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The Red Badge of Courage

Narrated by: Anthony Heald
Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

Through Henry Flemming, Crane creates a great and realistic study of the mind of an inexperienced soldier trapped in the fury and turmoil of war. Flemming dashes into battle, at first tormented by fear, and later bolstered with courage for the final confrontation. This is a superb and exciting story which places the listener in the midst of the Civil War.
(P)2008 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"A classic work of American literature." ( The New York Times)

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Profile Image for Steve M
  • Steve M
  • 03-09-15

A Powerful, Moving Classic

I had read The Red Badge of Courage on the page twice before. It's an extraordinarily powerful novel. Crane packs more psychological truth and insight into this short work than most writers do in novels four times its length.

I was, however, unprepared for the new power that Anthony Heald's performance brought to the book. It is an incredibly rich performance, nuanced, taught, full of raw emotion where appropriate. It truly felt as if I was reading the book for the first time.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • J.B.
  • 15-08-15

The Wounded have a Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, is the tale of a single union soldier’s thoughts as he chooses to go to war, his mind upon entering the service, his fears before his first battle, his hubris and then panic before engagement with the enemy, his discombobulation during the first and latter battles, his cowardice, his rehabilitation (to some extent), his maturation thereupon and his achievements in latter and final battles. We go through all these sequential mental states listening to the mind of our young soldier, Henry Fleming, “the youth,” as told through a third party describing for us the youth’s mental thinking's. The analysis is nothing less than extraordinary.

The book is often set reading in middle school teachings. It provides insightful understanding of the difficulty of marching onto a battlefield. The book may be very true to life. What is peculiar though is that the author is reported to have said the following concerning the fact that he was never in battle and was born six years after the Civil War ended: "Of course, I have never been in a battle, but I believe that I got my sense of the rage of conflict on the football field, or else fighting is a hereditary instinct, and I wrote intuitively; for the Cranes were a family of fighters in the old days". Wikipedia, last visited August 15, 2015, at n. 23 therein.

Notwithstanding Crane’s situation in life, the study is magnificent, and representative of a very likely mental process shared by many before entering battle. The Red Badge of Courage should not be overlooked as an essential read.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • 16-08-16

Final Corners filled with Teeth and Claws

“It was not well to drive men into final corners; at those moments they could all develop teeth and claws.”
― Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage

Probably 3.5 stars. Bonus points for the fact that Crane elevated war novels to a more modern level, but doesn't quite measure up quite to Conrad, Tolstoy or Remarque. Maybe 4 stars as a novel and 3 stars as a war novel.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian C. Morris
  • 01-04-16

Classic

I have been trying to read this story since it was assigned to me for a book report over 30 years ago. The narrator did a great job bringing the story to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon Crawfurd
  • 25-11-15

A classic that deserves to be called a classic

This is one of those books we read in H.S. because it was assigned. But it's a classics that needs a measure of maturity to truly appreciate. The story brings to life the experience of the Civil War for the common soldier. The writing is so excellent I replayed several of the chapters just to enjoy the wording. Excellent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie B
  • 03-09-15

You feel like you're in the fight!

Beautifully written story of a youth coming of age in a terrible war. Not only is he wrestling with who he is (no thanks to his parents) but he's having to do it in the middle of a horrendous war being fought, at that point, by full-grown men. He wants to prove himself but also live to tell about it. The best part though - the performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 14-08-15

Good book

Some parts were hard to understand, but the voices provided by the narrator were great. Very interesting to peer intro the mind of a Union soldier during the civil war battles

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Gina U
  • 02-03-19

Slow storyline, but interesting

Bought the audio for daughter to listen to for a reading assignment. She had a hard time following. I would suggest listening while reading at the same time. There is a-lot of dialogue and it was hard to follow at times. Overall I thought story was interesting, even though not something I would normally listen to.

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  • Rosa Brewer
  • 24-08-18

audio made the reading easier

The narrator was very good & made the story more bareable because it was brought to life.

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  • bas
  • 17-08-18

Narrator too fast

The narrator was seemingly in a hurry, so fast as to be virtually breathless. It was so distracting I couldn’t finish. Instead, I will read it w/o audible narration.

I can’t recommend this, despite the fact that Crane is a superb writer,.