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1. The Source: A Novel
2. Chesapeake: A Novel
3. Caravans: A Novel of Afghanistan
4. Poland
5. Centennial: A Novel
6. The Covenant
7. Bridge at Andau
8. Iberia
9. Alaska: A Novel
10. Journey
11. Hawaii: A Novel
12. Sayonara
13. Caribbean: A Novel
14. Texas: A Novel
15. Return to Paradise
16. Tales of the South Pacific
17. Source
18. Drifters
19. Rascals in Paradise
20. The Source by James A. Michener

1. The Source: A Novel
by James A. Michener
Paperback: 928 Pages (2002-07)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375760385
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In his signature style of grand storytelling, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the Holy Land, thousands of years ago. By exploring the lives and discoveries of modern archaeologists excavating the site of Tell Makor, Michener vividly re-creates life in and around an ancient city during critical periods of its existence, and traces the profound history of the Jews, including that of the early Hebrews and their persecution, the impact of Christianity on the Jewish world, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition. Michener weaves his epic tale of love, strength, and faith until at last he arrives at the founding of Israel and the modern conflict in the Middle East. The Source is not only a compelling history of the Holy Land and its people but a richly written saga that encompasses the development of Western civilization and the great religious and cultural ideas that have shaped our world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (156)

1-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY KINDLE VERSION!!!
I love Michener and wound up getting this book from the library.About 35% of the way through I decided to get it for my Kindle and finish reading it on there.The story is awesome but when I switched to the Kindle version I discovered an amazing number of typos in the text.Within the first two pages I read there were five.I guess the publisher isn't as picky with quality control for the Kindle folks.

UPDATE:After reading to 85% of this book I came across a section that is totally missing.I know because it repeated a previous chapter.I went BACK to the library to figure out what was going on and discovered that a whole page was replaced by a previous page.Now I wonder about previous chapters where they seemed to end without resolution. I will be asking for my money back.I would be more understanding if the Kindle version were free or maybe around a dollar but to have a book cost nearly as much as the paperback be obviously unedited is ridiculous!It appears that the text was scanned using OCR and no checking was done.Frequently odd characters appear in the text such as a ? instead of a letter in the middle of a word.Pathetic!

5-0 out of 5 stars Whiplash (An FBI Thriller)
Cathrine Coulter truly understands the way to keep you involved in her books, good read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, small print
This was a reread of the novel from my youth. I don't think the detailed way Michner describes the "dig" and the flashbacks is very easy to read even with normal sized text. This paperback has very small font to get all 1000+ pages in a reasonable size for paperback. Very difficult to concentrate for very long. Suggest you purchase the book instead.

4-0 out of 5 stars OK
The book arrived faster than expected, but I was very disappointed with the condition of the book. The seller reported some wear but I was not expecting the condition to be that poor. Otherwise I was happy with the speed of shipping. I just figure that my idea of "some wear" and the sellers idea of "wear" are very different.

5-0 out of 5 stars the source
This was one of my favorite books--but I had forgotten a lot of it and wanted a permanent copy instead of going to the library.It is everything I remembered and more.The story is fascinating and definitely not Indiana Jones but you could imagine Indy in some of them.You learn a lot of history and archeology from the whole book but in a very entertaining way, and the characters are wonderful.I learned a lot about Israel and the people who live there.I don't thinkI will ever forget what I read about the Spanish Inquisition. ... Read more

2. Chesapeake: A Novel
by James A. Michener
Paperback: 888 Pages (2003-09-09)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812970438
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"Michener's most ambitious work of fiction in theme and scope."
"Brilliantly written."
Once again James A. Michener brings history to life with this 400-year saga of America's great bay and its Eastern Shore. Following Edmund Steed and his remarkable family, who parallel the settling and forming of the nation, CHESAPEAKE sweeps readers from the unspoiled world of the Native Americans to the voyages of Captain John Smith, the Revolutionary War, and right up to modern times.

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (69)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perspectives
This book gave a real world perspective of our history that is much more understandable and identifiable than the usual sanitized tomes of history.I enjoy the style and appreciate the research.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read
This was a wonderful read from start to finish, one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a while. The scope is magnificent, and it captured me from the opening pages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Book Review Chesapeake by James Michener
This novel is a typical Michener novel. Written like some of his other novels it explores the history of a region in great detail by telling a story. In this case the story of the Chesapeake Bay is told starting with the Indians who lived on the Bay long before it was populated by the Europeans. It follows with tales and stories of the region thought out time with threads back to the families and people introducedearlier.

5-0 out of 5 stars FINALLY on Kindle, the Master Storyteller at his best.
Finally, FINALLY we get a 2nd Michener novel on Kindle, and the first decent one! "Caravans" is okay, but hardly indicative of Michener's vast talent as evidenced by his materpieces like this one, Chesapeake !!! Hopefully we'll see the release of his other works in the near future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chesapeake
From Pentaquods trek down the river to the funeral of Pusey Paxmore, Chesapeake is a brilliant novel of the chesapeake bay and the families of people who fought to make it great. ... Read more

3. Caravans: A Novel of Afghanistan
by James A. Michener
Paperback: 352 Pages (2003-09-09)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812969820
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this romantic adventure of wild Afghanistan, master storyteller James Michener mixes the allure of the past with the dangers of today. After an impetuous American girl, Ellen Jasper, marries a young Afghan engineer, her parents hear no word from her. Although she wants freedom to do as she wishes, not even she is sure what that means. In the meantime, she is as good as lost in that wild land, perhaps forever....
"An extraordinary novel....Brilliant."

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (78)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Book
This book was fascinating, set in Afghanistan in 1946. Most of the cultural observations are as correct today as they were when Michener was personally serving there. The plot was strong, the characters unforgettable. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Now and then
Six months ago I reread this book. Caravans had a profound influence on me 35 years ago. It was my first exposure to a Middle Eastern culture and its views about women. Perhaps if more people read this book or books of its caliber there would be more understanding of the Afghan people. The main thing to remember is this book was written prior to the Taliban being in control. Since 9/11 this book has come to mind over and over again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Big thumbs up
The biggest negative about James A. Michener's Caravans is that it's too short.I could have read on about 1946 Afghanistan, about the fascinating nomads who traveled the upland plateaus of Asia, along the three thousand year old caravan routes that took them from Jelhum in the winter to the mysterious Hindu Kush mountains in the summer.I have not read other Michener novels, yet, hoping by the way that more of them reach the kindle.The story itself is ok, but it's the underlying sociological and historical setting that makes it so compelling.
Michener traveled to Afghanistan in the 50's and, refering to a trip that took him from Qala Bist to Rudbar he writes : «This took us across the Registan desertin a caravan that camped at night in sand dunes with little water and less food.It was from the experiences of this trip that i developped my love of desert life.»

3-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite Michener
I purchased this book as it was the only Michener kindle book available. I have read several of his and loved them. This was Ok, It read better once Ellen Jasper fully entered the story, but that was half way through. She was an intriguing character and would of liked to have had more of her story. I just could not get involved with the characters as I do in a typical Michener novel. I am hoping they put some more of his books on Kindle. Texas, Hawaii, Centennial, Alaska, I loved all of those and would enjoy reading them again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tour Afghanistan without leaving your own home
If you ever want to tour Afghanistan without leaving your own home, this is a great book to read. You get a chance to learn the history of the country and the world, understand the culture, feel the weather, and experience the life. Although, the novel sets in the background of 1946 and published in 1963,it amazingly predicts the Soviet invasions and the US invasions. This is a book that should be ready by anybody who is involved with the on going Afghan war in any manner. This is a true eye opener to Afghanistan and its heritage. Enjoy! ... Read more

4. Poland
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: 640 Pages (1984-09-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449205878
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Like the heroic land that is its subject, James Michener's POLAND teems with vivid events and unforgettble characters. In the sweeping span of eight tumultuous centuries, three Polish families live out their destinies and the drama of a nation--in the grand tradition of a great James Michener saga.
"POLAND is a monumental effort, a magnificent guide to a better understanding of the country's tribulations."
... Read more

Customer Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars bevrausch
This is one of most marvelous books I have ever read.Mitchner is a marvel.The history of
Poland as reviewed by this massive book completely follows history and I think everyone should read it. A 10 on a scale of 1-10.People of the Polish nationality should definitely read this wonderful book.It explains so many historical facts about a people that have not been known before reading this book in such marvelous prose. Also, even though it is a big book, it is easy to read and easy to understand.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Poland" - James Michener
This is an informative book for anyone who is interested in the history of Poland. Whilst the characters are fictional the history component of the book is very accurate. An informative and entertaining read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poland by james Mitchner
This book arrived in the condition described in the offering.It came within the proscribed time.I would definitely purchase from this provider again.

