Justin Kemppainen's Reviews > The Deerslayer

The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper
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Mar 07, 11

it was ok

I understand that this is an oooold book written by the standards of people who died a very long time ago, but it is simply dull.

Instead of reading the more common Natty Bumppo tale in "The Last of the Mohicans" I wanted to start this series in its chronological beginning, and I haven't read Cooper since. I don't intend to ever again.

Deerslayer was desperately boring for a novel which contained the murder and mayhem of developing America. Yes, it's a classic. Yes, it's one of the first instances of the epic hero in literature. Yes, it's considered artistic by people who don't know what they're talking about. Yes, it's awfully repetitive and extremely dry. There's a lot of redundant dialogue about the ways of the white man and red man, and it just gets tedious.

Some of the action sequences, instead of occurring in the text itself, are described in italics at the beginning of the chapter. Very quickly summarized as then you find out a character is dead/dying in the span of a paragraph. It screws with the pacing, as suddenly we're embroiled in peril instead of social commentary.

Also in the novel are a considerable amount of consistency issues and changing elements for the sake of convenience (the mouth of the river is 50 feet wide, it's 20 feet wide, you can bend a sapling across it to hide several Native Americans).

The whole novel is just not very good: plain and simple, and a "classic" status for nostalgia or whatever else will *never* save it.
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