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Last Of The Mohicans Paperback – 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 285 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Barnrs & Noblr,2003 (2003)
  • ASIN: B0044L743C
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (285 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
James Fenimore Cooper's novel "The Last of the Mohicans" (subtitled "A Narrative of 1757"), is a remarkable book for many reasons. First published in 1826, the book represents an early attempt to create substantial literary art from the material of North American history and geography. Although the book has its flaws, it is for the most part a success.
In the novel, the white woodsman Hawk-eye and his Mohican Indian comrade Chingachgook join forces to help the daughters of a white military officer through hostile territory. The story takes place in a colonial American setting marked by conflict between French and English forces -- a conflict that also involves various Indian nations.
There are a number of exciting (and often graphically violent) scenes of battle and chase. Hawk-eye, a white man who, to a large degree, rejects European-American values, is a fascinating figure -- indeed, he is one of the most enduring fictional creations in all of United States literature. Through the mouths of Hawk-eye and the various Indian characters, Cooper offers some intriguing criticisms of white culture.
As I said, the book is not without flaws. The momentum of the book lags for a brief stretch, and some of Cooper's characters (in particular, his women) at times sound a bit stereotypical. But the overall power and intelligence of Cooper's work is undeniable. Particularly impressive is his re-creation of a multilingual world of complex cultural and personal conflict. Also noteworthy is his evocation of the American landscape. A tale of death and survival, of betrayal and loyalty, and, above all, of the extraordinary bond between a white man and an Indian, "The Last of the Mohicans" is one classic that deserves to be read and reevaluated by each generation.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like the Star Wars movies, Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales were written out of sequence. In their chronological order, with their order of publication in parentheses, they are: The Deerslayer (5), The Last of the Mohicans (2), The Pathfinder (4), The Pioneers (1) and The Prairie (3). So if you want to read them in either chronological or published order, you should read Mohicans second. But each novel is self-contained, so if you want to try just one, to decide if the rest are worth reading, then Mohicans is the one to start with, as it is his most famous work and generally acknowledged to be his best.

The hero of these tales, the improbably named Nathaniel Bumppo (or Natty, or Deerslayer, or Hawkeye, or The Long Rifle, or...etc, etc) was the first, and remains the quintessential, all-American fictional hero; brave, noble, honest and more at home in the wilderness than the town. He is not however, the strong, silent type. He has a habit of launching into long, rambling streams of homespun philosophy at the drop of a coonskin cap. Never mind that lead shot is flying thick and fast around his ears, he will lean on his rifle and expound on the different natures of Indians and whites, or the evils of literacy.

The plot of Mohicans is action-packed, but is linear - no surprise twists, and no sub-plots - and contains some highly improbable elements. Well, would you be fooled by an enemy disguised as a beaver? Michael Mann's excellent 1992 screen version reworked the plot extensively, to its advantage.

Cooper was the first distinctively American novelist and was inspired by Walter Scott, the inventor of the historical novel. He was consciously attempting to emulate Scott but, although he writes quite well, he lacks Scott's lyricism.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I thought that this was an excellent study of the European-Indian relationships and intertribal relationships among the Americam Indians. There are some gruesome scenes; I feel it is probably a fairly accurate account of practices at that time amongst those tribes. At times the narrative gets wordy because of the details of the history and traditions. I can't believe this book was taught in the 5-8 grades in this country 30 years ago. I don't think the majority of 12th graders could read this book with ease.
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By A Customer on December 10, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Set in upstate New York in colonial times, Cooper here tells the story of the stolid colonial scout Hawkeye, nee Natty Bumppo (don't ask), who, with his two Indian companions Chingachgook (the Big Snake) and his son Uncas (apparently newly come to manhood), stumble on a party of British soldiers conducting two fair maidens to their father, the commander of British Fort William Henry during the French and Indian War. Under the watchful eyes of the young British officer who has the girls in his charge and led by a Huron scout, Magua, the party appears, to the indomitable Hawkeye, to be at greater risk than they realize as they trek through the wilderness toward the safety of the girls' father's garrison. And, indeed, Hawkeye's judgement is soon proved right as the scout Magua treacherously betrays the hapless girls in repayment, it seems, for a stint of corporal punishment inflicted on him previously by their absent parent. Since the Hurons, Magua's native tribe, are culturally akin to the Iroquois who are the herditary enemies of the Algonquin Delawares, from whom Chingachgook and his son hail and among whom Hawkeye has made his home and friendships, a natural antagonism has arisen almost at once between Hawkeye's party and the Huron and this proves salutary, when danger finally strikes. The tale quickly becomes a matter of flight and pursuit through thickly overgrown primeval forests, over rough mountains and across broad open lakes as the beleagured travelers first elude and then flee the dreaded Iroquois (allies of the French) who have joined the renegade Huron in an effort to seize the two girls. After a brief respite within the safety of William Henry however, the tables are once again turned as Magua's perfidy puts the girls once more at risk.Read more ›
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