5-0 out of 5 stars The history of Poland in a nutshell
Poland is a vividly told series of stories revolving around two families, one peasant and the other noble, over the last 1000 years. While that seems like an overwhelming task, Michener handles it competently, and the [hi]stories are exciting, colorful, and filled with intimate details about the characters they portray.

I had no great love for Poland (the country) before I started the book, but having read it, I feel like I have a new appreciation for the people, the places, and an amazingly rich but sad history.

Someday, someone is going to summarize Michener's novels by saying, "If only he'd written 20 years later! He just missed the big change!" This is especially true of some books like Poland, which ends during Communist rule, and The Source, which tells the story of Israel up to 1965. The point, though, is that despite recent changes, the books demonstrate so much turmoil over the past 1000 years (in the case of Poland) or more, that really, what's the difference between 1980s Communism and 1990s Capitalism?

Lastly, the book is shorter than other Michener novels, making it a good one to start with.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - Timely - Surprising
All of Michener's books are awesome, but this is one of his more obscure titles.If you want to know what happened in that part of the world in early European history, leading up to the present time, this book spells it all out in a factual, interesting reading style that will keep you interested in the book until you finish it.Most of our history is "sugar coated" in one way or another, but this book tells it all, and will inform you about things you would not have dreamed possible as European history usually covers England, Rome, France, and Germany...Poles have contributed much to the new world, and have not received enough credit for a progressive, intelligent, and vibrant society.

Poles have suffered immensely from outside despots mostly because it never developed much of a military force to protect its people.Its political system lacked cogency for many decades leading to its weakness in the face of its enemies.It is splintered socially, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously at this time, but with a succession of stronger leaders, it could amalgamate into one of the great countries of Europe.

If you are interested in furthering your knowledge of history, this book will fascinate you from beginning to the end...read it and be wise! ... Read more

5. Centennial: A Novel
by James A. Michener
Paperback: 928 Pages (2007-05-29)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$9.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812978420
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"Michener is America's best writer, and he proves it once again in CENTENNIAL."
A stunning panorama of the West, CENTENNIAL is an enthralling celebration of our country, brimming with the glory and the greatness of the American past that only bestselling author James Michener could bring to stunning life. From the Native Americans, the migrating white men and women, the cowboys, and the foreigners, it is a story of trappers, traders, homesteaders, gold seekers, ranchers, and hunters--all caught up in the dramatic events and violent conflicts that shaped the destiny of our legendary West.

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (65)

2-0 out of 5 stars I am Joe's bison
I have not read any other Michener books, and after snoozing through the first 120 pages of this book without finding a single chapter of interest, I don't think I will. This isn't a novel, which in my mind should have memorable characters and an interesting plot; rather, it's a sort of history book-lite written on a Reader's Digest level that never really grabs you. My fellow 2-star reviewers have laid it out pretty well, so I won't rehash. This is just boring, even horrible, reading. I guess it just goes to show that a "runaway best seller" doesn't necessarily have to have any actual literary value.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great early
Probably the most memorable fictional character I have read: Pasquinel.The first half of the book is superb.Native Americans, trappers, people heading west, cowboys on the trail. Well worth the read - informative, entertaining.The later chapters of the book kind of struggle to wrap up the history of Centennial, Colorado. Jacque Pasquinel was such a unique character Michener created.He lives with an arrow head stuck in his back, has at least two wives he mentions, spends his winters sleeping outside.The independence, freedom and danger of the pre-farming, pre-industrial west is extremely well captured. The journey west a Mennonite from Pennsylvania takes with his new wife is also a memorable portion of this novel.This is the only Michener novel I have read to date, and I was very pleasantly surprised.A friend lent me the 1970s tv mini series after I finished the book.Robert Conrad's accent was kind of shaky, and Richard Chamberlain did not have the toughness the McKeag character required - but it was worth it to put some visuals to the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Centennial
The book arrived in a timely fashion and its condition is pristine.While I have read this book at least once, maybe twice, I decided that I wanted a copy of my own.Great story and the fact that the action takes place quite close to where I have lived, is another plus.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the book that started me reading.
What a wonderful book. By now there are a million people who have reviewed James Michener's Centennial before me, so I am not going to regurgitate the story for you and list why it is a great read.Many years ago, as a non-reader (too busy to sit down) I picked up this book and could not put it down.Love, Love, Love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars CAPTIVATING BOOK

6. The Covenant
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: 1248 Pages (1987-03-12)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$5.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449214206
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Adventurers, scoundrels and missionaries. The best and worst of two continents carve an empire out of the vast wilderness that is to become South Africa. For hundreds of years, their rivalries and passions spill across the land. From the first Afrikaners to the powerful Zulu nation, and the missionaries who lived with both--all of them will influence and take part in the wars and politics that will change a nation forever.
THE COVENANT: generations of people who forge a new world in a story of adventure and heroism, love and loyalty, cruelty and betrayal.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating novel.
A wonderful account of the settling of South Africa by the Dutch and their conflicts with the British, native Africans, and Zulu nation. Michener makes the characters come alive. You feel as if you are part of them as they cope with life's disappointments and successes. 873 pages of action packed adventure. As an avid Michener reader, I consider this novel as one of his best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great literary work
The Covenant is especially timely with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. The Covenant tells the story of that area of south africa from earliest times to date of publication. It enthralls the reader and stimulates discussion amongst reader and colleagues.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting novel.
I visited South Africa and that beautiful country entered in my heart.
A friend advised me about the Michener's novel, the covenant, which i searched traslated in my native language, italian, but very hard to find.
Despite the book is quite huge, more than 1,000 pages, reading it is enjoyble and instructive. For everyone would to visit South Africa and got more informations about it's history and what it's today, the Covenant is a very recommended source.

