The Last of the Mohicans

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Last of the Mohicans 
by James Fenimore Cooper 

Kidnapping, adventures tramping through the woods, battles between Native American tribes, this book is full of adventure!   

This is the most well-known book from Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales series. It’s set during the French and Indian War in 1757. Cora and Alice Munro, daughters of Lieutenant Colonel Munro, are being escorted through the forest in New York when they are kidnapped by members of the Huron tribe. The leader of the band is the vile and unrepentant Magua. 

The Munro sisters’ protectors, including Major Duncan Heyward, Hawkeye, two Mohican Indians, Chingachgook and Uncas, and a singing teacher named David, attempt to rescue them. Their methods are clever, dressing as animals, even using David’s love of singing at one point! I also loved that there are quotes from Shakespeare throughout the text. He was so revered, even at a time when his plays weren’t readily available.   

The book was published in 1826, but even back then there are so many mentions about the atrocities that were done to the Native Americans.  There are fascinating parts that delve into the history of that time period, but much of the plot is spent with one group chasing another group through the woods. I’ll admit it became tedious after a while.   

BOTTOM LINE: Wonderful historical information, but it stretched on and became repetitive. 

p.s. Fans of the movie will probably be surprised by the number of major changes from book to screen. 

Here’s another great review of the book by Fanda.


Fanda Classiclit said...

Thanks for recommending my review.
From your short review, I take it you didn't quite enjoy it...?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Fanda - I enjoyed the historical aspect. I didn't know much about the French and Indian war before I read it. I did think it became repetitive and because of that it's not a new favorite.

thecuecard said...

Any hints on the major changes between the book and the movie? I remember seeing this movie quite a few times.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

Honestly there's just something about these really really early novels that kind of keeps me away. ;) I did really enjoy the movie!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

thecuecard - SPOILERS - Yes, in the movie Alice dies. In the book it's Cora, which was a huge shock! SPOILERS OVER

Trish - I tend to be the same way. They just don't draw me in like other time periods do.

Bryan G. Robinson said...

Like Trish, I enjoyed the movie but I really disliked the book. It was sooooo boring.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Bryan - That's what I struggled with. It became so repetitive!