The Pathfinder
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The Pathfinder (The Leatherstocking Tales #3)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,325 ratings  ·  45 reviews

"The Pathfinder, or The Inland Sea is a historical novel by James Fenimore Cooper first published in 1840. It is the fourth novel featuring Natty Bumppo, his fictitious frontier hero, and is considered as forming the third chronological episode of the Leatherstocking Tales." -Wikipedia.
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Published (first published 1840)
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Aaron Cance
If one can read books promiscuously, as I was reassured in graduate school that one could, I read all five of the books in this series like a complete whore, giving myself entirely over to the story - loved all five. A word of caution, however: They were written in a different order than the chronology of the narrative. Imagine my disappointment at the Deerslayer's death at the end of the third book out of five.

The order that the author produced them:

The Pioneers
Last of the Mohicans
The Prairie
James (JD) Dittes
What I liked most about The Pathfinder was the amazing setting: the rivers of western New York, the Thousand Islands at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Cooper's characters ride over waterfalls on bark canoes, battle enemy Iroquois among the rapids of the Oswego River, and fight to the death on one of the hidden islands.

There is love--Hawkeye, known here as "Pathfinder" proposes marriage. There is treachery. And there is plenty of adventure.

Setting aside, The Pathfinder follows closely to the pl...more
The following review contains spoilers if you haven't read The Prairie or if you don't read the introductions of the Penguin Classics editions.

If you're reading the Leatherstocking Tales in chronological order of the story, you may or may not know that Natty kicks the bucket at the end of the series. If you're reading the series in chronological order of the publication dates, then you are already aware of this fact before you read The Pathfinder.

Since Cooper decided to kill off his hero in the...more
Sarah C
I liked this story filled with adventure and romance. Got very confused with the geography of the lake as it didn't seem to follow with a modern map of the lake and their travels, but "artistic licence" I suppose or maybe I just found the old English difficult to follow in places. Natty becoming more human and loveable but I'm sure if I met somebody like him in real life they would drive me to insanity. Predictable in places but the writer managed to reduce me to tears. On to book four as I must...more
What to say? I mean other than UGH! So I read the first 2 books in this series (the Leather Stocking series). After the first: The Deerslayer, I didn't have much hope but dutifully (with the promise I made to myself of reading all my mother's books in her "library") read: The Last of the Mohicans. I had much more hope.I liked it and wasn't much bothered by Cooper's repetitive and I do mean RE-PETITIVE arguments and deep thinking hangups. Now I have to say...I'm not sure I can keep the promise I...more
J. Trott
So as I read this book I realized how much the hero effected my consciousness. I think of the woodsman Natty Bumpo everytime I handle a gun, and his legendary shooting. Everytime I step into a canoe, his mighty canoe springing strokes return to my mind. This is romance with an idealized American for a hero. The Pathfinder is at once tolerant of all cultures, remarking when his Mohican friend scalps a fallen foe that each culture has its gifts and while he, a white man, would never go in for scal...more
D. Fackelman
James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales are at the top of classic American literature. The Pathfinder, although not a very unique tale, is a great read. The honorable Natty Bumppo and the stoic Chingachgook risk it all to rescue the innocent. JFC creates a rich, beautiful, full environment for the reader to appreciate. A must read for all fans of classic fiction.
Abject racism aside, this a fun, action-packed (by 19th century standards) read. The Pathfinder is the American action hero prototype--amazingly skilled at everything he does, an innate sense of right and wrong, smart without any fancy book learning. There's treachery and deceit, romance, scalping, boat adventures, even a shooting skills contest. The Indians here are pure evil, savage and ruthless (except for the good ones.) They're basically orcs. When The Coop wants to be he is an amazing writ...more
William Durkee
I loved it. I come from upstate New York, though I haven´t lived there in over 20 years. I have camped and canoed in the the Adirondacks many times, just an hour East of Oswego. I felt like I was transported back to that green cathedral in this book, and could easily see eye-to-eye with the Pathfinders reverence of nature. My home town had a Tuscarora Indian reservation in it, and it is interesting that the foe, Arrowhead, is of that tribe, and also that the Tuscarora were thought to be extraord...more
The book has its strong points. They are adventures, complications of plot, some deep thoughts about human nature, happiness, dreams, love etc.
But I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed reading completely.
The characters are flat, the narrator’s position is too naïve: the British and the delavars are honest and noble, and the French and the mingues are unscrupulous and cunning. The naivety of the Pathfinder is also funny: he finds out and prevents enemys’ slyness, but he can’t notice that two people are i...more
Finished "The Pathfinder" tonight...Finally. Only took me a month. This is the third book in J.F. Cooper's "Leatherstocking Tales," and it was the least enjoyable so far (reading them in chronological order). I'm beginning to see why "The Last of the Mohicans" has been the most popular through the years; it's hands-down the best. "Pathfinder" is boring and over-long for the most part, though the scenes where things are actually happening are good, as seems to be par for the course with Cooper. I...more
Kathie H
Aug 02, 2008 Kathie H rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adults on up
Don't forget to put on your to-do list a visit to Cooperstown NY. This is one of my favorite places in the United States. You'll love the National Baseball Hall of Fame (of course). But be sure to visit the GlimmerGlass opera house (even if you don't see a show), the Herkimer Diamond mine, & all the beautiful lakes & natural places that inspired its namesake during his lifetime.

