I was slightly hesitant in reading this because I had previously read The Last of the Mohicans which was a little harder to decipher especially sinceI was slightly hesitant in reading this because I had previously read The Last of the Mohicans which was a little harder to decipher especially since I was only a freshman at the time. To my delight, this novel was a much easier read, and to my surprise, I finished it in no time at all. I can understand that a lot of contemporary readers would not enjoy this novel mainly because it was written for the readers of its time, but if you think about how the action helps move this story forward and how the romance keeps the story somewhat interesting, it's not as bad as you may think. ...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'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 third novel he wrote for the series and his fans wanted more heroic adventures of Natty Bumppo, he wrote The Pathfinder, which is supposed to take place between the events of The Last of the Mohicans and The Prairie. Unfortunately, because Cooper wanted to show his fans how Natty remains a hunter throughout the series without the chance of settling down with a wife and family, The Pathfinder is a bit short on action and violence that The Last of the Mohicans and The Deerslayer (as I've read so far) deliver. Still, that isn't to say there were no other good points about this novel. As I found when reading The Deerslayer (after reading The Last of the Mohicans), The Pathfinder was easier to read although it took a little longer to digest because the action just wasn't as prominent. Plus, the language is beautiful even though some readers might find it tiring. It might be the opposite of Hemingway as far as lack of simplistic style, but there is lots to be said about Cooper's ability to evoke such detailed imagery.
Really, this book is meant to show the readers that Natty does try to retire from his life as a hunter, but he can't because he's just too darn fitting for the job. Hey, if you're great at what you do, why quit?...more