Classic Book Review: The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The Last of the Mohicans (The Leatherstocking Tales #2)
by James Fenimore Cooper

3 out of 5 stars


When the two Munro sisters, Cora and Alice, are captured by the evil Huron Magua, Natty Bumpo and his Mohican friends, Uncas and Chingachgook, must track them down and free them.

For the most part, I liked the writing style which reflects the time period very well. The writing has a very ornate style, and the dialogue is especially antiquated at times. I love the richness of the language, but wish it was a little more clear sometimes.

The characters are well-written, but I didn’t care about them very much. They are not very complex characters. There is so much time spent on the action of the plot, that we barely have any restful moments to really get to know our characters or develop any emotions for them. I would have liked to see more intimate details of their friendships and family relationships. There are a few very powerful scenes where we do get glimpses of their emotional ties, but it wasn’t enough to make me love the characters or be invested in their relationships.

The plot moves quickly with lots of details that add to the suspense of each moment. The plot does get repetitive though. They are captured, and then escape, and they get recaptured and are rescued, only to be recaptured again. Each time is different though, with a lot of different elements and terrain and secondary characters. There are some good plot points with deceptive disguises, and wood lore, and native legends. It kept my interest.

I knew there would be a lot of violence in this book, but wow. There was a lot of senseless and horrible violence in this book. And not just the menfolk fighting and scalping and shooting each other. The poor women and children that suffered and died too. Ugh. Really sad.

I found the intricacies of the political relationships of different native tribes to be very confusing, and not at all clearly explained. This is not helped by the fact that everyone and everything is called by at least two or three different names. Sometimes Magua’s tribe are called Hurons, sometimes Mingoes. Another tribe are called sometimes the Delawares and sometimes Lenape. Mohicans are also a part of the larger Delaware tribe, so it’s hard to know which Delaware character is being referred to when. It wasn’t until the end of the book that I finally understood that “Yengeese” means English. Ugh. If this was just clearly explained, maybe it would make more sense.

Every character has several different nicknames, proper names, names in French, Native American nicknames, and on and on. Nathaniel Bumpo is mostly referred to simply as “the scout”, but he is also called “La Longue Carabine” and Hawk-Eye. Every character is so hard to keep track of, because you have to memorize their three different names.

Overall, it was an entertaining read, but I didn’t love it. It was fine.

Myths and Misconceptions about Classics

Classic Adventure: https://youtu.be/YG_gobWQ8XU
Children’s Classics: https://youtu.be/t5Zat_TDzDw
Classic Poetry: https://youtu.be/TVtK0uIMC3o
Classic Mystery: https://youtu.be/1WkYQLrJD-k
Five Favorite Classics: https://youtu.be/chM4Gc32Zog

Book Review: Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar

Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tarzan and Jane have lost their vast fortune, so Tarzan journeys to Opar to plunder the treasure troves of that lost civilization. But his journey is perilous, and a treacherous friend brings ruin and betrayal that will bring down even strong Tarzan. Jane is left to defend herself against the marauding Arabs, and Tarzan will have to call once again on his animal friends of the jungle to save the day.

I always like the pace of a Burroughs novel. No frills or tangents, just straightforward action and plot that moves briskly. With very few words, Burroughs paints a vivid picture of the setting, the characters, and the action. Continue reading

Review: The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

“Greedy Colonel Pyncheon builds his mansion on ill-gotten ground, setting the stage for generations of suffering. Years later, a country cousin, Phoebe,  attempts to reverse the tide of misfortunes surrounding the house, and tries to help the old hermit Hepzibah and her half-mad brother, Clifford, before they fall into their own decay.”

 

This ought not to be a book. It ought to be a short story. There is so much unnecessary description and long philosophizing passages. I skipped entire chapters of nonsense and silly imaginings that had nothing whatever to do with the plot. There is very little dialogue at all. I estimate that about 3% of this book is dialogue. Not nearly enough dialogue.

I found most of the book to be gloomy, but not too creepy until Continue reading