to the boy, beginning with the fear that cause him to flee the field and ending with his self styled redemption, viewed largely through the window of his own mind, though also sometimes from without, such as when someone tells him they had overheard a group of officers praising him for his actions. The only thing I would add is that this fine tome also requires a written copy to hand for your full appreciation, because otherwise you may find yourself pausing to reflect on this or that beautiful image that the author has just created. This classic is highly recommended by this reader.