5-0 out of 5 stars Capture the spirit of South Africa
The covenant by James Michener is an exceptional historical novel. The general subject matter is the history of South Africa. The theme of the book is an attempt to capture the spirit of South Africa and describe how separate group development (Apartheid) came about. The thesis of the book is about missed opportunity and how misunderstanding, cultural differences and conditioning, fear and need for identity resulted in racial tension.The book described perfectly the irony of the country, namely that on ground level black and white teamed up, lived, worked and fought together but were unable to cross the racial divide of boss and worker. White and black came to understand each other well but were not able to meet philosophically, spiritually and ideologically. The book follow an Afrikaner family (Van Doorn) and a black family (Nxumalo) through the history of South Africa and describe how they meet-up, live and work together but end up in different groups fighting each other and the ideologies each one represent.As an Afrikaner this book resonated with me because if you change the surname van Doorn to my family name it could just as well have been a novel about my own family. The first of my family arrived in Africa in 1713 only 61 years after the first white settlement was started by the Dutch. My family were involved in everything described in the book from the Dutch English wars, Xhosa wars, the great trek, Blood River, the founding of the various South African provinces, the Anglo Boer war and the construction of the republic of South Africa. You'll find my family as founding members of the Dutch reformed church as well as closely involved with Paul Kruger and the Boer republics and with the National party and the white governments of PW Botha and FW de Klerk. As an outsider Michener were able to capture the soul and spirit of the Afrikaner something which I doubt he would be able to do when I started to read the book.His facts are historically accurate and the way he were able to describe the different stages of Afrikaner consciousness development is to be applauded. What the book did is that it allowed me to look at myself and my people from the outside and in that sense it was an almost enlightening experience.If you are an outsider and want to understand South Africa and its people this is an excellent book to read. If you are a South African and you want to understand your own history and philosophy this is a book that you won't be able to put down. The historical time line and facts are accurate and the use of the Afrikaans language and phrases in the text are not only technically but also culturally correct.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Covenant
The type of books that J. Michener writes are what I have referred to as Faction.Although the characters are fictitious, the events actually occurred.In the Covenant, the history of the southern part of the African Continent are well documented. As a History teacher, I have encouraged many of my students to read MIchener because of the visual imagery that he creates, the character development, as well as the chronology of the story line.My students will remember this type of historical presentation rather than the text book approach to history.MIchener allows me to cross curriculums, history, geography, reading and writing with my students, and present the material in a refreshing and thought provoking manor.
When the books were originally published I bought the paper back edition, however as I have grown older and I want to complete my library, I have recently purchased these Hardback editions. My children have also enjoyed Michener's style. They have traveled to many parts of the world and Michener has provided some insight as to the present day conditions that exist in many of those countries. Several hours of discussion have transpired as a result of their reading of these books. The books are timeless. ... Read more

7. Bridge at Andau
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: 288 Pages (1985-09-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449210502
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
At four o'clock in the morning on a Sunday in November 1956, the city of Budapest was awakened by the shattering sound of Russian tanks tearing the city apart. The Hungarian revolution -- five brief, glorious days of freedom that had yielded a glimpse at a different kind of future -- was over.

But there was a bridge at Andau, on the Austrian border, and if a Hungarian could reach that bridge, he was nearly free. It was about the most inconsequential bridge in Europe, but by an accident of history it became, for a few flaming weeks, one of the most important bridges in the world, for across its unsteady planks fled the soul of a nation....

Here is James A. Michener at his most gripping, with a historic account of a people in desperate revolt, a true story as searing and unforgettable as any of his bestselling works of fiction. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars A moving story of courageous people
This book is about the Hungarian revolution of late 1956. It is based on information the author got from refugees escaping the re-imposition of Communist rule. (The book takes its title from a bridge on the Austrian border which was the end of a favored escape route.)

Much of the book is a fast-paced recounting of how the revolution started and how it was fought. The fighting, against Russian tanks, was mostly done by people using improvised weapons such as bottles filled with gasoline, or even bricks. (They managed to destroy hundreds of tanks with weapons like these and an occasional captured anti-tank gun.) It was a desperate fight, yet the uprising was practically spontaneous.

Why would people fight so desperately? The author does a good job of answering this question by describing what life was like under the Communists. Constant lying propaganda. Never knowing who was a member of the AVO, the hated secret police. Having to teach your children the truth, in secret, and at great risk. Torture and murder carried out by the AVO. These people had no theoretical knowledge of why Communism had to fail; they instead had ample concretes that showed them, every day, why it was so evil.

In fact, it's interesting to note that many of the people who fought so hard against Communist rule were the very people who are supposed to be favored by Communism: workers, students, young intellectuals. The author makes the point also that 85 of 100 tanks burned up by the revolutionaries were destroyed by people under 21: people who were too young to have any experience of a better pre-Communist (and pre-Nazi) existence. Yet they were willing to risk their lives to fight a system they hated.

In short, the Hungarian revolution was a spontaneous uprising of hatred against Communism. Interestingly, even some of the Russian troops stationed in Hungary at the start of the revolution ended up aiding it. This particular scene, one I'll never forget reading, comes to mind:

"...an AVO sharpshooter ... fired a single shot into the crowd.

With fantastic ill luck, this bullet hit a baby in the arms of its mother and knocked both the dead child and the mother onto the pavement.In wild grief she raised the baby high in her arms and rushed toward a Soviet tank."You have killed my child.Kill me."Her anguished protest was drowned by the sound of AVO guns firing more shots into the crowd.

It is absolutely verified that the tank captain, who had grown to like the Hungarians, raised his cap to the distraught woman and then turned to wipe the tears from his eyes.What he did next made a general battle in Budapest inevitable, for he grimly directed his tank guns against the roof of the Supreme Court building, and with a shattering rain of bullets erased the AVO crew stationed there.Now even the Russians were fighting the AVO men."

What kind of men are in the secret police of a totalitarian regime? Michener answers this by providing a picture of nihilistic losers in the AVO. And yet these men, who contributed nothing but terror, were much better paid than ordinary workers who built things in factories.

I read The Bridge at Andau 40 years ago, but it is so filled with vivid scenes of people fighting for their freedom that I still remember it well. Growing up, this book was the best concretization I had of what a totalitarian regime was like. At times the book is hard to put down. At other times, it's painful to read.

It also, for me, raised other questions. Why did America do nothing to help? And why in the 1960's, confronted with this and many other stories of the brutality of Communism, did so many of the American "New Left" embrace that horrid ideology, or lamely shrug with moral indifference? (There is truly no way the New Left can be forgiven for this, and history will not be kind to them.)

But more than anything, The Bridge at Andau is a story of how so many seemingly ordinary people, when faced with evil and given half a chance to fight it, rose up and did so. In their actions, they are anything but ordinary, and their story should not be forgotten.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bridge at Andau
Since I participated in the 56 Hungarian Revolution as a University student I read this book with great interest. James Michener did a great literary work on this event. In October 23, 2006 Hungary had a great celebration of this revolution in Budapest. I was sorry to know that Michener was not able to attend this great festivity. His book was incredibly accurate and emotionally moving story. Michener was one of the greatest writer in the United States.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required

THIS is the kind of book that s/b required to be read by students across the free world.Communism laid bare.Communism was incredibly destructive, cruel and murderous to its subjects.The government that was supposed to be powerful enough to give you everything you needed was certainly powerful enough to take away everything you had.The great crimes of Communism are the most important untold story of history in most of the world.Let's hope it doesn't come back in another form...

1-0 out of 5 stars Non-Fiction which is not what Mr. Michener excels at
The expectation is that this is a story about the Andau Bridge,the bridge was barely mention until the end of the book. The picture on the paperback is totally misleading. The cover shows a bridge for cars over a river. The real Andau Bridge was a foot bridge over a treacherous swamp crossing. As the book tries to illustrate the plight of the Hungarian people, what comes across loud and clear is the brutality and inferiority of communism. On the bright side it does provide a great insight to the history of the Balkans area which at the turn of the last century was so topical.

5-0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down
this book is great, I couldn't put it down. the true story of brave freedom fighters who battled the red army with little more than petrol bombs and captured machine guns. ... Read more

8. Iberia
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: 960 Pages (1969-09)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$3.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449207331
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"Massive, beautiful...Unquestionably some of the best writing on Spain...The best that Mr. Michener has ever done on any subject...Stunning...Memorable."
Here, in the fresh, vivid prose that is James Michener's trademark, is the real Spain as he experiences it. He not only reveals the celebrated Spain of bullfights and warror kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards; he also shares the intimate, often hidden Spain he has come to know, where toiling peasants and their honest food, the salt of the shores and the oranges of the inland fields, the congeniality of living souls and the dark weight of history conspire to create a wild, contradictory, passionately beautiful land, the mystery called Iberia.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Spain as seen through the eyes of a great writer
"Iberia" by Michener was an amazing read.This is not a fictional writing, this is his views and experiences in Spain, with a lot of history and culture mixed in.Add to that some really nice black & white photography.It is a rather lengthy book, but it's all good.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars MARVELOUS
IBERIA is non-fiction memoir of Michener's experiences in Spain. I read the book before I went to Spain and found that Michener was right. He said Spain haunts people who go there. I've been all over the world and Spain is the only place that haunts me in a delicious way.

