Norman Dietz’s resonant voice, and his affable delivery, makes him the ideal actor to perform the spirited memoir Roughing It: A Personal Narrative by writer Mark Twain. This entertaining travelogue explores a seven-year journey through the wilderness of the American west. The original plan had been a mere three-month excursion to tour silver mines. Twain traveled with his brother Orion Clemens - the Secretary of Nevada Territory - and derived much humor from their adventures in unfamiliar landscapes and situations.
The French and Indian War adventures of Hawk-eye, a reclusive white woodsman, and his Indian friend, Chingachgook, have contributed much to the frontier mythos. The story of two men who are at odds with their own people, but reluctantly agree to guide two sisters through hostile Indian country, has found an enduring place in the literary and cultural history of America.
James Fenimore Cooper is widely acknowledged as the pre-eminent American writer of his time. The Last of the Mohicans is one of his most popular and critically-acclaimed works. Larry McKeever's animated and skillful narration intensifies the novel's romance and drama and brings its tragic characters fully to life.
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"Want to relish your early American history, to thrill again at the suspense of forest dangers, to wonder whether Hawkeye will ever quite forsake the trail for a tender passage of love and domesticity? Then this book is for you." (Chicago Sunday Tribune)
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.
This was my first Cooper novel. He spins a wonderful adventure tale which greatly caught me by surprise. The rendition by the narrator is done excellently, as well.
the book is so much worse then the movie. Even the movie was boring at the beginning so I gave it a chance. It was hard to follow. I had to go to wikipedia to read about the plot and after listening for 3 hours I didn't remember anything that went on. I actually wanted to punch the author when I was reading it, but I guess the narrator was reading the footnotes at the same time. I like to get lost in the book but the author and narrator take you outside the book. Like the 1st scene with the mohicans the narrator says I will tell translate the language of the mohicans into english so you can understand, then kept referring to hawkeye as the white man then the narrator said I will no refer to the white man as hawkeye as he is known. It felt like I was listening to a text book with a little bit of dialogue thrown in, very hard to follow what is going on.
not very good narration, no changing of the voices when switching between characters.
don't have the narrator read the footnotes, perform don't huff and puff your way through it.
pass on this one.
An engaging immersion in the French and Indian War, among the savagery of the Indians, caught between the powers of France and England. The story of the Mohican and the Delaware tribes, decimated by more than a century of contact with whites. Interesting characterization of Hawkeye and of his Indian brothers. Even the Huron villain is understandable. Better than any of the movie versions of the story, even though somewhat dated in style. Excellent narration.
I missed reading Cooper when I was in school, so I thought I would give him a try on audio. What drivel! His prose makes Faulkner?s seem short and concise. For the historic American novel I will stick to Irving and Hawthorne. P.S. The movie was great.
"Tomahawks to the fore"
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.
"Enjoyable, but not quite there."
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.
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