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[[ Read E-pub ]] ⛓ The Pioneers ì The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features a middle aged Leatherstocking Natty Bumppo , Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton, whose life parallels that of the author s father Judge William Cooper, and Elizabeth Temple the author s sister Susan Cooper , of Cooperstown The story begins with an argument between the Judge and the Leatherstocking over who killed a buck, and as Cooper reviews many of the changes to New York s Lake Otsego, questions of environmental stewardship, conservation, and use prevail The plot develops as the Leatherstocking and Chingachgook begin to compete with the Temples for the loyalties of a mysterious young visitor, Oliver Edwards, the young hunter, who eventually marries Elizabeth Chingachgook dies, exemplifying the vexed figure of the dying Indian, and Natty vanishes into the sunset For all its strange twists and turns, The Pioneers may be considered one of the first ecological novels in the United States The Pioneers was a pleasant surprise to me after seeing all the negative reviews it had received Cooper is not in most respects a master writer, but much criticism of him is unwarranted driven by modern readers whose impatience and captivity tomodern, sensational forms blinds them to his real qualities and insight True, his prose hangs heavily, like tree branches after an ice storm But also true, like those branches it has vivid beauties of its own His plots are rarely engrossing Ho The Pioneers was a pleasant surprise to me after seeing all the negative reviews it had received Cooper is not in most respects a master writer, but much criticism of him is unwarranted driven by modern readers whose impatience and captivity tomodern, sensational forms blinds them to his real qualities and insight True, his prose hangs heavily, like tree branches after an ice storm But also true, like those branches it has vivid beauties of its own His plots are rarely engrossing However, he imbues their classic simplicity iwith themes that were new to literature The Pioneers exemplifies this Not packed with action, it is nonetheless.a solidly told story with a clear theme, and several memorable depictions of frontier life The tragic conflict between Natty and civilization is well drawn and at times moving Well worth a read, especially for readers of the other Leatherstocking stories The best books by James Feni Cooper to read are old ones Naturally, there will never be any new Cooper books so I mean the best editions to read are those from your local public library specifically the ones no one has touched in 30 years According to the circulation card in the back of the copy which I read, it was last due February 28, 1980 The world has changed radically since then, as evidenced by the bar code sticker on the inside back cover of the 1958 Dodd, Mead Company Great Il The best books by James Feni Cooper to read are old ones Naturally, there will never be any new Cooper books so I mean the best editions to read are those from your local public library specifically the ones no one has touched in 30 years According to the circulation card in the back of the copy which I read, it was last due February 28, 1980 The world has changed radically since then, as evidenced by the bar code sticker on the inside back cover of the 1958 Dodd, Mead Company Great Illustrated Classics edition Interestingly, this stands in stark contrast to the sticker on the inside front cover of this same volume on which is printed the rules of the Winthrop Public Library, and also on which, in the upper right hand corner is printed by hand the date it entered the library s collection September, 1958 However, in 1823 Cooper introduced a radical idea in The Pioneers which did not change Rather it blossomed and isrelevent today than ever That idea was environmentalism Cooper was a visionary In the heady days of the New Republic when he was writing a story that took place immediately after the American Revolution, he warned against wasting natural resources and endangering wildlife He did so not only through the words of his beloved character Natty Bumppo, who railed against the wasty ways of the new settlers but also in the attitude of Marmaduke Temple, the lord of those settlers and of thousands of acres Temple was continually at odds with his rapacious cousin Dickon Jones who exhorted the settlers to hunt, fish, timber and mine with abandon Jones obviously inspired Sarah Palin Temple was even concerned about burning too much maple in the fireplace on Christmas Eve.I am always a little timid when I begin to read a Cooper novel, especially since he identified The Pioneers as a Descriptive Tale Even without that appellation, it is understatement to say that everything thing Cooper writes is descriptive However, he managed to balance imagery as beautiful as any penned by Melville with action, adventure and humor For example, as Oliver Edwards, Elizabeth Temple and John Mohegan are trapped on a precipice in a forest fire, they witness There was beauty as well as terror in the sight, and Edwards and Elizabeth stood viewing the progress of the desolation with a strange mixture of horror and interest Cooper s dialog is always deliciously melodramatic We must die, Edwards we must die let us do so as Christians People just don t talk like that any.Meanwhile, John Mohegan refuses to budge from the log on which he sits, which has also caught fire In my humble opinion, it would be no fun to read Cooper other than from a clothbound book which people from a bygone era have held in their hands Like the ancient stories passed down by John Mohegan and Natty Bumppo, a Cooper tale should pass from one hand to another as the centuries pass by the long version is here otherwise, read on I m of two minds about this novel and my ambiguity has to do with Cooper s writing style First, let me say that I m no stranger to older works with long, drawn out phrasing or archaic writing styles I figure it s a given that these are books from the past and they certainly weren t designed with ourmodern, streamlined reading styles in mind That s not the issue here Instead, it slike the main threads of the narratives in this book the long version is here otherwise, read on I m of two minds about this novel and my ambiguity has to do with Cooper s writing style First, let me say that I m no stranger to older works with long, drawn out phrasing or archaic writing styles I figure it s a given that these are books from the past and they certainly weren t designed with ourmodern, streamlined reading styles in mind That s not the issue here Instead, it slike the main threads of the narratives in this book are sort of buried under a barrage of description that tends to go on and on and on before you get back to the storylines that you re reading the book for in the first place On the other hand, The Pioneers is very much worth reading as a novel strongly concerned with among other things environmental stewardship it is also a book that Cooper wrote, in my opinion, to offer his readers a look at the American wilderness as people began to settle there, much as in his own life, his father