The Deerslayer

The Deerslayer

4.5 65
by James Fenimore Cooper, Peter Berkrot
     
 

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Acclaimed by D. H. Lawrence as "the loveliest and best" of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, this adventure recaptures the danger and excitement of frontier life during the French and Indian Wars.

James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851) was America's first successful popular novelist. Son of the prominent federalist William Cooper, founder of the

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Overview

Acclaimed by D. H. Lawrence as "the loveliest and best" of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, this adventure recaptures the danger and excitement of frontier life during the French and Indian Wars.

James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851) was America's first successful popular novelist. Son of the prominent federalist William Cooper, founder of the Cooperstown settlement, James was educated at Yale in preparation for a genteel life as a federalist gentleman. After his father's death in an 1809 duel, Cooper quickly squandered his inheritance, and at thirty was on the verge of bankruptcy. He decided to try his hand at writing. His first novel, Precaution, a domestic comedy set in England, lost money, but Cooper had discovered his vocation.Cooper established his reputation after his second novel, The Spy, and in his third book, the autobiographical Pioneers, Cooper introduced the character of Natty Bumppo, a uniquely American personification of rugged individualism and the pioneer spirit. A second book featuring Bumppo, The Last of the Mohicans, quickly became the most widely read work of the day, solidifying Cooper's popularity in the United States and in Europe.Cooper was a prolific writer, publishing thirty-two novels, twelve works of nonfiction, one play, and numerous pamphlets and articles. His most lasting contributions to American literature were his five books about Natty Bumppo. Later anthologized as The Leatherstocking Tales, they are best read in the order in which they were written: The Pioneers, The Last of the Mohicans, The Prairie, The Pathfinder, and The Deerslayer. A veteran of stage and screen, Peter Berkrot's career spans four decades. Highlights include feature roles in Caddyshack and Showtime's Brotherhood, and appearances on America's Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries. His voice can be heard on television, radio, video games, documentaries and industrials. He is a prominent acting coach and a regular contributor to the award-winning news program Frontline produced by WGBH in Boston. Peter served as director of narration for the Emmy-nominated The Truth About Cancer. Peter has recorded a number of audiobooks, including three by Peter Hessler: Country Driving, Oracle Bones, and River Town. Other favorite titles include The Woods by Harlan Coben, English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee, The Fifth Vial by Michael Palmer, American Brutus by Michael W. Kauffmann, Better by Atul Gawande, and Some Sort of Epic Grandeur by Matthew J. Bruccoli.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“James Fenimore Cooper was the first great American novelist.”—A. B. Guthrie

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452651194
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
03/14/2011
Edition description:
MP3 - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction by Leslie A. Fiedler

In 1789, the year James Fenimore Cooper was born, the thirteen North Americancade he enjoyed a leisured existence as a gentleman farmer on inherited lands in both Cooperstown and Westchester County. Popular legend holds that Cooper turned to writing when his wife jokingly suggested that he attempt a novel, but it is now known thatme a gentleman farmer and householder. The one thing he still needed was a proper wife, which he was lucky enough to find in Susan DeLancey. She, as he already knew, came from a family richer and more securely upper class than his own and, as he learned, was also an affable, intelligent woman who was fond of reading. Cooper was content with this, yet at first he did not join her when she was busy with her books but indulged in the male pastimes of hunting and hiking in the nearby hills.

After Susan had given birth to four daughters, to whom she at first read and then taught to read to each other, Cooper would stay close enough to wherever they were reading to hear them. Surely some of the erotic and sentimental passages read in the voices of those he loved must have moved him deeply. But there is no record of any positive responses on his part. A single negative one, however, is recorded in almost everything that has ever been written about him.

One time, those accounts tell us, annoyed by the ineptitude of the text being read, he cried out, “Why do you waste time and money reading trash that anybody who can spell his own name could write better. Even me!” To this Susan is said to have answered–jokingly, according to some–“Why don’t you give it a try?I’d love to see you try.” Cooper responded that he would and, surprisingly enough, did, finally producing a full-length imitation of Jane Austen. When it was in print he would tell anyone who would listen that he was now a professional writer who would write fifty more books–and sell them. This almost no one believed he would do, and many wished he would not even try.

Though Cooper was aware that neither the critics nor the general reader were interested in any more Jane Austen clones, he felt he had to keep on writing because the family inheritance on which he had been living had begun to shrink, and at the same time it had become much more expensive to feed, clothe, and educate his growing daughters. What he really wanted to write was another book that saw the world through female eyes and talked about it in a female voice. In fact, he continued for a little while to experiment with transvestite fiction, even publishing two such short stories under the female pseudonym of Jane Morgan.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Copyright 2002 by James Fenimore Cooper

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for James Fenimore Cooper:

“His memory will exist in the hearts of the people... [and his works] should find a place in every American’s library.”—Daniel Webster

“Cooper emphatically belongs to the nation. He has left a space in our literature which will not easily be supplied.”—Washington Irving

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