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The Leatherstocking Tales, Vol. 1 (The Leatherstocking Tales #2-4)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  337 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The library of America is dedicated to publishing America's best and most significant writing in handsome, enduring volumes, featuring authoritative texts. Hailed as the "finest-looking, longest-lasting editions ever made" (The New Republic), Library of America volumes make a fine gift for any occasion. Now, with exactly one hundred volumes to choose from, there is a perfe ...more
Hardcover, 1347 pages
Published July 1st 1985 by Library of America (first published 1954)
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Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Cooper, have mercy. I give up. A quarter of the way through The Prairie, which is the last Leatherstocking novel left to read, I just can't take it any longer.

The Pioneers was interesting. The first appearance of Mr. Bumpo, he is actually a secondary character in an ensemble tale about an early western New York town. He just a strange white man who lives in the woods with his Indian friend and wins a holiday shooting contest. (There's always a shooting contest in these books) He doesn't become t
Oct 05, 2010 rated it liked it
I loved The Last of the Mohicans when I was a teenager, and I have long wanted to read the complete series. My memory of Mohicans is that it is pretty much an adventure story. Initially, The Pioneers seemed like it might be something more. It began very slowly, with the author clearly trying to create a portrait of the early American republic as a melting pot--the characters include Quakers and Episcopalians; a Frenchman, a German, and a Native American; free blacks and slaves; and people of dif ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Omnibus volume 1 of 2 in the Library of America edition of the "Leatherstocking tales"--five novels by Cooper that cover the live of a great woodsman in the 18th and 19th centuries. The most well known of the stories "Last of the Mohicans", was neither the first written nor the first in sequence, as Cooper compiled his life-work in scattershot style.

Library of Amerca Volume 1
written in
1823 "The Pioneers"
1826 "The Last of the Mohicans"
1827 "The Prairie"

Library of America Volume 2
(James Fenimore C
Apr 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I have no business giving this book a 3-star review, these stories are, without question, American classics. In reality I am giving myself a 3-star review for my ability to appreciate it. This is an honest review by a regular guy.

“Last of the Mohicans” is one of my favorite movies, but I seem to be in the minority among US adults who never had to read the book for school, so it was on my reading list for a while. I learned that The Last of the Mohicans was the second book in the Leatherstocking
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I ran across the Library of America, 2 volume set, of Cooper's "The Leather Stocking Tales", at the library, while browsing. My Dad had always been enamored of "The Last of the Mohicans", so it piqued my curiosity. This first volume contains the first three novels, "The Pioneers", "The Last of the Mohicans", and "The Prairie". It took me a while to get used to the language, but once I did, it was smooth sailing. Natty Bumpo is as great a character who ever had his own series. Cooper's writing is ...more
Jul 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stinkers
Good GOSH, I hate me some James Fenimore Cooper. Don't even start with me about how these are classics. I know they are, and that for some reason they're important to American literature, even though they are horribly-written books about Native Americans by a guy who never laid an eye on's the Revolutionary War version of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (which I like, so shut up), or something. BLECCCCHHH.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not totally thrilled by the order of the books, but the order is the date they were originally published, & there's not much to do about that! I guess a good way of looking at it, is the first is something that happens today, the second is what happened earlier in his life, & the last is what happens later in his life to his death. The two stories in the next volume have to fit in here somehow!

