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The Last of the Mohicans (The Leatherstocking Tales #2)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  58,854 ratings  ·  1,505 reviews
James Fenimore Cooper's sweeping tale of the American frontier tells the romantic and tragic story of Hawkeye, Uncas, Magua and the Munroe sisters. These seemingly disparate lives become intertwined to create an American opera both tragic and vast in scale and emotion. This hand designed edition contains a new biography of Cooper, a new introduction, discussion questions a ...more
Hardcover, The World's Best Reading, 415 pages
Published December 31st 1984 by The Reader's Digest Association (first published 1826)
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Aug 13, 2009 Amanda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People I Hate
If time travel were possible, I'd go back in time and assassinate James Fenimore Cooper before he ever put pen to paper (in this imaginary scenario, let it be known that I also possess mad ninja skills). Why do I hate Cooper so much? Let me count the ways:

1) His never-ending description of every rock, twig, river, etc., with which the main characters come into contact. No pebble escapes his scrutiny, no leaf his lingering gaze. This book would have been 3 pages long without the description. And
Jason Koivu
Like the only prostitute in town, it's very popular and good fun at first, but after a time it ain't so pretty, and jesus christ, why won't it just shut the fuck up!

Very popular in its time, The Last of the Mohicans is a historical fiction written in the 1820s and set in the 1750s during the French and Indian War in which a small party of British colonists and their Indian guides journey through the upstate New York wilderness defending themselves from their French and Indian enemies.

James Feni
Plot: 1. Hack your way through the forest. 2. Get ambushed by Mohicans. 3. Kill a bunch of Mohicans. 4. Hack your way through more forest. 5. There are those damn Mohicans again. 6. Kill a bunch more Mohicans. 7. start over at #1.

Somebody explain to me how this ever got to be a classic.
Bill  Kerwin

What can one say about Cooper? His historical imagination is profound, his creative use of the gothic landscape is uniquely American, and his influence on plot and characterization in American fiction--including, I recently discovered, South American fiction--is pervasive and extensive. Yet his diction is so often trite, his style so plodding and crabbed, his syntax so convoluted, that it is difficult to read more than a few pages of "The Last of the Mohicans" without throwing the book across th
“Mislike me not, for my complexion, the sad owed livery of the burnished sun.” When you first open Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper this is one of the first things you read. This quote from Shakespeare seems to state that the book will not show the racist tendencies of the time, but display the different races in equal light. While writing a historical fiction, being a completely anti-racist novel is not possible but Cooper seems to state with his head note that the color of skin ...more
I can still remember the edition of this that---somehow---I had in my room as a child. It was a hardback, dense type, the occasional woodcut, thin pages, tightly bound, and it smelled like it had been mouldering under somebody's bed since Martin Van Buren ass-ended to the presidency. Back then I couldn't for the life of me get past the first chapter. The syntax was so knotty (ie. Latinate) that I might have compared it to autoerotic asphyxiation if I'd known such a thing existed (autoeroticism, ...more
Aug 06, 2012 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th-century literature
Note: I've just edited this review slightly to correct a chronological typo. When I read this book the first time, I was nine, not seven years old --I knew, when I wrote the first draft of this review, that I was in 4th grade the first time, so I don't know what I was thinking when I typed "seven!"

This novel, set in northern New York in 1757 and involving wilderness adventure and combat during the French and Indian War, was my first introduction to Cooper; the dates given here were for the secon
Man alive, I hated that book. Again, I procrastinated and tried to jam the whole book into one weekend, since I had an oral book review due on Monday for history or social studies or something. God, why can't I even remember the name of the class? My sister will know. It was in high school, junior year, and the teacher - who later became our mayor wtf! - was totally hot. Balding, tan, charismatic, awesome. Every summer, he'd mow his yard. Shirtless. Good god, y'all. And he had a daughter in my g ...more
I really wanted to enjoy this book.

You ever do that? Pick up a book and assume it begins with 3 stars, hoping to move skyward.

I was looking forward to the crisp narrative of Colonial Realism, something like a Ben Franklin writing about mercantilism.

My college roommate loved the Leatherstocking Tales, and I was rewarded following his recommendations before, so I put them on the shelf to read 20 years later.

317 pages.

I looked at my mom over Thanksgiving with such an expression that she asked “what
I first read this book when I was a boy, and decided to re-read it to see how it held up. The answer: very well.

