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Although I think I could listen to the soft purr and swift precision of the narrator's speech for years on end, to my ears, he fails to render the dialog in this book authentically. Most of it is overwrought, sounding more like caricatures than characters. There's no evidence of an authentic accent in the Native American characters and, worst of all, Hawkeye, the central character, is performed as if he were some transplanted Cajun rather than a colonial American frontiersman. For an example of what I mean, listen to Raymond Todd's reading of The Deerslayer. To me he gets it right. Todd's dialog sounds more authentic and carries the story better. Mr. Oliver doesn't even approximate the characters' speech as the author renders it on the page. It ruined the experience for me. I downloaded a different version.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
James Fenimore Cooper's books require a respect for the political tensions of an early formed nation and an appreciation for the racial and ethnic mix of people who were shaping it. Unfortunately, Jonathan Oliver seems to have little understanding of these subtleties. In his reading, he pauses in the wrong places, gives the wrong dialect to Hawkeye, and pays little homage to the Native Americans. He also mispronounces American place names. I gave up listening to him after Chapter Four and found another reader.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful