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The Deerslayer

James Fenimore Cooper

Book Overview: 

The Deerslayer, was the last of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking tales to be written. Its 1740-1745 time period makes it the first installment chronologically and in the lifetime of the hero of the Leatherstocking tales, Natty Bumppo.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .the middle age already, and, considerin' the sort of lives ye lead, your days have been pretty well filled. The principal thing now, is to look forward to what comes next. Neither red-skin nor pale-face, on the whole, calculates much on sleepin' forever; but both expect to live in another world. Each has his gifts, and will be judged by 'em, and I suppose you've thought these matters over enough not to stand in need of sarmons when the trial comes. You'll find your happy hunting-grounds, if you've been a just Injin; if an onjust, you'll meet your desarts in another way. I've my own idees about these things; but you're too old and exper'enced to need any explanations from one as young as I."

"Good!" ejaculated the Indian, whose voice retained its depth even as life ebbed away; "young head—old wisdom!"

"It's sometimes a consolation, when the ind comes, to know that them we've harmed, or tried to harm, forgive us. I suppose natur' seeks this reli. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This novel is primarily a romance or what might be called an action romance I suppose. It has come in for some notable criticism (from names as well known as Mark Twain no less) BUT as it's been around since 1841 there is obviously something here.

I think the only things to really be aware of here...more

I never read Cooper growing up so wasn't sure what to expect in reading this novel. What I discovered was a multi-layered text that did the following:

Introduced Deerslayer, or Hawkeye as he is subsequently known (Hawkeye Pierce in MASH gets his nickname from him!). We see the maturing of this young

I think Cooper was paid by the word and repetition. The story in this novel could have easily been shared in a satisfactory way in one-third to one-half as many words. Several times I though I had accidentally jumped back in the book and was rereading a section. If you read this one, prepare for muc

If one can read books promiscuously, as I was reassured in graduate school that one could, I read all five of the books in this series like a complete whore, giving myself entirely over to the story - loved all five. A word of caution, however: They were written in a different order than the chronol

This book receives quite a bit of vitriolic language about how it's the "worst book ever written" and other predictably trite rantings of those who have different expectations than the book satisfies. I began this book with an open mind and with an interest in the writing style of an author I hadn't

Mark Twain: "Cooper’s art has some defects. In one place in ‘Deerslayer,’ and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offences against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record."

I'll refer you to Mark Twain's essay "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses":

N

I chose to read this book because I had accepted to read the second in the series (The Last of the Mohicans) as part of a challenge, but I didn't want to jump in at the second book. This book also conveniently met the requirements for yet another challenge I'm completing; so, a win both ways!

I real

Note, Aug. 22, 2021: I've just edited this review to correct a couple of minor typos.

Though this book was the last of the Leatherstocking Tales series (which follows the life of backwoods hunter and scout Natty Bumpo --"Leatherstocking" and "Deerslayer" are two of the several nicknames he'll bear du

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