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Extended Audio Sample The Red Badge of Courage Audiobook, by Stephen Crane Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.93 out of 52.93 out of 52.93 out of 52.93 out of 52.93 out of 5 2.93 (45 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen Crane Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9781400180387
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In the spring of 1863, as he faces battle for the first time at Chancellorsville, Virginia, Henry Fleming, a private in the Union Army, runs away from the field of war. Afterwards, the shame he feels at this act of cowardice ignites his desire to receive an injury in combat—a “red badge of courage” that will redeem him. The Red Badge of Courage tells his journey to manhood and finding peace of mind as he comes to grips with his conflicting emotions about war. Stephen Crane’s classic novel about a young soldier’s experiences during the American Civil War is well known for its understated naturalism and its realistic depiction of battle.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The Red Badge Of Courage has long been considered the first great ‘modern’ novel of war by an American—the first novel of literary distinction to present war without heroics and this in a spirit of total irony and skepticism.”

    Alfred Kazin

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheri Hansen | 2/16/2014

    " I didn't know what to expect with this book; I appreciated the intro that described the "nameless hero" conceit as it was used here. It's interesting to imagine all different kinds of people in that protagonists role. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob Hermanowski | 2/14/2014

    " Red this in junior high - can't remember too much about it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Racheal Kivlin | 2/11/2014

    " It was boring I had to read it for honors english! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Stockwell | 2/3/2014

    " I enjoyed this book. Amazingly Stephen Crane is said to have had no experence of war himself. He makes the descriptions, both physical and emotional, seem very real. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clara | 1/30/2014

    " I originally read this book for school. Henry certainly isn't a likeable character but certainly relatable through his cowardice and insecurity. The main thing that makes me judge this book so harshly is that Stephen Crane never saw a battle, and the book gets really tedious to get through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Todd | 1/28/2014

    " Read along with students. Looking forward to their papers on Monday. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jelly | 1/18/2014

    " It's not bad. Crane deserves credit for looking at some emotional and psychological effects of war. But, his "story" has very little direction and even some of the emotional issues he brings up are not really pushed or explored in the last third of the book. And then of course there is the writing style - very dry, little conversation, and too many big words. In 1895 perhaps this was cool, now, not so much. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 1/15/2014

    " The book was written in a different era and so wasn't as easy to follow as more recent works, but it did give good insight into the thought process that those in the military go through in battle. I can see why soldiers come home with Post traumatic stress syndrome. Thoughts of- 'I am smarter than my officer. I must save myself. We will rally. I was justified in this action by . . . ' "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony | 12/23/2013

    " "He had been where there was red of blood and black of passion, and he was escaped." The book still evokes a visceral feel for the terror, confusion, and arbitrariness of the battlefield. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kyrie | 12/17/2013

    " A book about the details of war written by a man who was never a soldier. And then the ending with the farm - that was just weird. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rainey | 12/16/2013

    " Read this in elementary school. I found it to be a bit much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 12/11/2013

    " I have mixed feelings about this book. The insight into the psychology of a soldier was fantastic, but I wasn't crazy about the main character. I liked the book, but didn't love it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 12/10/2013

    " Slow read, but moving and well written. Rings true to war even today "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Mitchell | 12/6/2013

    " Strangely, I found it so bright and inspiring. Because the young man finds his validation on the battle front. It's by accident and through the eyes of others. But it's still OK -- it works.This rang so true to me when I read it in the eighth or ninth grade. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Taylor | 12/3/2013

    " Very good book. It is an interesting book about a boy named Henry Fleming and his Civil War experience. If you don't know what to read for school read this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Davis | 11/29/2013

    " A classic short story. I read this as an eBook. The tale follows the psychology of a young soldier's coming of age in the Civil War. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dustin | 11/25/2013

    " this book is trash... Crane was a fool writing about something he knew nothing about. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maddie | 11/4/2013

