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Red Badge of Courage: Level 3
Red Badge of Courage: Level 3
Red Badge of Courage: Level 3
Audiobook54 minutes

Red Badge of Courage: Level 3

Written by Stephen Crane

Narrated by Iman

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5/5

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About this audiobook

This classic novel is the fictional story about Henry Fleming who was a soldier in the Union Army during the American Civil War in the late 1800s.

Initially Henry runs from the fight but is later consumed with shame and wishes to be wounded. Though he does receive a minor wound not from the enemy, he manages to return to the fight against the Confederate Army of the south and does act as a flag bearer during another skirmish.


This audio classic novel has been carefully abridged and adapted into 10 short easy to understand chapters. This format enables listeners of all ages and English language abilities to understand and enjoy the story. Composition includes original custom back ground music.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateJul 1, 2011
ISBN9780848113216
Red Badge of Courage: Level 3
Author

Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane (1871–1900) was an American poet, novelist, and journalist. His best-known works, The Red Badge of Courage and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, are widely regarded as two of the most innovative novels of the nineteenth century. After surviving a shipwreck off the coast of Florida—an experience he fictionalized in the short story “The Open Boat”—and reporting from battlefields in Cuba and Greece, Crane died in a German sanatorium at the age of twenty-eight. 

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Rating: 3.3 out of 5 stars
3.5/5

