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The Last of the Mohicans (Bantam Classics)

280 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0553213294
ISBN-10: 0553213296
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Editorial Reviews


"[Cooper's] sympathy is large, and his humor is as genuine—and as perfectly unaffected—as his art."— Joseph Conrad

From the Publisher

Cooper's famous adventure brings the wilds of the American frontier and the drama of the French and Indian War to vivid life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Bantam Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics (June 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553213296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553213294
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on October 5, 2001
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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102 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Peter Reeve on March 11, 2005
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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92 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Kayo Smada on February 17, 2010
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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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By The Pete VINE VOICE on July 15, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Cooper's masterpiece, especially if you measure by popularity. His second installment in the Leatherstocking tales does quite a bit to deserve its reputation. This book was likely written to delve into the backstory of Natty Bumppo and Chingachgook, the characters that emerged as, by far, the most interesting ones in Cooper's first Leatherstocking tale ('The Pioneers').

Due to it's tight pacing, 'The Last of the Mohicans' is easily the best read of the five Leatherstocking Tales. It is also the most consistently plotted and paced book of the series because, as a tale of betrayal, flight, captivity, and frontier warfare, Cooper has a lot less time to indulge in his stately prose (although you'll still need to use a machete to cut through some mile-long sentences!).

'The Last of the Mohicans' has all the physical confrontation that makes for a great adventure story. There are plenty of battles and a pretty extraordinary level of violence considering the time the book was written (kids getting murdered, rotting corpses, and plenty of scalps a-flying). The novel isn't gleefully graphic, but Cooper makes no bones about the

tenuous hold people had on life on the frontier. Considering his usual penchant for rank sentimentality, he's surprisingly detached about the violence he depicts in this book. To me this is evidence that he definitely knew how to shut off the histrionics.

Another reason for the success of the book are the characters. Leatherstocking (going by Hawkeye here) is in his prime as a hero/scout. He is authoratative, brave, cunning, and always knows what to do. Chingachgook is powerful, unpredictable, and savage. However, he takes a backseat to his son Uncas.
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