had played a major role in the settlement of Cooperstown The novel also touches on the issue of the creation, application and enforcement of law as civilization encroaches into the wilderness Natty Bumppo, the Leatherstocking has lived in the forests and in nature for most of his life before civilization had even arrived there, and he has his own ideas about the value application of laws And for those readers who are entertained by plot and aren t really into the messages history woven into novels, there s also a storyline complete with love interest that centers around a mysterious young man who is accidentally shot by Judge Marmaduke Temple in his efforts to shoot a deer.The bottom line for me is that it was a tough novel to read because, speaking in our 21st century parlance, the writing itself tends to be all over the map with long interludes of description that seem to take forever before the author returns to the narrative, but when all is said and done, the environmental issues that are brought up in this book arethan relevant to modern concerns So back to being of two minds if you can make it through the laborious writing style, there s a really good story or two or three hidden in this novel I m happy I read it, although now I m thinking that maybe I ll pass on the others for the moment Lately, I ve been seeing much honor being given to a recently deceased author whose famous 10 Rules of Writing stress the importance of fast, non descriptive, skip the boring parts narrative It warms me to know this late author would have hated James Feni Cooper s The Pioneers , as would his adherents I realize there are fewer and fewer readers out there who have the capacity or desire to appreciate this type of slow, highly descriptive, thoughtful work of fiction Even Mark Twain raile Lately, I ve been seeing much honor being given to a recently deceased author whose famous 10 Rules of Writing stress the importance of fast, non descriptive, skip the boring parts narrative It warms me to know this late author would have hated James Feni Cooper s The Pioneers , as would his adherents I realize there are fewer and fewer readers out there who have the capacity or desire to appreciate this type of slow, highly descriptive, thoughtful work of fiction Even Mark Twain railed against Cooper s lack of action, and roundabout way of speaking Personally, I revel in it.It is fitting that this book tells the story of the then wilderness of New York as it was being invaded by the hand and axe of man Trees were being felled, clearings replaced tangled forests, and the heartless laws of men were replacing the common sense laws of the forest Natty Bumppo, known as Leatherstocking, is at the far end of his 70 years of life His life of freedom and love of nature are in jeopardy The world he once knew is noHe is beset by such laws as hunting out of season as well as the greed of those who believe he is hiding a fortune in silver Modernity is not a friend to Bumppo.The same is true for books such as these We re too busy to take the time to read slow books like The Pioneers Someone sold us a bill of goods, years ago, and said we needed to read books that can be finished in just a few days We need to hurry up and get to the next book Perhaps this was just a marketing scheme to get us to spendat the bookstore I never understand why people don t think it is a bonus to get a book that sells for the same price as a quick read throwaway pulp fiction which is three times the length and written in such a way that you must slow down and pay attention It certainly saves the reader money One need buy far fewer books when they are written in this manner.But time, or the lack thereof, is not the real problem It is that little phrase pay attention We re too distracted now to sit with a book in a silent room and concentrate on the text We hear music and television anywhere we go Stuck in the waiting room of the doctor s office You ll have to work hard to read a book that requires your attention, since there is music playing, and other patients surfing on their phones while telling their neighbor about the latest stupid video clip they watched Reading at home Nine times out of ten someone will have the massive flat screen TV turned on, blaring noise from surround sound speakers that shake the house How about reading on the train, or while waiting for your car s oil to be changed More flat screen TVs tuned to mindless daytime talk shows.Even as I write this, my laptop has beeped, to let me know someone has posted something on Facebook that I might need to see Switch over See if it is a funny picture or a sad news item Maybe a friend posted a picture of their entree that just arrived on their table at the best restaurant in town Which now make me wonder what I m going to do for lunchperhaps the local diner, or maybe just stay in and reheat some leftovershmmmm So anyway, about thiswhat was I writing about Oh yes, The Pioneers So modernity is no friend to these classic novels of yore Yore Is that right Now I m off track again, checking on Google to see if yore is the right word When I type yore , Google suggests that I meant yorehab which turns out to be a site dedicated to the obsession of playing Yoville, a game where people pretend to have a house and pretend to buy pretend items for that house Yorehab actually helps you find the very best pretend prices for your most wished for pretend couches and lava lamps andoh, okay, I see that yore is the right word As defined by by Google, yore is of long ago or former times used in nostalgic or mock nostalgic recollection To put it plainly, people today have trouble reading books that were written a long time ago.So if our modern lifestyle has made it impossible for you to read The Pioneers, you ll miss out on the following The opening scene involves a shooting of a deer and an argument over who deserves the credit for the kill The argument is easily won by the revelation that one of the shooters could not have hit the deer because he hit one of the men in the argument, who dramatically reveals he is hit to win the argument A courtroom drama that highlights the fact that men were already losing their personal freedoms in the late 1700 s to the overreach of local government A contest of shooting acumen in which a turkey is placed so that only his head is visible to the contestants Fights, jail breaks, forest fires, and emotional death scenes A panther attack which ends in a noble warrior s bloody death The chance to find out about Leatherstocking s companion, a character named The Slut A story filled with conservationist propaganda and a condemnation of the terrible genocide that the whites perpetrated on the Native American populations A wonderful, warm, historical, and exciting look at the early lives of those who tamed the wilderness of New York State.But don t worry No one will make you read this long, slow, dull, dusty tome You ll have plenty of time to read the latest spine tingling can t put it down page turner so that you can quickly buy the next one Just keep in mind that The Pioneers was seen in the same light two hundred years ago, when the population hadtime on their hands and their comprehension skills were obviouslyhighly developed