Cold Mountain has received a mixed critical reception. "Kirkus Reviews" in The Atlantic praises Frazier’s use of language, writing: "Frazier has Cormac McCarthy's gift for rendering the pitch and tang of regional speech, and for catching some of the true oddity of human nature." Kirkus goes on to say that Cold Mountain is "a promising but overlong, uneven debut." Again the critic praises and rebukes the novel, stating: "the tragic climax is convincing but somewhat rushed, given the many dilatory scenes that have preceded it." The length of the novel and the slow pace of the storytelling are again brought into question when the critic claims "there's no doubt that Frazier can write; the problem is that he stops so often to savor the sheer pleasure of the act of writing in this debut effort." The online periodical Publisher’s Weekly produced a more positive review of the book’s writing: "Frazier vividly depicts the rough and varied terrain of Inman's travels and the colorful characters he meets." Publisher’s Weekly goes on to say that "Frazier shows how lives of soldiers and of civilians alike deepen and are transformed as a direct consequence of the war's tragedy."
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