Spain likely was the heart and soul of Imperial Rome.

IBERIA is a splendid tale about a splendid place.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Trip Through Spain
"Iberia" is an amazing book.I can't believe that a person could research and write this book and get anything else done in one lifetime.It is a great book to read immediately before or immediately after a trip to Spain.Michener's enthusiasm for his subject is quite evident as he discusses nearly every imaginable aspect of Spain.

Make no mistake, this book represents a reading challenge.In the paperback version it is over 900 pages long and covers such a wide variety of subjects related to Spain that there is probably something to interest most readers.However, there is probably something to bore most readers as well.

I enjoyed Michener's personal travel anecdotes and his reviews of European history the most.Michener's reviews of paintings and sculptures go on at great length at times, but would probably be fantastic for someone who is more of an art aficionado than I.

The book was published in 1968 so it is a bit dated, but it is still a great review of all things pertaining to Spain.

5-0 out of 5 stars Iberia
As usual , James Michener narrative about Spain is very nice and worth reading to anybody, specially individuals who are planning to visit in the near future

1-0 out of 5 stars Awful
This book is a rambling, dated, starry-eyed tourist's view of Spain. For a cultural guide or a historical record, tryGhosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past orThe Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World. If you must buy it, get some tissues -- you'll be bored to tears. ... Read more

9. Alaska: A Novel
by James A. Michener
Paperback: 896 Pages (2002-11-12)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037576142X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In this sweeping epic of the northernmost American frontier, James A. Michener guides us across Alaska’s fierce terrain, from the long-forgotten past to the bustling technological present, as his characters struggle for survival. The exciting high points of Alaska’s story, from its brutal prehistory, through the nineteenth century and the American acquisition, to its modern status as America’s thriving forty-ninth state, are brought vividly to life in this remarkable novel: the gold rush; the tremendous growth and exploitation of the salmon industry; the discovery of oil and its social and economic consequences; the difficult construction of the Alcan Highway, which made possible the defense of the territory in World War II. A spellbinding portrait of a human community struggling to establish its place in the world, Alaska traces a bold and majestic history of the enduring spirit of a land and its people. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (69)

5-0 out of 5 stars Michener at the Top of his Game
The best Michener work I've read so far. (othes I have read include Tales of the South Pacific, Return to Paradise, Sayonara, Chesapeake, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, and Hawaii) So what makes it so good?

Writing History Well
Michener selects excellent historical highlights to give us a sense of the place: Russian exploration of the Aleutians, gold rush boomtowns along the Yukon River, Eskimo villages in the Arctic, salmon fisheries in the southern panhandle, and pipeline construction in the central interior. I also liked his handling of the philosophical aspects of settlement- particularly in the 1800`s. On one hand, trade and development could only begin with adventurous, entrepaneurial spirits, working independently -free of micromanaging government or corporate home offices. Many of these people were in one way or another disenfranchised from mainstream American or Canadian society (e.g. Mr Klope in Dawson City). For them, Alaska was a a fresh start in a land culturally and physically apart from the rest of the world. Rugged, self-reliant figures carved out empires for themselves, according to their own rules, and guided by self-interest. This view romanticizes Libertarian aspects of frontier life; but Michener tempers this well with the downside of lawlessness: gangs and renegades like Soapy Smith terrorized honest citizens like Tom Venn. Michener's delivery of these issues elevates the entire book above mere storytelling, or the recitation of historical facts. It is historical fiction at its best.

Alaska was published in 1988, late on in James Michener's career, when his experience and craft were at their peak. Despite its heft, it reads fast. In fact, I would place it on par with Hawaii for readability. Hawaii comes across well because of the author's obvious love for the subject; he had personal ties to the Islands. Alaska`s readability, I think, is more attributable to his growth as a writer. Since the narration continues over several centuries, there are by necessity a lot of transitions as old characters die off, and new ones are introduced. Also, since Alaska is such a big place and Michener is eager to show us so much of it, there are a lot of shifts in setting. Alaska's transitions are smoother than Hawaii and Chesapeake's. Those earlier works were more compartmentalized in time and space... characters would be introduced, play out their drama, and then the close of their era would end each chapter. Subsequent chapters would start fresh in a new time and place, without much carryover of characters (with a few exceptions, like Hoxworth in Hawaii). In Alaska, Michener employs a lot more carryover to link chapters. Staggering character entrances and exits creates a much more natural- feeling rhythm to the work. He also deftly blends space and time transitions. Take, for example, the story arc of Ciddaq: her movement from the Aleutians to Sitka early in life transport the story's physical setting, and then her life in Sitka raising her son (Arkady) moves the timeline smoothly into the next generation.

Readers` Aids
The three detailed maps are sufficient to show all the places mentioned in the text, which is an improvement over past Michener works. Better still, pages vii-viii of the foreword lay out clearly which elements in the story are fictional, and which are faithfully-depicted historical fact. Every work of historical fiction should have this. If an author wants to mix the historic record with fiction, I'm willing to grant a lot of artistic license, but at some point, I want to be able to sort out which was which. It can be fun to read historical fiction in preparation for travel, but you don't want to be the idiot at the back of the tour group, asking "Can we see the place where Luke Skywalker and those peasants stormed the Bastille?"

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Character Builder, Great Story Teller and Great Adventure
I learned so much I never knew about the migrations of people and animals, about the climatic changes in Alaska and about the Russian presence there.I learned a lot I wished I didn't learn about the truly horrific exploitation of native populations, but I suppose that goes with world history.

But most of all, this book was a wonderful distraction from daily life. It was, for a short time, my get-away.It's hard to find a good book that just takes you away from thoughts of work and life and Alaska is just such an adventure to get lost in.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good read as always with Michener
Slow to start....I liked how Michener mixed fact with fiction...obviously, well-researched....Long, but worth the read if you are interested in the great state of Alaska and its history

4-0 out of 5 stars Long book!
I am enjoying this book but it is long and because I only have a short time to read each day, it will take me a while to finish it.It is very interesting.There is a lot of historical information in this book that will create a good background of knowledge for me when I take a trip to Alaska in the near future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down.
This is a classic.It provides so much of Alaska history, even though the characters are fitional. ... Read more

10. Journey
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: 336 Pages (1994-10-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449218473
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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"The best novel of James Michener's career." Milwaukee Journal
Gold fever swept the world in 1897. The chance for untold riches sent thousands of dreamers on a perilous trek toward their fortunes, failures, or deaths. Follow four English aristocrats and their Irish servant as they misguidedly haul their dreams across cruel Canadian terrain toward the Klondike gold fields.
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Customer Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful novel.
A short novel by Michener's standard. A vivid action packed novel that is easy to read and hard to put down. Five men struggle in the Canadian wilderness while enroute to the Klondike gold fields in 1897. Grave misfortunes beset the party with devastating results due to arrogance, poor decisions, tradition, and failure to heed sound advise by knowledgable inhabitants of the Canadian frontier.

5-0 out of 5 stars Let not England forget her precedence of teaching nations how to live.
Lord Luton has decided to lead a group of men to a gold strike in the Klondike, The only catch is that instead of going through US territory in Alaska he is going to do it without leaving the English Empire.

I see Lord Luton as an explorer with nothing left to explore, a man who was born a few centuries too late. Without a new frontier to face him, he creates one with his insane limitations. Oblivious to fear and depravity he goes thousands of miles out of his way to prove what that he will preserver no matter the adversity.