50 ratings58 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    This short novel recounts a young farm boy's first battle as a Union soldier and his internal struggles with cowardice. Scholars believe the action is meant to take place at Chancellorsville.Henry Fleming enlists against his mother's wishes. Like many naive youngsters, he thinks battle will be glorious, but instead his group is kept in camp for a lengthy period, bored and uninformed of what is planned for them. When they are finally called to action, he sees little purpose to what they do against a seemingly invincible enemy, and he runs away from the battle. Later in the day he makes his way back to try to find a way to feel good about himself. I found the book generally unsatisfying. Henry's internal monologue taken as a whole is thought-provoking, but it's difficult to relate to his reasoning and actions. This may be because I have no experiences by which to judge his, but I think it goes deeper. Henry's not particularly likable (and apparently wasn't to Crane, either). There's something in his manner and speech (and in those of his fellow soldiers), that made me think of the three escaped prisoners in the movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" In other words, bumbling and not-too-bright fools. However, many people thought it was so spot-on that he must have been at war himself, so the book obviously resonated with many at the time it was published.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    A classic of the anti-war genre. Read in HS.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Anthony Heald does a fantastic job in his audio reading of this classic novel.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Written near the end of the 19th Century, this is a classic story of the Civil War. The "youth" leaves his farm and mother as an idealistic soldier wanting to fight the good fight for the Union. War is Hell, especially in the 1860's. But it also means long stretches of boredom. After much waiting around, the Youth's regiment meets the enemy on the battle field. He finds he is overwhelmed and has a crisis of faith and confidence and runs away, a coward. He eventually returns to his unit, after much soul searching, the next day, crisis resolved, determined to become a good soldier.This war story is, perhaps, the prototypical war story. I recognized many tropes of modern war stories (both in film and books). The unsure, untested youth, who rises to be a hero. The gruff veteran leader who cajoles and inspires his troops to fight on to victory.A classic story that is engrossing, despite being almost 125 years old. Despite being that old, the language wasn't that dated, and very readable."In the darkness he saw visions of a thousand-tongued fear that would babble at his back and cause him to flee, while others were going coolly about their country's business. He admitted that he would not be able to cope with this monster. He felt that every nerve in his body would be an ear to hear the voices, while other men would remain stolid and deaf.""In the present, he declared to himself that it was only the doomed and the damned that roared with sincerity at circumstance.... A man with a full stomach and the respect of his fellows had no business to scold about anything that he might think to be wrong in the ways of the universe, or even with the ways of society."8/10S: 1/7/17 - F:1/15/17 (9 Days)
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    A young man moves from cowardice to courage, doubt to self-confidence, and youth to manhood in this classic Civil War novel.Between the conversations in dialect and the chaotic battle scenes, I found this novel hard to follow but rewarding. I particularly liked Crane's use of color imagery. Recommended for Civil War buffs.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Today's book is a classic that I have wanted to read for quite some time but never got around to...until now. Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage covers the American Civil War from the point of view of a Union soldier. It's the gritty portrayal of life at the front and just what it's like to lay down your life for a cause that you don't fully understand. In fact, our protagonist has almost no clue what it is that he's fighting for or against. He joined up because it was the done thing which seems to be the case for the rest of his regiment as well. There are those that brag about their bravado but when the time comes for the bullets to fly they are the first to turn and run. At first, our soldier is condescending towards these 'cowards' as he sees them but he very quickly sees the futility of their regiment's actions as they seem to be merely feinting and arbitrarily gaining and losing ground. It is a gritty, raw description of battle and defeat which is undercut with confusion and fear. These are children playacting warfare but the injuries and death are very real. Crane's insistence on not holding back lends a realistic, deadening of the senses feel to what it's like on the battlefield when you are surrounded by death and horror at every turn. He was making a commentary on the futility of war and how those who are a part of the 'war machine' are generally lost as to the meaning of why and who they are fighting. I am immensely glad that I finally picked this book up and gave it a read. I encourage ya'll to do the same. It's a slim volume and will take no time at all (though I don't promise you'll want a break every now and again from the bloodshed). 9/10
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Another one from the Guardian's top 100 books list. Hard to read in that it was depicting such traumatic events and also the language was so vividly descriptive it became a bit dense for me. I was relieved it was short! Modernist text that depicts the confusion and horror of the battlefield.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Henry Fleming is a young Union soldier of the 304th Regiment from New York, fighting his first battle in Virginia, when he becomes frightened and flees. As he runs, he observes many other areas of the battle and witnesses many of the horrors of war. He becomes injured when another Union soldier hits him over the head with his gun. Embarrassed and injured, he returns to his regiment late that night, where his friend takes care of him. The next day they fight in a major battle, the Battle of Chancellorsville, where he and his friend redeem themselves with their courage and hard fighting.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Almost impossible to tell who is speaking, thinking, etc. Had to re-read many passages to attribute it to an individual. I kept reading because it is a "classic" and in theory it would get good. I was disappointed. Good thing it was a "short" classic. Why IS this a classic?
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Almost impossible to tell who is speaking, thinking, etc. Had to re-read many passages to attribute it to an individual. I kept reading because it is a "classic" and in theory it would get good. I was disappointed. Good thing it was a "short" classic. Why IS this a classic?
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    I read this book a long time ago and just reread it. The author describes a young recruit in the Federal Army during the civil war. We are told of his actions and thoughts. He begins with cowardice and later acts with courage. The story is a reminder that war is a stupid way of resolving conflict. It is difficult to see why this book has been forced on students for many years other than it is short and teaches some history. There is nothing really interesting about the book.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Almost impossible to tell who is speaking, thinking, etc. Had to re-read many passages to attribute it to an individual. I kept reading because it is a "classic" and in theory it would get good. I was disappointed. Good thing it was a "short" classic. Why IS this a classic?
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    It's a bit of a boring slog, but taken in short bits, the language was rather interesting (aside from a few gems like this, "He puckered his lips into a pucker"...*facepalm*).Update: Ok, it took me a while to figure out why this book bored me so much. Think about a battle scene from any war movie. Now, imagine that that was just about all the movie was. No matter how good it was (and let's face this, this book is no Battle of Helm's Deep), it can't be all there is! Fight, trudge to next fight. Fight, trudge to next fight. Henry has friends, but there's no character development or interesting interactions. He has issues with some of his superiors, but he's such a personality-less blah, that no conflict develops with them. This is (IMO) one of the most fascinating wars character-wise, but the characters were just so damn flat and boring!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Frank Muller does a good job with the narration of this American Civil War classic.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    My last status update on this book may have confused a great deal of those following along with me. The four-out-of-five star rating was probably even more of a shocker for those of you watching me rant and rave, practically frothing and foaming at the mouth with madness as I slung curses like weapons--desiring and willing to accept nothing short of our main character's, Henry's, death and destruction. There is validity in this! Since we first meet Henry, this kid who wants to become a soldier for the glory's sake along with every other wrong reason you can contrive, I didn't like him. He was a self-serving, fame-seeking kid (again, I emphasize) who didn't give a rip about his mother's concern for his safety, and only the admiration of absolutely everyone around him. He goes behind her back, joins the army, and is disappointed when a "poetic" and beautifully scripted farewell scene isn't given the chance to play out because his mom is too busy lecturing him about the various dangers and giving him advice on how to SURVIVE before he goes! Yeesh what a prick!

    But oh no, that's not the reason I hate him. No, that comes almost instantly afterwards and for the next SEVENTY PAGES. Considering the book is about 100pgs long? That means he spends more than half the time being a complete JACKWAGON. D8< *Mild loss of temper* But how do I mean this? What do I base it off of? Well, perhaps that he thinks poorly of everyone around him, calling them far more stupid and saying he's the more superior and perceptive, when all the little brat has done is this: nothing. NOTHING!!! He RAN AWAY when the fighting got tough! He got injured because he was holding onto a retreating soldier, babbling like an idiot, and then got whacked in the head with the butt of his rifle! Then he has the AUDACITY to walk into camp and say he was SHOT in the HEAD. And he LIVES IT UP too! Taking advantage of the guy treating him! But hey, before he gets THAT "battle scar" he's complaining about how his body aches and how hungry he is and how his feet hurt. You little inconsiderate! There are men DEAD everywhere AROUND YOU. And others who are ALIVE and SUFFERING. And you have the GALL to tell me that you can barely STAND?! What type of nonsense is this!?!?!?!

