I think my expectations of Nat (aka Deerslayer, aka Hawkeye, etc.) were too firmly based on Daniel Day-Lewis's interpretation of the character--or thoI think my expectations of Nat (aka Deerslayer, aka Hawkeye, etc.) were too firmly based on Daniel Day-Lewis's interpretation of the character--or those responsible for the film adaptation of Last of the Mohicans, really, since it's not like Daniel Day-Lewis was doing the script-writing.
Anywho, I prefer 1992-film-Hawkeye to the source material. Granted, Deerslayer is meant to be kid!Hawkeye, so he's untried and inexperienced and so on. But he's just so ... chatty? For somebody who spends most of his time in the woods, glorying in the solitude of the wild, guy doesn't seem to shut up when he gets a stone's throw from another human being. Also preachy. Chatty and preachy and, at the same time, WRONG about SO MUCH.
I was reading some of the reviews, and apparently Mark Twain had much to say about Cooper--which is interesting, because Natty reminds me a lot of Huck, or at least the issues Huck actually deals with. Both characters kind of revolve around the question of race relations, Nat being a white man living among the Delaware and fighting the Hurons, Huck being a white boy on a river with an escaped slave. The difference is that Huck is a little indoctrinated child who's actually questioning the state of things, but Nat is on the verge of adulthood and just locked and strangely unchangeable, in spite of his adopted family.
And he's the hero of the piece, and we're meant to like him, but when he starts blathering on about "white gifts" versus "red gifts"--and he does go on about it A LOT--I just want someone to push him in the lake. Like Judith. The narrative has Judith fall for him, but it would've been far more satisfying (for me) if she'd pushed him in the lake.
And I read this because I REALLY wanted to read Last of the Mohicans (because I love that movie, if the intro to this review isn't enough of a hint), and I wanted to start from the beginning. Now I'm debating whether or not to actually move along to the next volume if it's just going to be more of the same... wrongness....more
Wasn't there supposed to be a balloon in this? I feel like I've been lied to or intentionally misled for the longest time. There was no balloon!
PhileaWasn't there supposed to be a balloon in this? I feel like I've been lied to or intentionally misled for the longest time. There was no balloon!
Phileas Fogg is a stoic, driven, seemingly incurious man, and I guess I'm supposed to like him? I mean, he does the right thing when it's in his path and power. So that's good. But it's a bit like if a robot or an android were making the trek around the globe. I keep imagining Data (from ST:TNG), except that Fogg has none of Data's charming curiosity. He doesn't get upset about setbacks or delays, nor is he optimistic; he really just IS. He has absolutely no interest in any of the countries or cities he passes through; and while, I get it, the man has a goal in mind, the traveler in me is raging at him.
Passepartout, the newly hired French manservant, makes up for Fogg's lack of interest. Of course, this leads to his getting into trouble here there and everywhere. The message seems to be that, when traveling, don't look out the window or go sightseeing or you too will commit a massive faux pas that will get you and your traveling companions into hot water.
I was on one of my legs in my evening commute when reading the chapter about Passepartout taking the opportunity to learn about the history of Mormonism while Fogg & Co. are on a train crossing the western United States. An Elder is giving a lecture in a car that starts with a large audience and ends with only Passepartout, everyone else having wearied of it and wandering back to their own cars.
"...Driven from Vermont, driven from Illinois, driven from Ohio, driven from Missouri, driven from Utah, we shall yet find some independent territory on which to plant our tents. And you, my brother," continued the Elder, fixing his angry eyes upon his single auditor, "will you not plant yours there, too, under the shadow of our flag?"
"No!" replied Passepartout courageously, in his turn retiring from the car, and leaving the Elder to preach to vacancy.
I couldn't help it. I had a fit of giggles on the train. I still don't know why it was so funny to me. Maybe it's because it's just such a strange segment. I can't figure out why Passepartout remains when everyone else leaves, and when he's obviously not at all sympathetic.
Why only three stars? That's probably due to my irritation about the way Asians are represented in the book. It's not complimentary, apart from Aouda, and it appears that her saving grace is how very almost-European she seems. Great. So Indians who could be mistaken for Europeans are A-OK? That's nice. I have side-eye for you Jules Verne....more
As goodreads gives the statement intended for the stars, it really is just okay.
I think H.G. Wells described the film as cliched; the book certainly iAs goodreads gives the statement intended for the stars, it really is just okay.
I think H.G. Wells described the film as cliched; the book certainly is as guilty, if not more. Virginal/motherly character named "Maria" ... blah blah blah. The narrative has a weird tendency of breaking away just when something important is about to happen, and then returning to it after a break, but to look at it from a distance or in the aftermath. I guess it's meant to be artistic, but it's really just frustrating.
The ebook has problems--weird punctuation and variations on names, and there are times where letters become marks of punctuation. Translation from German to English, and from hard copy to electronic--a mix of all that, probably.
Also, there's the whole unavoidable "von Harbou is a Nazi" element. You can try not to think too much about an author's personal life or political opinions, but a thing like this is hard to forget....more
... So many feelings and final thoughts about les mousquetaires, but mostly I keep thinking that this finale feels like a rushed job (compared to the... So many feelings and final thoughts about les mousquetaires, but mostly I keep thinking that this finale feels like a rushed job (compared to the accounts in the volumes preceding this one). I wonder if Dumas faced the kind of backlash received by Conan Doyle when he offed Holmes--or if maybe the rushed close was due to a drop in popularity in the serials. To be Googled.
I also wonder if Dumas ended up disliking Aramis as much as I did by the end, considering how cold the language becomes regarding him.
The last quarter was kind of rough. There's not much in it I'd call bittersweet--just depressing. There's the bad joke of a frustrated author going "rocks fall; everyone dies"--and that's, in at least one case, on-the-nose.