I bought this book in 2004 for years it sat in my library waiting for me to discover what type of men built the British Empire, the very same type of men who would later loose it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is one of the more entertaining books I have ever read.The characters are well-developed, the story is exciting, unexpected and largely believable, and the events and setting took me to a strange land north of where I live, but had never really considered before.

5-0 out of 5 stars So appropriate for our time....
Solid storytelling and with so much of our world up in arms (literally), its just nice to review the history from an 800 foot view.Always need a paperback for air travel as these books typically weigh you down.

5-0 out of 5 stars Journey
It is too early for a review as I have not read the book yet. ... Read more

11. Hawaii: A Novel
by James A. Michener
Paperback: 960 Pages (2002-07-09)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375760377
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In Hawaii, Pulitzer Prize–winning author James Michener weaves the classic saga that brought Hawaii’s epic history vividly alive to the American public on its initial publication in 1959, and continues to mesmerize even today.

The volcanic processes by which the Hawaiian Islands grew from the ocean floor were inconceivably slow, and the land remained untouched by man for countless centuries until, little more than a thousand years ago, Polynesian seafarers made the perilous journey across the Pacific and discovered their new home. They lived and flourished in this tropical paradise according to their ancient traditions and beliefs until, in the early nineteenth century, American missionaries arrived, bringing a new creed and a new way of life to a Stone Age society. The impact of the missionaries had only begun to be absorbed when other national groups, with equally different customs, began to migrate in great numbers to the islands. The story of modern Hawaii, and of this novel, is one of how disparate peoples, struggling to keep their identity yet live with one another in harmony, ultimately joined together to build America’s strong and vital fiftieth state. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (110)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hawaii
Excellent! Once I started reading it, this book was difficult to put down.Not only does Michener weave a great story, he describes the people, the history, and the places of Hawaii perfectly.One of the best!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Michener's Best
I've read several Michener novels and this is frankly not his best work. As always, he spends plenty of time acquainting the reader with the locale, beginning with the formation of the earth's crust. I enjoy the historical and archaeological background, and thoroughly enjoyed the story of the early people who made that incredible journey of faith and will across the sea to found Hawaii. But with the arrival of the missionaries the story takes a turn, and I kept having to wonder whether or not Michener himself believed that their deliberate, disrespectful destruction of the beautiful, thousands of years old, Polynesian society was a crime against a human population. However, his telling leaves one to wonder, and in fact it seems that the author does not see the irony in his own telling.
To be fair, it is certainly challenging to write hundreds of pages about such a very unappealing character as the missionary Abner Hale (who believes unswervingly that his God is the only one, and that the religious beliefs of the Polynesian people is pure heathen fantasy that must be destroyed). His success is painfully unsettling, and is the crux of much of the story.
The book is long on missionaries, and short on connecting the reader with the culture that was willfully destroyed (in the name of God).
There are better Michener novels with which to spend a thousand pages of reading time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very Very Good, but not Great
This is a novel just one step away from greatness.

First, I want to say that I hold Michener up to his own story-telling standard, and that of one other author - James Clavell - whose body of work plays within the same genre of historical fiction.

Michener is a master - without a doubt. His subtle nod to a "humanistic/Classical Liberal" viewpoint is always present despite his slight play at moral neutrality. This means that many of his stories - short and long - carry with them moral lessons that I personally believe are essential to one's living a happy, successful life.

And while I enjoy his worldview, I must say that there is one thing missing from "Hawaii" that I would have greatly appreciated.

That is, the sort of heroic, individualistic men and women that make up some of his other works, and are always present in the Clavell universe. While there are great heroes in "Hawaii", they flash in and out too quickly, and you are left with a sense of watching the beginning or ending of many movies, but never really taking a whole film in. There are a few notable exceptions such as "Wu Chow's Auntie" but I wanted more.

And then there is the sad, sort of fatalism, almost defeatism, that plagues so many of his characters and their lives. They are not really ever self-actualized. Revenge is not often sought, rights are not wronged and justice is not served. There are exceptions but they are rare. I was left unsatisfied...left feeling...when are my heroes going to win! or Lose! Or something. Not just fade away in a sentence after reading and caring about their lives for weeks of mine.

Even so, I am grateful that this book was written as it has educated me to a wonderful land that I knew next to nothing about. So as a (semi-fictional) historical record, it deserves a 4.5/5. As a work of fiction, it is sadly lacking. It is simply Michener's masterful mind and research that keeps things moving along. Well worth the read. But if you have not yet picked up Tai Pan or Shogun, then I think it is better to start there and return to this gentlemen later.

Lastly, this novel should be commended for two things. First - its portrayal of missionaries and the Church. The good and the bad. The Church, whether in Europe or elsewhere, has always been a source for those that believed in asking questions about existence and seeking them out. Many men and women in this novel did just that. And they succeeded and failed depending on the answers they found, and how they dealt with them.

Second - the idea of an American, or Hawaiian, or "pure" Chinese is transformed into what it should be. Not something based on race, color or "who was there first" but on the millions of people who's ideas, culture, tastes, dreams, etc. shape each and every single person on this planet. Michener's Golden People are not the color "Gold" - but they are indeed Gold in that they have integrated the BEST of so many aspects of East and West, culminating in a truly integrated human being. This is the antidote to racism and tribalism, which multiculturalist never quite understood.

I suppose the bottom line is that if you look to novels to inspire, motivate, drive you to seek your dreams out, and make them real, Hawaii will satisfy you but inconsistently so. But if you aspire to know and understand Hawaii as a place and people, and the dreams that made it real, then you have the right book in your hands.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite
My favorite Michener novel is "The Novel". This is probably partly because I'm a writer myself. As I contemplated my review for Hawaii, I did read some of the reviews and they fascinated me. It would be interesting to know a profile of readers who love Michener. Please indulge me regarding the comments below prefacing my review of Hawaii.

Michener's books are almost invariably extremely lengthy. And he gets away with what would be literary suicide for many writers. Most all his books include hundreds of pages of exposition: geologic research, cultural backgrounds, historical references, family trees/genealogies, archaeological discoveries, geographical information, etc.I've read stern warnings in many instructional books regarding the temptation to include all your research in a novel just because you spent so many hours compiling it. The books state how boring and tedious this can become for readers to wade through all this exposition in a desperate search for the plot.

It was a little amusing to me how many readers acknowledged Michener's penchant for massive exposition. Then the reviewer typically goes on to say that the book was still great and engrossing, etc. I'm a researcher as well as a writer, so it's saying a lot for me to state that I think Michener does go a little overboard at times with the truckloads of background material. But he's great enough to still keep an interesting plot moving along and sell tons of books.

Regarding Hawaii, I read it and, like others, found sections of it quite fascinating. One section, however, disturbed me quite a bit. It seemed as if the missionaries were caricatured as horrible human beings. They were foolish, sour, stern, mean-spirited, and even cruel at times.I'm not saying Michener is lying. I believe that some early missionaries misunderstood grossly what it meant to evangelize and invite people to consider the salvation offered through Christ's death on the cross for mankind. They thought that native people's cultural mores must be forsaken for them to be "Christianized." They sometimes made cultural mountains out of molehills and forced standards upon native peoples which did not even come from the Bible. Christian missions has changed in huge ways and for many decades it has spread the gospel of Christ without destroying the cultures and customs of various people groups.

Maybe I'm overreacting a little, because most reviewers seemed to realize that Michener was not cynically condemning all Christian missions with ugly, biased intentions. But, in any case, I'm just recording my reactions to the book. Please don't email me with bristling retorts as if I've bad-mouthed Michener. I have read some of his books and agree that he's a great writer. If you have an interest in writing, I especially recommend that you read The Novel. It is excellent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive
I've never read Michener's work before, but this book left me awed with his knowledge of history and storytelling ability. The book begins with a brief section on the formation of the islands, then plunges into a novella (100 pages) about the arrival of the original Polynesian settlers. After that, it jumps forward again to the 1820s and the arrival of the New England missionaries. After this point, the narrative is pretty much continuous, with new chapters covering both the background and the arrival of new groups (Chinese, Japanese) and continuing the story of those who were already there. At this point it becomes very much a family saga, spanning about 130 years (the book was published in 1959, so the narrative deals only with pre-statehood Hawaii).

