Nearly 20 years ago I saw the movie The Last of the Mohicans . I knew it was probably not too much like the books, but I was inspired to read James Fenimore Cooper: The Leatherstocking Tales I; The Pioneers, The Last of the Mohicans, The Prairie , a collection of his work featuring Natty Bumpo (Hawkeye) and I found them to be horrible. Not just bad, but darn near unreadable.
Note that I am a top reviewer at Amazon. I love books. I hate this author even though I love American history (I am a history teacher), I love frontier stories and I was certainly pre-disposed to like his works. But, I've always kept my opinions to myself, despite the fact that he had one sentence that lasted more than two pages describing a banquet table that featured a near endless string of semi-colons.
|James Fenimore Cooper|
If Mark Twain, the quintessential American writer finds Cooper wordy, clunky and darn near unreadable (to be specific, Twain calls his work "a crime against the English language"), than I can proudly say that I too find James Fenimore Cooper to be a hack.
Of course, Twain says it much better. His sarcasm is laser sharp. He is merciless and I laughed out loud. Twain at his best, especially if you are familiar with Cooper.
I give this short essay 5 stars out of a possible 5 stars. It can be found on Amazon.com here: Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences.
Reviewed July 13, 2010.