There are few writers of serious fiction who would include a scene in which a sharpshooter kills two men with one bullet. . . .on purpose. But James Fenimore Cooper did just that in The Deerslayer, numero uno in the Leatherstocking Tales. And believe you me, fair reader, this is definitely serious fiction. If it wasn't so important to American literature one could almost say it's too serious. But it's an excellent novel about early settlers in New York by a master stylist who leaves just enough golden episodes (such as the one mentioned above) to make it entertaining as well.
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