Obviously there's a great deal of history here, somewhat fictionalized as it may be, and I've never learned about so many places and cultures in the same book. The depth of Michener's research and the details of his portrayal of the lifestyles and thought processes of people from so many different cultures, in particular, never failed to impress me. But the story is brought down-to-earth through the always-engaging struggles of the protagonists, and the plotting and characterization were certainly enough to keep me reading. The writing style is intelligent; I know some people find Michener too dense for their tastes, but for me this book was just right: much more intelligent than your typical pop lit, but still absolutely readable.

My one reservation about this book is that, while I think Michener was quite progressive for the 50's, there are some wince-worthy moments in his dealing with race relations and his characterization of women and their roles. It doesn't seem to have bothered many people, but there is the occasional bit that hasn't aged especially well. Other reviewers have found the dropping of old protagonists jarring as the story moves on from one generation to the next, but I think that's standard for family sagas, especially when they have the breadth of this one.

I highly recommend this book even to those who have no special interest in Hawaii, and I plan to read more of Michener's work in the future. ... Read more

12. Sayonara
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: 208 Pages (1983-09-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449204146
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A brilliant tale of love and war, SAYONARA tells the story of Major Lloyd Gruver, son of an army general stationed in Japan, dating a general's daughter, and happy with his life. He didn't understand the soldiers who fell in love with Japanese girls. Then he met Hana-ogi. After that nothing mattered anymore. Nothing but her....

... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cross - Cultural Romance in the early 1950s
In a supposed small world intent on globalization, reading a novel
like James A. Michener's, "Sayonara", although set in 1950s Japan,
suggests that in spite of each human's desire for the basic
necessities of life, racial and cultural differences may forever
divide and inhibit an ultimate understanding of another person in
terms of their all important concept of self-identity.

In the novel, Major Lloyd Gruver speaks, in first person prose of his prominent position in a post WW2 world. Symbolic of the America
of that time period, he scintillates with all the sparkling promise
of the American dream. Educated at West Point like his
distinguished father, and touted as an ace Air Force pilot for
shooting down MIGS in the Korean War, he appears to have it all,
especially since he is engaged to the beautiful socially acceptable
daughter of a general. A cushy conventional existence looms in his
future, but the routine and boring familiarity of this supposed
perfect life perturbs him. He finds himself immobilized and
uncertain of moving towards what he thinks of as a repeat of his
parents' lives. He finds himself asking why embrace a mindset and lifestyle for which he has little passion?

From the moment he sets foot in Japan, Gruver, defends his shaky
brand of the American dream; he has little understanding for the
countless GIs romancing "indigenous personnel." When one of his
men, Airman Joe Kelly asks him to stand up for him at his marriage
to a Japanese girl, Gruver is appalled. Rather than the
stereotypical Oriental doll expected, Katsumi, Kelly's bride,
borders on dowdy, the big gold tooth in the front of her mouth
wreaks havoc on Gruver's idea of beauty. The comparison between
this girl and Eileen, his fiancée, epitomizes for him the differences
between the East and the West.

Ironically, when Gruver meets and falls in love with Hana-Ogi, his
impressions of the Japanese change, as do his thoughts for his own
future. Ultimately, Gruver is faced with a few of the big questions-
-can he forgo the life for which he was groomed for an existence
that at that time would have been thought racially and socially
unacceptable? Would the erotic sense of unconditional love that he
feels for this girl, circumvent the problems he would encounter
because of the sensibilities of the day?

Bottom line: Published in 1953, and supposedly (according to "Out
of an Obscure Place: Japanese War Brides and Cultural Pluralism in
the 1950s" by Caroline Chung Simpson) reflective of Michener's
mindset regarding the survival rate of such interracial marriages,
this novel presages the author's growing interest in Japanese war
brides and his own change of heart regarding their success. In 1955
he married Japanese American Mari Yoriko Sabusawa. His
novel, "Sayonara," then magnificently details his personal struggle
to understand a culture much different from his own as he tests his
own self-identity. Recommended to read over and over again.
Diana Faillace Von Behren

4-0 out of 5 stars Better book than it seems
Let's get one thing straight: the Marlon Brando film, while largely remaining true to the book, failed to stay faithful to the most important scene in the latter: the ending. If Brando and the film's producers had maintained the ending, it would have been a much better, more believable movie, even with Brando's horrible, whiny Southern accent.

Back to the book: a surprisingly moving and (even more surprising) short novel from Michener, the king of historical epics. The characters are finely drawn, even the two primary Japanese women, Hana-ogi and Katsumi. Tightly written, without the lush hypersentimentality of the film. The bittersweet ending isn't surprising, but it still catches your throat and makes you wish things had been different then, both in the book and in real life. Ace Gruver is a more complex character than the standard issue romance novel hero, and his relationship with the enigmatic Hana-ogi is given delicate treatment. You could imagine this book being longer, giving more depth to the affair and the marriage between Katsumi and Joe Kelly, but it probably wouldn't have improved on the story. Michener excels in creating those lush, heavily researched, sweeping doorstoppers, but in this, one of his earlier novels, his gift as a storyteller really shines.


3-0 out of 5 stars Short but poignant
This is more of a love story than anything else. We see a story about the type of racism that existed during that time (World War II). It is ironic that Michener tells the other side of the story, letting you know that the Japanese were also scared of losing their identity and heritage (so they acted in some racist ways). The Americans; I guess they were afraid of anybody who wasn't white. But in the end we find how tragic it can be when people are not tolerant.

5-0 out of 5 stars great read
When reading this book, I was surprised that most of the American characters seemed to be racist. But my mother commented that this was what the world thought of Japan after the war.
I liked how the author portrayed Major Gruver. At first, he was showed ignorance towards anything and anyone Japanese, but after he met Hana-Ogi, his views changed. And it was particularly nice that he realized that what was important in a person was what was on the inside, a dated look at history as only Michener can due.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and heartbreaking
I have just began to read Michener's novels, but have enjoyed none more than Sayonara. It varies from his typical writing style... he writes with passionate human emotion to describe racism, love, and culture. This is an amazing and important novel for Americans. Although the story line is somewhat predictable, the language is simple and graceful. It glows with insight on contrasting Japanese ideas on land, country, and marriage. I couldn't get enough of this book. It was spectacular. ... Read more

13. Caribbean: A Novel
by James A. Michener
Paperback: 688 Pages (2005-12-13)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812974921
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"A grand epic."
Master storyteller James A. Michener sweeps us off to the Caribbean,with a magnificent novel that captures the eternal allure of that glittering string of islands and their tumultuous history. Beginning in 1310 and continuing through Columbus's arrival and the bloody slave revolt of Haiti to the rise of Castro, CARIBBEAN carries us through 700 dramatic years in a tale teeming with revolution and romance, slavery and superstition, heartfelt characters and thunderous destinies.
A Dual Main Slection of the Book-of-the-Month Club

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Your Average Historical Novel, Coming Together Painfully into Its Many Themes
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns." -- Daniel 7:7 (NKJV)

Let me mention that I am reviewing the Books on Tape Unabridged CD version read by Alexander Adams.

Michener's main point in this novel is that life in the Caribbean is mostly driven by base human instincts, the beast in all of us, rather than the spiritual side, the best in us.

When James Michener's Caribbean originally came out, the reviews frightened me off by describing the book as being long, disjointed, very bloody, and overwhelming in its size and complexity. Although I've often passed the book on a bookstore shelf, I had an easy time skipping it.