In fact, I'd say that this book is a "must-read" for any American. Despite the fact that it's in no-way an accurate depiction of native American culture, it's a great reminder of what our landscape was like when our country was young. (If you're from California, Two Years Before the Mast performs a similar function.) Written in 1826, it was already 75 years past the events depicted in
Jason Reeser
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 Stars

The novel was entertaining and enjoyable but I found it took real patience to get though, especially at the beginning. I found the amount of descriptions of the setting and scenery was over-done, it was extremely infuriating after a while but I managed to stick with it. The second half of the book was a lot better than the first - the pace of the novel speeds up, there's a lot more action. I really enjoyed the novel once I got passed the halfway mark. This novel may be hard-going, but i
one of my all time favorite books. this is adventure and excitement set to coopers lyrical descriptions. loved it.
Apr 10, 2008 Julie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Upstate New York history
Recommended to Julie by: Dad
While not the first, this is certainly the most well-known of the five Leatherstocking Tales written by James Fenimore Cooper. Having seen the movie, I thought I would give the book a try. In addition, living in the Finger Lakes area made this book that much more interesting, because I could easily visualize the landscape behind Cooper's story. I really, really liked the characters. Prior to reading the book I had no idea that Hawkeye and Natty Bumppo were the same person... and it's still a li ...more
I went into Last of the Mohicans knowing that it was by no means an accurate depiction of either the Native cultures or history that occupied so much of the tale. I approached the novel as an entire fabrication, and if anyone else elects to read this book, I strongly urge the same attitude. As to the story itself, I'm torn. Hiding in these pages is a truly great adventure, but the greatness - and sometimes the story itself - is obfuscated by the author's heavy-handed use of language. I sincerely ...more
I thought I would like this old favorite a lot more than I did. I don't think this one made the transition from the 19th century to the 21st century very well at all. The book is about twice as long as it needs to be, thanks to wandering and bewildering dialogue. The story itself is unlikely; Cooper would have us believe that the Hurons were extremely lenient with their prisoners, letting them wander about unraped and untortured and permitting them to be rescued time and again. If you want a boo ...more
The movie is much better than the book, no doubt about that.

The illustrated version is available for free download at Gutenberg Project

Illustrated by N.C. Wyeth
"Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadowed livery of the burnished sun."

Copyright, 1919, by Charles Scribner's Sons

Page 26:

Avoiding the horns of the infuriated animal, Uncas
darted to his side, and passed his knife across the throat

Page 66:

Each of the combat
Aug 05, 2010 Slayermel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys adventures or books about the American frontier
This story was amazing but hard to read, mostly because I found the author tended to be a bit wordy and overly descriptive when it came to the surroundings. I would tune out and think about other things then have to re-read the page I just spaced out over.

The story itself was full of action and very interesting characters. The author also included a lot of history, which I really enjoyed. I found the native cultures fascinating especially Uncas and his father who where Mohicans and how they inte
Josh Kotoff
Well, let me say this...very tough book to read. The author is a genius and use so much adjectives and descriptiveness. I mean, for instance, the Author spends a page and a half describing the sunset and its glory compared to their peril. Awesome book to read and is way different from the movie. A must read for hardcore readers.
One of the rare instances when the movie is SO much better than the book.

*2.75/5 stars*
Dec 06, 2007 Silvana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: classics, used-to-own
For those who dislike lengthy narrative, detailed description on nature, terrain, wild life and people, they will not find this book entertaining. But those who love good adventure story with not too many shitty romance in it, well, this book might just be the one.

