The Pioneers

  • by James Fenimore Cooper
  • Narrated by Jim Killavey
  • 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

While portraying life in a new settlement on New York's Lake Otsego in the final years of the 18th century, Cooper deftly explores the cultural and philosophical underpinnings of the American experience. He contrasts the natural codes of the hunter and woodsman, Natty Bumpo, and his Indian friend, John Mokegan, with the more rigid structure of law required by a more complex society. This is the fourth in Cooper's series of five books known as the Leatherstocking Tales, which were arranged according to the chronology of their hero, Natty Bumpo.

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What the Critics Say

"The Pioneers is a rich chronicle of early frontier life filled with action, adventure, romance, and history." (The Literature Network)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent and Insightful

This book has has many strange twists and turns and is both historical, in the broad sense of historical fiction, and an adventure story. It is written, as were most books back then in a rather rambling and wordy style. This was, after all, way before radio and TV and people liked their entertainment to last. Some readers of today, however, may not have the patience for a work like this. I like to do a little research on the classics I get and found an encyclopedia article that said the book "may be considered one of the first ecological novels in the United States." ( from Wikipedia.org ) That statement intrigued me but turned out to be quite true. There are many discussions in it about conservation and the use of natural resources. Amazing insight
for its time! The narrator was pretty good but made what I thought were a few pronunciation errors. However I checked them out and they were ok - alternatives pronunciations in a couple of cases, but acceptable.
Five Stars
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- Louise M

Painfully bad reading of a 1790's country tale

An interesting account of social rituals and the invasions of government into rural life in the 1790's, nearly ruined by the worst reader who has ever massacred a book. Does he pause after every four words hallucinating nonexistent commas, or is he short-winded? Does he accent the wrong words in every sentence because he is reading the text for the first time? The mispronounciations are the least of his sins. This would be a charming comedy of up-country manners, frontier politics, and Revolution-era diction, but the tour is made painful by the halting, spavined nag we are forced to ride. The book is worth the time if you're interested in American history or the old age of Natty and Chingatchcook - but find a version read by anybody else.
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- alan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-28-2006
  • Publisher: Jimcin Recordings