When I found that I was going to be doing a lot more driving than usual in a car with a CD player, I realized that this might be the best time to take a crack at it. I was glad that I listened to the recording. The story grew on me over about six weeks, but it was very slow going in the beginning.

The book has an overall structure that's not apparent in the beginning: Mr. Michener wanted to demonstrate the cultural strains and economic and social problems on the various Caribbean islands, explaining them in terms of history . . . but with a hope for creating understanding that might lead to improvements. It's a worthy goal for a big novel, but I'm not sure that he succeeded. You will certainly be left with some interesting "what if" questions. Who knew that Haiti was once a place of extreme riches rather than extreme poverty? Who knew that there had been so many slave revolts on the various islands? Who knew about the complex naval competitions among the European nations? Who knew how the Spanish heritage affected cultures on islands that were under Spanish rule the longest?

Be patient in the beginning. Each story is carefully selected to provide one or two threads of a large tapestry that dominates the book by the final story. You'll see those threads and those themes repeated in many different forms. It's interesting. But at first, the book's structure just seems random.

By the middle, you'll probably find yourself becoming engaged. It's hard to ignore the appeal of the stories about pirates.

I thought that the book was way too bloody to make for a fun experience. Instead, you'll be chilled to the bone by the brutality and insensitivity to other people that's displayed again and again. I felt as if I was being taken to the lion feeding cage at the Roman Coliseum on a daily basis during those days when Christians were the main course. Despite that, I'm not sure that the book is sympathetic enough on the subject of slavery's evils and consequences.

I agree with Michener's point that education is critical to improving opportunities for people who live in the Caribbean. I think that point could have been made a lot better and a lot more quickly than the novel does. As it is, there's a little too much trying to impress readers that they don't know the whole story. While that's helpful in the case of Columbus, the book tries a little too hard time and again to make an impression. After a while, it becomes annoying to have unusual, extreme perspectives explained in great detail. Do I really need to know in detail how Danish attitudes toward slavery were different from English ones?

2-0 out of 5 stars Long, Dry, Boring
Wow, I just finished this thing. At times, at its best I found it to be somewhat interesting. At its worst it was unreadable. I skipped a couple of the stories. Reads like a boring narrative one would be assigned in history class. All the dialogue ends up sounding like the author speaking through the characters. This became humorous when the charaters would use unique words and phrases the author had just used earlier in a narrative passage.

I have discovered Michener seems to require an adjective for everything, even the most simple objects and subjects. A good editor could have helped with this. The charaters never just "say", they usually "cry". So and so cried, he cried, she cried...maybe it's an english thing. While on the surface the author appears to be fair and balanced, I detected an underlying racism, more than a smidgen of prejudice, it would suddenly spring up at times, usually in the mouth of one of his stereotype charaters. And Michener does seem fond of the stereotype cardboard cutout character, this book was filled to overflowing with them. I would skip this one. I read in the other reviews someone said Hawaii is good, I might try that one.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read
After a cruise to the Caribbean and then a service trip to Haiti, I decided I should reread this.I am a great fan of Michener and this is as good as all of his others.It does an excellent job of giving the reader background on the area.

4-0 out of 5 stars To understand the Caribbean, start, but don't stop, here...
I read this book to familiarize myself with the history of the area while visiting.It's a fairly easy read, just ridiculously long (yet I feel it still wasn't long enough to cover everything it should have).This is my first Michener read.

What I enjoyed most was the sea battle and pirate section.They were an adventure and now I can see why people like pirates so much - I never quite understood the romanticism attached to them before, only the terror.A huge component of this was being given a detailed background of the movements of the Spanish fleet as well as the industry & attitude of the budding colonial islands immediately beforehand, which allowed me to fully appreciate the situation.

I think this is where the rest of the book fails.I feel it does not provide adequate background for it's black, mixed or non-white characters, and their voices and characterization fall flat.I was also extremely dissatisfied with the first two chapters on Arawak and Maya life, which seemed very forced and uninspired to me.Since I read this book to get a little history and feel for the place, and since I only encountered black or mixed people on my visit to the Caribbean, it appears there was much lacking in this telling of the Caribbean story.

However, I did learn many other things and was able to gain a little more perspective on history I already knew about the colonial European powers, so it was definitely not a complete loss.Perhaps the reason many of the main characters were written as outsiders looking in was because that is what Michener was, simply an outsider, armed with an armada of historical publications and research, looking in.In reality, Michener is doing our job for us... researching and delivering, in an entertaining way, 700 years of history in a convenient 800 small pages.Honestly that is not an easy feat, and I applaud his efforts.Instead of complaining more about the perspectives this book lacks, I should seek them out from the history books and Caribbean authors myself, to which Michener provides ample references at the end of his book.

In conclusion, the book gives a good overview of the European history in the region and a snapshot of its "current" situation (c 1980's).It also gave me a useful feel for the historical time line and geographical orientation of the islands.I found it easy and interesting to read and would recommend it to an outsider looking for a place to start understanding the Caribbean...

4-0 out of 5 stars A Book for Readers of Historical Fiction
As he has done so well is so many other epic novels (Centennial, Alaska, Hawaii, etc), James A. Michener weaves an intricate tale of the incredibly huge expanse of the Caribbean Islands and the diverse people who inhabit those islands.Topping over 800 pages, it is not a book to be entered into lightly.If you are not a fan of historical fiction, don't begin this book. However, if you want to learn the incredible history about a region that is largely overlooked in history courses, then this is the book for you.

Michener begins his story with the peaceful island Arawaks being slain in brutal fashion by the warrior tribe, the Caribs.Blood is spilled in great quantity, which sets the stage for the history and chapters that follow, for the history of this region is written in blood, racial hatred, religious intolerance, slavery, and cultural incompatibilites.You will read how the great Imperial powers of yesterday (England, France, Spain, and the Dutch) strove to establish their empires and fought their terrible bloody battles in the Caribbean Sea, which often resulted in major powershifts in Europe itself. Each chapter deals with a specific island and time period, and in typical Michener fashion, he traces specific (fictional) family lines throughout their many generations.(I actually took brief notes on each chapter to remember the family members and their family history).

The sugarcane industry, and the slaves that were needed to work the cane fields is a major theme of "Caribbean", as well as the racial intolerance and hatred between the "cultured" white slavemasters and their black slaves. The generations of violence and bloodshed is absolutely appaulling in its scope and magnitude!One does not hear of this history in high school classes.In our "enlightened" modern era, it is an eye-opener to see how people of color were regarded and abused by their slavemasters. This is a reoccuring theme in all of Michener's epics: how the "civilized" white society imposed their religion and culture on a group of people of color with resulting devastating and tragic results.

The reader will encounter the exploits of many historical figures, such as Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake,Sea Captain Henry Morgan, England's Admiral Horatio Nelson, the bloodthirsty Victor Hugues, Thomas Carlyle, and Fidel Castro. Michener then interweaves quite skillfully fictious characters who interact with the historical figures in what can only be coined "historical fiction" at its best.

If you have read other Michener epics, you will enjoy "Caribbean"; however, if you are not a student of history, this novel will not appeal to you whatsoever.I give it 4 stars, as I believe it is not one of Michener's greatest works, yet certainly deserving of high honorable mention.

Konedog ... Read more

14. Texas: A Novel
by James A. Michener
Paperback: 1120 Pages (2002-11-12)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375761411
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this magnificent historical novel, James A. Michener masterfully combines fact and fiction to present America’s richest, most expansive and diversified state. Spanning four and a half centuries, this monumental saga charts the epic history of Texas, from its Spanish roots in the age of the conquistadors, to its modern-day American character, shaped by oil and industry. A stunning achievement by a literary master, Texas is a tale of violence and conflict, patriotism and statesmanship, growth and development. Among Michener’s finely drawn cast of characters, emotional and political alliances are made and broken; loyalties are established over the course of Texas’s remarkable history, only to be betrayed by the expansion of wealth and industry. With Michener as our guide, this novel is as exciting as it is informative. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars MOVING TO TEXAS OR ANY NATIVE should read this book...
TEXAS is all about the history and the type of people that moved to this state, from Europe and from other States. And a very diverse group it was.