The year was 1757. The British and the French were fighting for land on the north eastern side of the current US soil, bordering with Canada. However, they're not the only ones in feud. The Indian tribe of Huron (Maqua/Iroqois) was al
Janika Puolitaival
Pyörittelin tätä käsissäni pitkään: luenko uudelleen 20 vuoden jälkeen, rakastanko tätä vain nostalgiahuurujen läpi? Viimeisen päälle toimitettu kirja (sarja), Markku Henrikssonin esipuheella. Kyllä tämä vain kolahti edelleen, vaikka aikuisen silmin moni asia oli "niin väärin". Suuren seikkailukirjaston kuvitettu versio vei aikanaan jalat alta, nyt lukiessa sen kuvat palautuivat mieleen. Välillä kuva tosin vaihtui Daniel Day Lewisin elokuvaan ja jylhiin metsiin. On se kiva kun kirjaa lukiessa sa ...more
More wordy than wordsmith. Wordy can be done well though, just ask Alexandre Dumas (Count of Monte Cristo) and wordy doesn't always mean a death sentence, but with this book, alas, it most certainly does.
I made it passed halfway and that was it, I was out, I could endure no longer.
I wanted to like this book. I read it a few decades ago when I was a teen and thought I liked it. I know I loved the movie.
I found the book brought out the worst of these times...rascism, elitism, classism, and m
Sara Sbaraglia
Ho notato molti giudizi non positivi su questo romanzo. Sarà perché io non ho visto il film, ma ad essere sincera me lo aspettavo molto peggiore. L'ho letto principalmente per la sfida del XIX secolo a cui sto partecipando e mi ero già preparata psicologicamente ad affrontare uno di quei pesanti testi della prima metà dell'Ottocento in cui ci si trova catapultati in un mondo psicologicamente così distante dalla nostra epoca che si fa fatica a provare simpatia per qualsiasi personaggio, tutti cos ...more
Let me start by saying that the movie is not only a slightly different story, the movie is a better story. The characters in the movie have more integrity. Also, the movie didn't spend 100 pages describing sticks.

An interesting question surfaced in my original copy of Trivial Pursuit:

Who was the first native American author?

In classic Trivial Pursuit style, the question is worded accurately, but it is very misleading. It is not asking about the first Native (capital N) American author. It's aski
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cassandra Kay Silva
This book was somewhat racist and sexist and frankly pretty boring. I mean the hero's are always getting captured. Half of the novel is people trying to escape or run away from one party or another. It was just ridiculous. I found it that it also isn't very historically accurate either which would have been the only redeeming part of the read.
Margaret Virany
Many readers from other countries have a fascination with this continent because of the image presented in this book. I put it on my to-read list years ago and finally read it, thanks to free e-books. I quit twice because the style is antiquated, the character list confusing and the action slow. I only kept going because of the marvellous scenic descriptions and the book's reputation. James Fenimore Cooper got off to a slow start as a writer but, luckily for us, his wife saw his genius and pushe ...more
This was such a book! I'm not sure if I liked the ending or not— it was a bit of a shock— (view spoiler) but I'm not sure if that's what it should have ended like. I'm tempted to think 'yes.'

My thoughts are really jumbled, so I'll jot them down and perhaps organize them later:

- I didn't always like the way Cooper referred to the Iriquois. For that matter, the Native Americans in general. My first contact with the Iriquois w
You know it's not my style to retell the story because you can read it for yourself. I tell you how the book affected me and if I thought the investment of reading time was well spent, or not. This book did not waste my time, but it took far more of my time than was necessary. The story was compelling, but Cooper used far too many words to tell that story. This book makes a great case for the place in literature of the Reader's Digest condensed books.

Is it a requirement of good writing to put on
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Replacement for Summer Reading 2 25 May 24, 2014 12:09PM  
Death (Spoiler) 3 26 Jan 31, 2014 05:46PM  
Impressions of Cooper's "style" after Chapter 1 24 54 Jul 19, 2013 12:48AM  
Shades or glades? 1 18 Dec 04, 2012 05:04AM  
Ancient & Med...: MAY 2012: The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper 102 78 May 24, 2012 12:40PM  
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James Fenimore Cooper was a popular and prolific American writer. He is best known for his historical novel The Last of the Mohicans, one of the Leatherstocking Tales stories, and he also wrote political fiction, maritime fiction, travelogues, and essays on the American politics of the time. His daughter Susan Fenimore Cooper was also a writer.

* The Leatherstocking Tales
* The Littlepage Man
More about James Fenimore Cooper...

Other Books in the Series

The Leatherstocking Tales (5 books)
  • The Deerslayer (The Leatherstocking Tales, #1)
  • The Pathfinder (Leatherstocking Tales, #3)
  • The Pioneers
  • The Prairie
The Deerslayer (The Leatherstocking Tales, #1) The Pathfinder (Leatherstocking Tales, #3) The Pioneers The Prairie The Spy

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“History, like love, is so apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness.” 1372 likes
“Chingachgook grasped the hand that, in the warmth of feeling, the scout had stretched across the fresh earth, and in that attitude of friendship these intrepid woodsmen bowed their heads together, while scalding tears fell to their feet, watering the grave of Uncas like drops of falling rain.” 8 likes
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