Book Review: Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

During my teenage years up until my early twenties, I became so fond of reading books that I’d read a 500-plus page book non-stop until I finished it. Those were the days when life hadn’t gotten in the way yet.

Fast forward to the present, and I’m trying to re-introduce myself to the old me. That kid who loves his books and meets the likes of Augustus McCrae, Aurora Greenwood, Jack McCall, Paul Werner, Boo Radley, etc. through the writings of the great contemporary novelists. Yes, I’m not really a big “classics” fan, but I tried reading some of them.

So for starters, the first book that I’ve decided to dive into is “Thirteen Moons” by Charles Frazier, who also wrote Cold Mountain. (I’ve actually had tons of books unread for the past few years, and it still shocks me because I keep on buying them, hoping that I’ll read them all one by one—in time, I’m sure.) I bought Thirteen Moons about a year ago (one of my most recent purchases), and having read exceptional reviews online, I decided to start on it first and join Will Cooper’s journey.

Thirteen Moons is an historical novel by Charles Frazier released in 2006.
Thirteen Moons is an historical novel by Charles Frazier released in 2006.

The book had the same grasp as some of Larry McMurtry’s works. The storytelling is so powerful that every page is as important as the last. I loved it when books made you interact with their characters. You either root for them, loathe them, or even think about them long after you’ve finished reading the whole thing.

Thirteen Moons is a melancholic prose of a journey that encompasses the early years when the native American Indians were reigning supreme up to the progressive modernity that almost diminished their culture altogether. It was the nostalgic narration of a man who outlived everyone involved in his journey to make his place in the world. This thought actually made me sad. It made me feel for him, but it also made me critical of how things change so fast that your only reminder of the past would be the stories you’ve gathered throughout your life without the material mementos.

This book isn’t exactly a book that I’d keep repeating every now and then, but I’d definitely put it in a category that’s just below my most beloved ones. After all, this is, I reckon, masterful historical fiction that lends a sense of cultural acknowledgement and personal approbation to life in the early years of America.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


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