    " I had to read it for school; it hurt my head. :/ "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 9/28/2013

    " This is another of those books I should revisit. So many books so little time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan Neuschwander | 9/26/2013

    " Crane's "The Veteran" is a great short story to read after the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dj | 8/13/2013

    " This was an awesome book about the Civil War and its affect on one young man and how he grew up as a soldier. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ginny | 7/26/2013

    " Don't know which was worse, suffering through it the first time, or having to read it again. Both times for school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha Ayers | 5/31/2013

    " Cool book. I like that it spans only over one day. Can be slow at times but dialogue is fun and challenging to understand. Has interesting and inspiring themes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrick Bourgeois | 4/16/2013

    " I liked the book but I perfer stories about the World Wars more so then the Civil War, having been in the military and also in the Gulf War, I could relate distantly to some of the emotions or trials the story related to the reader. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rainey | 4/9/2013

    " Read this in elementary school. I found it to be a bit much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jake | 11/4/2012

    " An excellent book about the fog and confusion of war as seen through the eyes of a boy who wants to become a man. Very descriptive and interesting. This is a re-read for me, but like other books I read as a teen, it was like reading it for the first time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rylan McQuade | 9/9/2012

    " Not bad, just not my sort of book. Good prose, boring dialogue, flowery descriptions. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Funky_Monkey | 9/1/2012

    " I am officially giving up on this book. I made it over halfway but can't bring myself to finish. I hate the writing style and can't get interested in people with no names! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Berdon | 1/25/2012

    " thank you irving Sloan, junior high social studies read. loved it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elise | 1/1/2012

    " Made it to page 44. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shawn Miller | 8/18/2011

    " Not sure what all the fuss was about with this book. It basically just shows why herosim isn't all it's cracked up to be. On the plus side, I felt like it showed a side of combat that isn't explored very often. That being the sheer panic and disorientation and how it affects the troops. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Hilary | 8/6/2011

    " Dull, colloquial, whiny, and patriotic: this book is all the things I hate. Needless to say, I hated this book too. The gore at the end was pretty cool though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathi | 5/17/2011

    " Listened to this on a road trip to Missouri. I'd forgotten how descriptive it is. Definitely liked reading it years ago better than listening to it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 5/15/2011

    " This was a tough read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allegra | 5/13/2011

    " There's nothing I can say about this that hasn't been said. The story is just kind of awkwardly put together and the symbolism is too bold. Not my favorite. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angillham | 5/10/2011

    " I read this back in highschool and I might appreciate it more now, but I remember hating it at the time and hating the main character. However, I think that might have been because it messed with my idealism. So now that I'm more of a realist maybe I should read it again and appreciate it more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dj | 5/10/2011

    " This was an awesome book about the Civil War and its affect on one young man and how he grew up as a soldier. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michele | 5/9/2011

    " I know it's a classic, but it was hard to follow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Horton | 5/8/2011

    " Required reading for Civil War or American History buffs. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/6/2011

    " I voted for this book at didn't mean too...oops
    This was one of those books I HAD to read in high-school...hated it it... Sorry Mr. Crane...but maybe if I read it again I might like it.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andy | 5/2/2011

    " This was only just ok (probably more a 2.5). I understand that it was trying to give a young persons real experience of war but i just didn't empathise with the young lad and didn't buy into the atmosphere it was trying to generate. I would not recommend.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony | 4/26/2011

    " "He had been where there was red of blood and black of passion, and he was escaped." The book still evokes a visceral feel for the terror, confusion, and arbitrariness of the battlefield. "

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About the Author
Author Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane (1871–1900) was an American novelist, poet, and journalist. He worked as a reporter of slum life in New York and a highly paid war correspondent for newspaper tycoons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. He wrote many works of fiction, poems, and accounts of war, all well received but none as acclaimed as his 1895 Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage. Today he is considered one of the most innovative American writers of the 1890s and one of the founders of literary realism.

About the Narrator

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.