One of my thought while I was reading was, "how will people today be able to relate to this
Michael Sypes
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Last of the Mohicans is an absolutely amazing story. Yeah, the movies (I especially like the Daniel Day-Lewis version) are great, but this is different. Those are 20th Century Movies, and this is a 19th Century novel.
The first book (The Pioneers) was rather weak, I thought. By the time a certain plot twist (a common one for the time) comes out, I really didn't care, or even remember who they were talking about.
The Prairie is an engaging tale too.
Is Cooper's writing really great? Well, as cou
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read The Prairie from this collection last winter, having previously read only one of the Leatherstocking Tales (The Last of the Mohicans). I read this after reading The Pathfinder, so I had something of a sense of the course of Natty's life, and I was curious to learn if Cooper revealed much of the geography between New York and the prairie. He didn't, but I wasn't disappointed. Instead, I felt a sense almost of reverence for the glimpse into that part of our collective past, and gratitude fo ...more
Dec 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family-read
I had a hard start with this but after the first few chapters you get into the rhythm and poetry of Cooper's writing. He really is very poetic and writes beautifully. Some of the subject matter was a little gruesome for me. My husband said he would go through and mark it so I wouldn't have to read it but he forgot and now I have a really horrific image in my head. I know those things were reality but I still would rather not have those kinds of images in my head. I would recommend this to anyone ...more
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I didn't expect to enjoy these novels as much as I did, but fortunately they were really suspenseful and strange enough to sustain my interest over 1300 pages. These stories reminded me (or made me want to revisit) Thomas Pynchon, with their focus on changing boundaries, the world reconfiguring itself, and of course the odd intrusion of scientific language. There are parts of The Pioneers where it seems like Cooper wants to show off his knowledge of physics, and the running joke of the Doctor in ...more
Martin Bihl
May 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
The Prairie - finished 01/29/12

The Pioneers - finished 02/12/11

While this is the 4th of the 5 books in the series that i've read, you can definitely tell that it is an early work by Cooper. It takes forever to get going, with asides and tangents and sidebars that meander like one of the mountain streams that he's writing about. Once it does get going, however, it's compelling and interesting. And, to Cooper's credit, it resonates with the other books in the series. But I wouldn't start here if y
Sep 01, 2007 rated it liked it
I started reading this because I have lately become interested in Schubert's life and late compositions. (Damn that sounds pretentious. I mean, I've been listening to his last piano sonata and feeling moved by it. Is that any better?) Apparently Schubert got very interested in Cooper's books, at the very end of his life, when he had syphilis, mercury poisoning, and typhus. I can kind of see, now, why he gave up the ghost. If the works of James fenimore Cooper were all you had to live for...

But I
Jul 06, 2009 rated it liked it
I read the LotM and The Praire. Unlike most people of a literary bent (including my two favorite American authors), I don't hate Cooper. He's too longwinded, which makes him tiring to read, and tropes he uses are silly, but he's still important. Last of the Mohicans is obviously better known that Prairie, so I'd recommend starting with that one.
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'm more soft-headed than a lot of people, and I have a sympathy for early American authors, but this collection (The Pioneers, The Last of the Mohicans, The Prairie) was downright edifying. The language is nearly rococo, but you learn to love it. Natty Bumppo is a beautiful character that has been nothing but maligned by movie adaptations.
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed The Prairie. I had never read Cooper before and really enjoyed the language usage. A throwback to childhood beliefs, that there are honorable people in the world, a very honorable Indian and good people.
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
currently reading The Last of the Mohicans and The Pioneers, written by James Fenimore Cooper. We visited Cooper's Cave in Glens Falls, NY last summer - a scene in Last of the Mohicans. I can't wait to discuss this book next year during American Lit.
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Ignorant me, I never knew classics could be such thrillers! I could say read it for the description of wild America in the 1700's, but I listened to it and got caught up in the breakneck speed of the plot.
Lady Dixie
It's amazing that anyone thought to take this piece of dullness and turn it into a film with the luscious Daniel Day Lewis. Use this to help cure insomnia, or better yet, to prop open a door. Dead boring.
Dec 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fantastic collection of stories.
Raymond Hwang
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Real and romantic look at the Native Americans and Seven Years War.
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Apr 25, 2008
Michael Swofford
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Sep 23, 2011
Analucy Oliveira
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Jan 22, 2017
Ilana Halupovich
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Sep 12, 2015
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T P Kennedy
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Aug 09, 2009
Paul Varner
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Jan 24, 2015
Diane Thomas-timper
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Oct 31, 2011
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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 Last of the Mohicans (The Leatherstocking Tales #2)
  • The Pathfinder (Leatherstocking Tales, #3)
  • The Pioneers (Leatherstocking Tales, #4)
  • The Prairie (Leatherstocking Tales, #5)

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