A REVIEW OF `THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS' BY J. FENNIMORE COOPER
During an earlier chapter of `The Last of The Mohicans' (1826), sharp-shooting, white-skinned scout, Hawkeye is trailing the heroes and heroines of the story, all of whom have been captured by the malevolent Huron tribe. Finding and following their trail through the forest is a meticulous, painstaking task that requires no stone to be left unturned and no snapped twig to be ignored. In many ways, this process reflects the novel as a whole. This is a `classic' which takes its time.
Those interested in a summary of the plot of `The Last of The Mohicans' will find such information easy to come by via a range of websites and scholarly studies. Suffice to say here that the action takes place in the mid-1700s - in what is now New York - at a time when the French and British were fighting for control over `The New World'. The book is of definite historical interest as Cooper recreates many of the key events of the struggle with real attention to detail, notably the fall of Fort William Henry and the massacre which followed. In its conclusion, `The Last of The Mohicans' also offers a poignant reflection upon this era in history in which the imperialistic ambitions of white Europeans dictated the fate of the Native American population.
However, to appreciate the incident and messages on offer requires real patience. Indeed, when considered amongst the broad range of `classic' novels, `The Last of The Mohicans' will be appreciated by those who revelled in the unabridged `Lorna Doone'. If, like me, you prefer the more immediate action-adventure of such tales as `Journey To The Centre Of The Earth', `King Solomon's Mines' or `The Prisoner of Zenda', `The Last of The Mohicans' might be best placed towards the bottom of you reading `to do' list.
Barty's Score: 6.5/10