I hated the first chapter of this book. I was ready to toss it aside almost immediately. I didn’t like the author’s tone, the way he talked directly to me, the way he described his characters, and the old style English it was written in. It took me three days to get through that first chapter. A good friend of mine promised that the book got better, so I kept going.
And I am very glad that I did. Chapter two immediately improved. Cooper stopped talking to me, and started telling the story. The main protagonists were introduced; Hawkeye, the white scout living among Indians, Chingachgook, a lone Mohican chief and friend of Hawkeye, and Uncas, the son of Chingachgook, and the last of the Mohicans. These three, along with three other white characters, spend the novel trying to recover two young ladies captured by the Hurons.
The action starts immediately in chapter two and doesn’t let up through the rest of the book. There are many skirmishes between the heroes and the wily Hurons, a massacre at an English fort, a night raid, disguises, and a full scale battle to round out the story.
It isn’t an easy read, but if you can persevere and begin to find the ebb and flow of Scott’s prose, you’ll be rewarded with a great tale. I was truly moved at the end of the book. Either that or someone was chopping onions as I the last chapter ended. I was attached to the characters and stunned with the way things concluded.
I don’t know that I’ll be picking up the book any time soon, but I am definitely going to be watching the movie.
4 out of 5.