    And it goes ON, as I said, for the next TWO THIRDS of the book! GAH! I wanted to smack him and strangle him and MORE. At every--single--TURN he's doing something new that makes me want to throttle the living daylights out of him!!! And man, does he pull some incredible stunts of asininity. -__- Seriously, how far up your own butt do you have to be to think that highly of yourself? What a prick!!!

    So why, you ask, did I give this book a four out of five? Well, because around the late 60 to early 70 page mark, I made an update saying that for once... Henry was acting the part of a man. There was a large gap after that one status update, where I had no further comments until I reached the end of the book. It was in those last thirty or so pages that something unexpected happened--what I had hoped would happen throughout most of the story: Henry became a man. There was no more of his philosophy, no more comparing himself to the other men around him. It was just a burning desire to enact what he had to; to get the task at hand done, and to do it with every fiber of his being. When he stopped thinking about himself, about some falsely claimed or obtained glory, and just did what needed to be done... when he didn't realize he was throwing himself right past the front lines, fully capable of being shot and killed at any moment... when he had no hesitance to run forth right into the bullets and try to claim the victory...! Those are the moments where he changed. Where, suddenly, he wasn't the little boy anxious for poetic depictions of battle and glory and praise. He was the man, throwing himself out there, regardless of the circumstances or the possible danger, the horrible outcomes, and growing up through those actions.

    What's more that finally settled my mind about this? ...he admitted how ashamed he was. And... that he hated the thoughts of himself, when he looked back on how he had been when he first started out. Is there a fine line that's being trod here? Is the change too abrupt? ...perhaps, perhaps not.

    Either way... it was stunning to see, and it... surprised me in a good way. It took me aback and... it made me realize that he did change. Those actions--they spoke louder than any words he ever uttered. And he uttered less and less of them the more he grew towards the end. I feel that, if only because of the ending, it was worthwhile. Boys go into wars and come out men. And... perhaps this is one of the best examples of that transformation, and how suddenly, how amazingly... it happens, without us even knowing it.

    It's a truly amazing book in a way. I would definitely recommend it to be read. It was enjoyable, even if for the greatest part of it, I was a lunatic desiring our main character's death. *Chuckles* But hey... people change. And that's what is so fascinating and interesting about this book. That this kid who I thought for certain was going to be a stupid prick to the very end... ended up changing like that. Definitely read it, at some point or another. If you don't want to risk it, then take it out of a library or get it secondhand, but at the very least, it's a book that's worth a shot.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Crane's poetic realism makes us see war and the fear inspired by it as something we would have to experience in order to understand. If we'd been in his place, would we have run too? And how many battles do we have to fight before we realize that the true war is with ourselves?
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    I think that there are some very telling moments in this novel, and I think there are some beautiful metaphors, but there was something about it that just did not draw me in. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something was missing.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    Summary: I am sure that I'm just to much of a girl to appreciate the wonder of this book. War, war, war and the suffering of young boys is all around us. I imagine my boys will glory in it, now if I can just get through it again...
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    The Red Badge of Courage is yet another book that has been praised so much I thought I should read it. While I can't say that I enjoyed it, or even appreciated it, I can say I'm not sorry I read it. But into the Give Away pile it goes.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    While I read this in high school I remembered almost nothing. The prose of the novel is beautiful and Crane highlights the ugliness of the war with the nature images that exist in the midst. Henry (or "the youth") is not a very likeable character - he is deluded about a great many things, including his very own character. He successfully faces his fears and develops courage, but it's questionable if he succeeds in facing his self-delusions. The chaos and incomprehensibility of war are so successfully captured in this short novel so that the reader can imagine just what it was like.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I enjoyed this book, which I should have probably read in my high school years. Crane's writing has a definite cadence, and at times I found myself in the midst of a true page-turner, as I wanted to know how a particular scene would be played.

    The story is more a character study, rather than the description of a particular battle of the Civil War. In that, there is no pro- or anti-war sentiment, but merely the focus of a young man struggling to leave his mother to go to war, and then details of how the war changes him. Because of the frenzy of the writing, it is hard to tell how much time passes from the beginning of the novel to the end, but much growing occurs in the lives of several soldiers. While this story focuses on the Union, I can imagine that the feelings were very similar for the rebels.

    Crane uses the language beautifully in describing war. His use of colors, giving human characteristics to inanimate objects, and creating wonderful visuals of the smoke and fog of gunfire on the layout of the land ... it's quite mesmerizing.

    Highly recommended.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I believe I was introduced to the book first, not the Audie Murphy movie based on it. I don't remember as many of the details as I'd like, but it's good as far as Civil War novels go. I remember how he got his "red badge of courage", his conversation across a river with a Confederate, and one poor bastard who insisted on dying in a particular spot (as he was dying anyway).
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    A seminal read. Highly recommended. It should be read by every American. It should be required reading in high school.