“The Last of the Mohicans” (Great Illustrated Classics edition) by James Fennimore Cooper
Guys, I tried.
Really I did.
However, sometimes despite their living on for centuries and being the topic of much scholarly research and a hit film adaptation, books can be a snore.
“The Last of the Mohicans,” by James Fennimore Cooper, is such a book as far as I’m concerned. There, I said it. I tried to read the original version of this book, but not even 20 pages in felt my eyes glazing over and my attention turning to things like doing the dishes.
However, it’s on my list of “The 30” books I own but have never read and am going to read in 2012. What’s a booknerd to do?
Obviously, go find an abridged version of the book for a quarter at a nearby thrift store and read it instead of the original novel.
I’m not ashamed of my actions. Honestly, the Great Illustrated Classics edition is pretty great for what it is — an abridged version of an American classic written for young readers. With this audience in mind, it keeps the violence clean and the action going. Also, there’s an illustration on practically every other page. The whole thing works. I even found myself somewhat concerned for the beautiful Munro sisters and the heroic Hawkeye as they make their way through hostile territory during the French & Indian war.
By the by, regarding the beautiful Munro sisters. (Did I mention they’re beautiful? Did I?) Cora Munro has moments of being kind of an awesome heroine. Even if she has to get rescued like five times and meets a tragic end. Alice is pretty bland, and also needs rescue every time the guys turn around.
I looked up the Great Illustrated Classics series, since I’ve been collecting all the ones I can find at thrift stores and used bookstores for my son’s rapidly growing library. After over 25 years, the company is still going strong, and the books are often found in school libraries, and have recently been adopted by a lot of homeschooling parents as a way to encourage their younger readers. There are now 66 titles to choose from. Kudos to them!
I’m crossing this one off my list of 30 books I need to read. I heard the story, just in a faster version. I think it counts.