The Last of the Mohicans The Last of the Mohicans discussion

Mohicans- not a journey for the faint of heart.

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Bonnie I read this novel because it's famous. It was one of the books on the high school "classics" list.

I can't recommend this as an easy read. I would never suggest it as a fun diversion. I would say it's the polar opposite of chick lit. Nevertheless, I still think it's a worthwhile read for the American history lover.

A note on readability: Mohicans definitely has some historical distance. Like other novels from the late 17 early 1800's, it has long descriptions of the environment. It also has those long verbose sentences that require a certain focus and mindset to enjoy.

I suppose it is a classic because it's one of the first American novels that had entirely American characters, setting and themes. Written in the 1820's. It is set in the 1760's during the French and Indian War. The bold rugged Americanism comes through quite clearly. It reminds me of Austen or Dickens in vocabulary, but is much different in theme. Every character confronts the wilderness. Americans are tough creative and resourceful. The native peoples are curious, smart, and sometimes brutal. The Europeans come through as weak and morally flawed.

Another thing I quickly noticed, this book was definitly written by a man. It reminds me of an action adventure movie. Men are heroic. Women are beautiful but helpless. Violence is around every chapter. Some sections are downright gory.

I really enjoyed imagining these characters. Early Americans were so very tough. They came to this large wooded country and worked like crazy just to survive. They lived through the dangers and the struggles. I could see how they both admired and feared the native peoples. Then they dealt with somewhat clueless Europeans, whose descisions could be life or death to the Americans.

I used to think (with chagrin) that if I had lived in 1776, I might be on the side of the Loyalists. I like law and order. I generally give the benefit of the doubt to the establishment. But reading this book my opinion has changed. I imagine wresting a life out of the wilderness. Dealing with hostile natives. Then having some far away civilized European tell me what to do. I feel more certain than ever I would have followed the examples of my American forebearers toward independence.

Just some random thoughts.

Lynn Read it recently. Can barely remember any of it. Good base story that has made several classic movies but I don't enjoy Cooper's writing. Read The Pioneers too, same thing.

Mehmet Actually my teacher recommend us as a homework.I read it long ago it was good story but I dont recommend anyone.

Colette Ni I'm reading a book on Fenimore Cooper which devotes a lot of space to criticism of the work, all from the time it was written concisely detailing its faults and strengths. I was so fascinated I decided to sit down a write a blog piece on it. I read it a long time ago and fell in love with the ideas it presented of amn in the wilderness, the wars between the outsiders vying for the land of 'the native'. I think Bonnie has it covered. And, Carl, I liked the movie and the score. Colette

Trina Which did you like better, the book or the movie?

Annemarie Donahue This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. He sets up the scenes so gracefully that I honestly feel like I'm there. And now, years after reading it, I have to drive past the Quabbin Res. and I think "maybe I'll see Chingachgook this morning."

Answer to Trina: Book was better, but MAN was DDL hot in the film!

message 7: by Colette (last edited Feb 06, 2012 12:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Colette Ni As I said, I read the book a long time ago and was left with such a vivid impression that the spot in my brain associated with 'good things'lights up at the memory.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a beautiful little Irish coastal town which gave us children the benefit of running wild in woods, on beaches, cliffs and hills. Although our 'woods' were nowhere near as dense or dark as those in the story, I often wondered what it might be like to imagine that behind every tree death lay waiting with a sharp knife or a hachet.
When I tried to teach my daughter the sounds of Irish, the first thing she said to me was - Mom, it sounds like American Indian. That came back to me when watching the Mann movie, the rhythms, the sounds were so alike. And, as I also said, I was always a little in love with the idea of the native American culture. I was reminded of how small the world and its customs and habits are when I saw (in a movie) native Americans using smoke as a 'blessing'. They do the same here, bless houses with holy smoke!
You thought DDL was hot, I thought the chap who played Uncas was glorious.That, may I say, at my age was a thought that can be classified beside the joy of beholding a good painting. I'm old enouhg to be his mom!
One of the things that struck me in the critique was the reference to the fact that Cora and Alice had different mothers and that Uncas was attracted to the darker of the two (Cora). The 'delicacy' with which this is handled shows sensitivity towards 'colour' issues. In the film version, the dark haired girl was attracted and attractive to DDL's hero and Uncas had eyes for the blonde.

Trina Annemarie wrote: "This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. He sets up the scenes so gracefully that I honestly feel like I'm there. And now, years after reading it, I have to drive past the Quabbin Re..."

I agree, Annemarie. Great casting! Daniel Day Lewis was hot. And Madeleine Stowe gorgeous. One of the few really good adaptations of a book to movie screen.

Annemarie Donahue Trina wrote: "Annemarie wrote: "This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. He sets up the scenes so gracefully that I honestly feel like I'm there. And now, years after reading it, I have to drive p..."

Hi Trina,
Yeah, it strayed from the story but the beauty and feel of the book really shone through. Loved it, and glad you loved it too!
DDL is the man!

Colette Ni Goodreads, please stop informing me of this link as these folk (rather rudely) only wish to talk to each other and my time is really precious. Colette

Stuart Lutzenhiser I enjoyed the book quite a bit. More than "The Pioneers". That being said, anyone interested in a review of Cooper's writing might want to read the article by Mark Twain. He had a rather strong opinion of Cooper. It can be found here:

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