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Publisher's Summary

The Deerslayer is the first of the Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper. Here we meet Natty Bumppo as a young man living in upstate New York in the early 1740s. The action begins as Bumppo, called "Deerslayer", and his friend Hurry Harry approach Lake Glimmerglass, or Oswego, where the trapper Thomas Hutter lives with his daughters, the beautiful Judith and the feeble-minded Hetty. Hutter's floating log fort is attacked by Iroquois Indians, and the two frontiersmen join in the fight.
(P)2001 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Deerslayer

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not for the faint of heart (or vocabulary), but rewarding

The Deerslayer is an excellent adventure story, wrapped in a somewhat daunting package.

Cooper, like many authors of his time, is a fan of purple prose. He will never use a simple sentence when he can use a compound of three or more parts, and he'll use "retiring luminary" in place of "setting sun" nine times out of ten. However, if you can get past the first chapter or so of description, you're through the worst. Cooper likes to set the scene at the beginning, so he doesn't have to pause in the action later on.

Think of this like a medieval romance, with knights in leather stockings, rather than steel plate. Everyone talks in a high-faulting, verbose way that calls to mind ballads more than natural speech, and the characters are embodiments of nobility or vice... Though what is considered "noble" varies between cultures, and Cooper was one of the first to acknowledge this.

As for the reader, his voice is clear and pleasant, even if he occasionally puts the emphasis on the wrong word in a sentence, like someone who doesn't have a complete grasp of the vocabulary. He does a (mostly) good job of differentiating between the characters vocally, and he renders the dialects and native names quite well.

All in all, it's tough, but worth it, like so many things in life.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

things were slower them

The pacing on this will make you anxious if you are used to fast paced run and shoot stories. The recording is not bad, and the reader does a good job on his characterizations. However, things were slower back then, a lot slower, a lot slower. Nattie's ruminations on his na'ter and his preachification on just about everything gets you to the point where you may skip a few tracks. But all in all, it is a pretty rousing story, very good scenic imagery and background. I hit a deer while listening to this book in my car so......

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good said the Serpant.

These titles all take a measure of dedication to get through but the effort is worth it. I have a regret not reading this years ago in my youth while I was a student at SUNY Delhi and Oneonta in Delaware and Otsego counties respectively. Having said that this audio version may have been easier as the syntax and dialect of the day would have been difficult even for this child of the 1970's.

It may take you an hour or two to tune your ear to the cadence of the text but the narrator does an excellent job in presenting different voices and tones of emotion to help the listener differentiate time and place. Though LotM gets all the press this fine tale should not be overlooked for both historic and academic reasons.

If you miss something don't be afraid of employing your back button which will help to maximize your experience.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great classic

If you could sum up The Deerslayer in three words, what would they be?

Very historical and important classic on the history of this country and why it is what was before the liberals took over

What other book might you compare The Deerslayer to and why?

Last of the Mohicans

Have you listened to any of Raymond Todd’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Have and he was good

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

Just great

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Badly written but funny

Cooper didn't mean to write a funny book, but he succeeded in the task nonetheless. If you should read it and not catch the humor, I suggest you read Mark Twain's short work on "The Literary Offenses of James Fennimore Cooper".

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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30 years in the making

I started reading this book back in April of 1990 while I was on the deployment with the U.S. Navy on the USS Eisenhower. Life got in the way and I picked it up and put it down a few times over the years. It wasn’t until about a month ago that I picked it back up, only this time through Audible to finally get it read. It was a long journey but in the end it was worth waiting for. So glad I finally finished reading this book. Now off to the next adventure hopefully not another 30 years in the making!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

excellent story; reading acceptable but not great

The first of the Leatherstocking tales, it captures the attention and imagination. Although the reader has a god voice, he seemed not to understand what he was reading many times and so puts the emphasis on the wrong words. This makes understanding and following the story difficult sometimes. The language is often archaic and even anachronistic; sometimes it seemed like bigger words were used when shorter ones would have done at least as well.
But in all, I thought it well worthwhile and it had many exciting episodes.

3 people found this helpful

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Wow!!!

I had never read or listened to a James Fennimore Cooper book until this one (of course I was familiar with the tv and movie version of the last of the Mohicans) but did not really know what to expect. This was one of the most all around interesting stories for me as it included everything I have a proclivity to, hunting, adventure, war, mystery, religion, philosophy etc. This book brings all of those interests together in one gripping tale.

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We've Come a Long Way, Baby...

This book was obviously written in the early 19th Century as the ideals and stereotypes regarding women, men & indians were obviously cutting, demeaning & incorrect. With that being said, it is an interesting account of the N East USA during the years between The Mayflower & the revolutionary war. This continent was one in which you survive, not conquer or expect a long life. It touches on the profession of Trapper and original Mountain Man, where many a writer projected their own version of these personas.

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Great Story! One of JF Cooper's best.

Better tha Last of the Mohicans. Tells of Hawkeye's early adventures. Best place to start Leatherstocking tales.

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  • Tang Hall Yorkshire
  • 01-21-21

Don’t get this one

It sounds like an impassive robot is droning on. There is only a monotonous rambling in a unnecessarily high tone.