I love this book. I think James Fenimore Cooper's books are pure Americana & often overlooked by those of u...more
Angie Lisle
At least thirty percent of this book consists of the same conversation being repeated by various characters: which of the old fart soldiers will marry the Sargeant's twenty-year old daughter.

When action does happen, it's brief and then, we hear about it again and again and again, until the author is absolutely certain that we readers know exactly what happened. I can retell the whole story in a single page but I'll spare you the spoilers. Suffice it to say, for every two pages of action, there'...more
Aaron Crofut
I enjoyed this book. Some folks might take Pathfinder's opinion on the "natur'" of the Europeans and Natives to be racist, but I see it more as an understanding of the beauty and limits of each culture. He applies this same philosophy to people within each race as well. Though he accepts everything stoically, one still has to feel for the guy at the end.

Being from upstate New York (though not as far north as Oswego), it's always a pleasant thought to imagine Natty and Chingachgook tramping thro...more
I started reading Cooper because I have struck by how often Russian authors aluded to him. Tolstoy and Dosteyovski both mention him explicitly in their works on several occasions. In particular, Tolstoy aludes to "Pathfinder" in the opening chapters of his "The Cossucks", which makes sense, because they're generally the same novel: frontier romances that compare the romantisism of the untouched wild with the safety and security of civilization. I think I liked "The Cossucks" a little better.
Read it a very long time ago. Don't feel comfortable rating it.
I enjoyed reading this book but I was a little disappointed in the ending. I had hoped that Mabel Dunham would come to love Pathfinder and that Jasper Western would fall in love with someone else. When it did not end that way I felt very sorry for poor Pathfinder, having to go back to a life of solitude with a broken heart.
I've just read "The Deerslayer," "The Last of the Mohicans," and now "The Pathfinder" all in a row, and I enjoyed this third installment in the Leatherstocking Tales the most, if only because it had a straight-up villain (as opposed to mere antagonists whose interests happen to be contrary to the protagonists') whose identity was kept sufficiently confused as to create some tension and suspense.
An excellent book! I quite enjoyed this story of the American frontier on the Great Lakes. Natty Bumppo (called Pathfinder in this book) falls in love. Can such a thing succeed when he is such a wild man? A great story, though sometimes the dialogue gets a bit wordy. Descriptions are lovely. I look forward to reading more of Cooper.
Continuing the wildernessy goodness, you have to read this one if you read the others. I think this might be the last of the Leatherstocking Tales that I've read, this is the third in the series, according to story chronology. The following ones, which I think I've read, are the Pioneers, then the Prairie
Chris Smith
A beautiful look at life on the early frontier and the struggle for survival. Romance, adventure, survival all together in a wonderful tale told in language nearly forgotten. Appealing to both men and woman, a true American classic worth the investment of time.

I love the concept...but frankly, I found the addition of Cap's character to the mix tiresome and unneeded. It was almost as if he needed some additional conversation device to stretch out the plot. Annoyingly one sides characters.
Dick Tumpes
Now "Mabel" will forever be a beautiful name to me.
And Pathfinder: so sorry I waited this long to renew our acquaintance since we met on that GlimmerGlass lake.
I'm a Fan!
And your story-teller uses words unfamiliar to me. Thanks.
Sep 05, 2008 Melodee rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves adventure tales
Shelves: misc
This was the final book that I read from the Leatherstocking Tales series, and it was one of the best. There are plenty of drama, love entanglements, suspense and beautiful scenery descriptions. It's a great adventure tale.
I read most of James Fenimore Cooper's books, but it's been a while, so I don't remember them in great detail. They are fun adventures, though, I do remember that.
Aerospace Girl
I learned that I despise James Fenimore Cooper. Seriously, I can deal with Daniel Day-Lewis as a hot woodsman... but James Fenimore Cooper needed an editor.
excellent work from cooper. perhaps not as good as mohicans, but great story and interesting depth to leatherstocking.
Rylan McQuade
Really dry. It had some good lessons, though. I enjoyed the last two chapters, but didn't care for the rest.
This novel is (to me) a rather quick read and has the feel of a nineteenth century comic book.
Being as JFC's mother is a blood relative I am more than obligated to read his books.
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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
More about James Fenimore Cooper...
The Last of the Mohicans (The Leatherstocking Tales #2) The Deerslayer (The Leatherstocking Tales, #1) The Pioneers The Prairie The Spy

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“A man without conscience is but a poor creature...” 3 likes
“Walking about streets, going to church of Sundays, and hearing sermons, never yet made a man of a human being. Send the boy out upon the broad ocean, if you wish to open his eyes, and let him look upon foreign nations, or what I call the face of nature, if you wish him to understand his own character.” 2 likes
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