Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Book Details
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Paperback, 152 pages
2004, Prestwick House Inc.
ISBN: 1580495869

Following its initial appearance in serial form, Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage was published as a complete work in 1895 and quickly became the benchmark for modern anti-war literature.

Although the exact battle is never identified, Crane based this story of a soldier’s experiences during the American Civil War on the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville. Many veterans, both Union and Confederate, praised the book’s accurate representation of war, and critics consider its stylistic strength the mark of a literary classic.

The Red Badge of Courage is considered a classic piece of American literature about a boy's experience in the Civil War. I knew it was a book about war going in and I tried to enjoy it anyway. I couldn't, but not because it was about war. The dialogue was an atrocious mess of apostrophes. It was so bad that I could only barely decipher what was being said in some passages. The storyline itself seemed mildly interesting and it is quite possible the book is very good in a literary sense. Unfortunately for me, the speaking style was barely tolerable and I found it very hard to stay involved in what was going on.


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