Natty Bumppo , one of the greatest heroes in American literature, is the rugged frontiersman of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels that includes The Last of the Mohicans and The Deerslayer. Although it was the final volume to be written, The Deerslayer is the first in the chronology of Natty Bumppo’s life, depicting the character as a young man testing himself in the wilderness and against enemies for the first time.
Set in the 1740s just after the start of the French and Indian wars, the novel opens as Natty Bumppo---known as Deerslayer---and his friend Hurry Harry travel to Tom Hutter's house in upstate New York. Hurry plans to marry Tom's beautiful daughter Judith, while Deerslayer has come to help his close friend Chingachgook save his bride-to-be, Wah-ta-Wah, from the Huron Indians. When war breaks out and Hurry and Tom are captured by Indians, Deerslayer must go on his first warpath to rescue them. One of the earliest novels to be considered truly "American," The Deerslayer is a masterpiece of suspense, adventure, and romance.
Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor Media
I enjoyed the book even after learning that while this is the first of the five Leatherstocking stories chronologically, it was actually written last by Cooper. I had purchased the unabridged version read by Ray Todd but found it lacking. Peter Berkrot's reading is much better by way of accent, inflection, etc. Where his reading fails is in the recording. The audio drops out on a regular basis towards the ends of sentences. It's as if Peter pulled away from the mic at the same time he softened his tone. Listening as I did in a car, it was quite an annoyance. The producers should have caught this early on.
This isn't to say you won't like the book. The pace is as glacial as the Glimmerglass lake on which most of the story takes place. Still, though, it is quite nice to read a book from an author who so carefully spelled out the characters both in narration and dialog. Enjoy!
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