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This read a lot fresher than I expected from a book which is now almost 200 years old (although, note that the narrator reads the footnotes without any warning--at first, I thought Cooper must have been post-modern!). The most surprising and intringuing aspect was its temporal scope: the events of all 400 pages (14 hours) occur within just a few days. This means the pace of the story-telling is relaxed, even when the action is not, affording loads of detail and creating very effective suspense (reminiscent of Hemingway's _For Whom the Bell Tolls_). For the most part, this immersion keeps the reader fully interested, but sometimes it becomes tedious, e.g., the Homeric burial rites at the end. The most memorable scenes are those relating the shocking horrors perpetrated by American Natives, dubious tellings which obviously should now be taken with several grains of salt.
26 of 29 people found this review helpful
Fantastic story but terribly difficult to listen to. Written in 19c english and therefore very flowery and needs 100% concentration. I didn't finish it.
I cannot remember ever having said this before, but I thought the film was much better than the book. Invariably, film-makers destroy a good book, which this is, and for those who have read the book prior to watching the film, they are invariably disappointed. Not so in this case.
I felt this book dragged ever so slightly and was trying to look for a direction. There is a very linear plot which bounces along well enough with moments of action and moments of poingnancy. Unfortunately, there is never enough emotion for the reader to get involved in, and as the main (and one-dimensional) character's friends are North American Indians who hardly ever speak, and the main character is himself portrayed with all the depth of a Boys Own Annual hero, the listener feels they are involved in the daydream of the repressed author who has written this book for his own pleasure rather than that of others.
I loved the film, which in my opinion stands alone in it's genre, and commend the scriptwriter and film director for injecting action, passion and character into this enjoyable but average book.