TEXAS is also about the people that were already here. This book along with LONESOME DOVE, a very different type of book but also about this great state, are the two must reads about TEXAS.Both books are famous, and much has already been written about them, by much better writers and reviewers than me, so I'll finish by urging you to read them both,

Juan Montenegro, now living in Corpus Christi

5-0 out of 5 stars Mandatory Reading for all Texans
Texas by James Michener should be mandatory reading for all Texans. I did not want it to end. It starts off slow, as all Michner books, however, it soon builds to a page burner.

4-0 out of 5 stars A long, a very long read
As a transplant from California to Texas, we have found that the culture and the pride in this state are unprecedented and wanted to understand why and how it came about.My husband began reading the Lone Star which is a historical factual book--even longer than Texas.But my book was obviously the most exciting as I finished mine about three weeks ago and he is still struggling with his.Both books give clear examples, stories, and amazing facts about Texas and although it took me 62 years and my husband 70 years, we got here as fast as we could!Texans are a different breed and in order to understand this, you just have to live here, get to know these wonderful people and then read the history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Simply a fantastic read.Michener's realistic fiction, describing the trials of multiple families over many generations, was beautifully written.I thought I would get bored reading a 1600 page novel...I was wrong.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disapointed
The discription of the book was 1st edition.
It was not 1st edition.
Seller would accept a return, but ofcourse
I would be out the shipping cost to return it. ... Read more

15. Return to Paradise
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (1984-09-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449206505
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC returns to the scenes of those tales, which won him world recognition. Once again he evokes the magic of the blessed isles in the Pacific with stories and accounts glowing with color and alive with adventure.
"This is a book that should be read by everyone...and all who have seen the South Pacific will find on every page the odors of frangipani, copra, blood, and beer."
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars RETURN TO PARADISE
This is an outstanding book and is a worthy continuation to Michener's Tales of the South Pacific.It is full of excellent stories about the south Pacific which will entertain the reader to its fullest.

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable stories
The descriptions of the islands makes one want to vacation there or possible live for a short period of time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Paradise
Great travel adventure reading. Learn about s pacific & ww2 in Mitchner's historical/ fictional style.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dated in some respects, but timeless in others.
In this "sequel" to the more highly regarded TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC, author Michener adopts a somewhat different format. For each of the South Pacific islands included, he first writes an essay about its history and culture. He follows the essay with fiction, an original story set on that island. He not only writes about such obvious choices as Tahiti and Fiji; he also includes both Australia and New Zealand. His story set in New Zealand, a World War II homefront piece entitled UNTIL THEY SAIL, later became a film. That's the one part of this book that I remembered clearly, after a good 40 years, when I sat down to read RETURN TO PARADISE for the second time.

Michener's essays describe the South Pacific as it was in the late 1940s, several years before this "tail end" baby boomer was born, so today's reader needs to approach them as history and treat them accordingly. As such, they're intriguing. Some of the accompanying stories are equally dated, but I was surprised to find others echoing with human dilemmas only too familiar in today's world. UNTIL THEY SAIL didn't disappoint me a bit when read from a mature (think "old enough to be a grandma") woman's viewpoint, even though I last read it as a girl not long into adolescence. It helped me understand my parents' generation, then. This time around it reminded me that what happens to men and women separated (or brought together) by war is universal, and its dynamics never change.

Michener is always worth reading. 5 stars for sheer durability!

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the read
While I would be the first to say this is not as good as Tales of the south pacific, few books are. A very good read that any Michener fan will love. ... Read more

16. Tales of the South Pacific
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (1984-09-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449206521
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"Truly one of the most remarkable books to come out of the war. Mr. Michener is a born story-teller."
Winner of the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Enter the exotic world of the South Pacific, meet the men and women caught up in the drama of a big war. The young Marine who falls madly in love with a beautiful Tonkinese girl. Nurse Nellie and her French planter, Emile De Becque. The soldiers, sailors, and nurses playing at war and waiting for love in a tropic paradise.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Stories but...
Just remember they are all complete fiction, after all. Nothing recounted in these stories is real! The Island of Vanacoro? Fake. Ditto Bali Ha'i. Operation Alligator? Fake. The Remittance Man? Doubtless Fake.

He DOES kind of get the fact that there was this thing called WWII though....

NO WONDER it was made into a mindless musical...although I bet Mel Brookes could have made it MUCH more entertaining!

3-0 out of 5 stars It was just OK
I am not an overly avid reader.I was looking forward to this book based on a recommendation.The first few stories were good, but then it kind of got redundant.Didn't even finish it.Not quite right for my personal preferences.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bali-ha'i
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see the revival of "South Pacific" at Lincoln Center in New York City. It was a wonderful experience and it got me to thinking about the book upon which the musical was based, so I bought the book on my way home.

This book was written over 50 years ago, but still holds up well as a chronicle of wartime in the Pacific theater. Many of the characters from the musical are in the book, but not necessarily in the same situations. The real "hero" of this book is the South Pacific itself, and the feeling for the islands instilled in the men who were serving there.

I've read elsewhere that the writing is not first quality and the plots of the stories (there are 19 of them) rather thin. Accepting these things to be true, the book is still well worth reading, because it does give the modern reader some insight into the thoughts and actions of the men fighting, and waiting to fight, on the many islands scattered throughout a vast expanse of ocean.

You'll also read the subtle racism that existed at that time, even if it is not highlighted by the writing. Reading this book does show how far we've come from those days when "you've got to be taught to be afraid of people whose eyes are oddly made, and people whose skin is a different shade".

3-0 out of 5 stars interesting personalities
I was a little disappointed in the book.I thought it would be more on the lines of "Hawaii"

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthy of that Pulitzer
Tales of the South Pacific is a book of interconnected short stories that take place during World War II. Each story is told from the perspective of a different military officer. Some of the characters make repeat appearances in other stories later in the book. It was a nice touch because we were able to find out what happened to them after the stories they were featured in were over.

I must admit when I read the first few stories, I was pretty sure this book wouldn't warrant a very high rating from me. First of all, I tend to avoid books about war. They just don't appeal to me. Secondly, these early stories didn't grab my attention. As I kept reading, I found myself totally immersed in the lives of these soldiers. I really felt for them and the situation that they were in. I think my favorite story in the book was "Fo' Dolla". It was longer than the other stories, the character development was deeper, and the emotional impact was higher. Overall, this was a great read. I can see why it won the Pulitzer. The only reason I didn't give the book a five star rating is because I just didn't feel those first few stories. It took me a bit to warm up to them. This was my first book by Michener, but it won't be my last. ... Read more

17. Source
by James A Michener
Paperback: 1088 Pages (1967)

Isbn: 2221031946
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18. Drifters
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: 768 Pages (1986-10-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449213536
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In his triumphant best seller, James Michener unfolds a powerful and poignant drama of six young runaways adrift in a world they have created out of dreams, drugs, and dedication to pleasure. With the sure touch of a master, Michener pulls us into the dark center of their private world, whether it's in Spain, Marrakech, or Mozambique, and exposes the naked nerve ends with shocking candor and infinite compassion.
"A superior, picaresque novel...and a revealing mirror held up to contemporary society."
... Read more

Customer Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars A little Slack for the Drifters
Well Kids,

In the spring of 1973, whilst aimlessly painting a local hockey ring in Calgary Alberta, I received an invitation to wander to Europe and join an old friend from Colorado State who was traveling Europe.Guess what?An English VW Campervan with all the trimmings.White with a brown interior and orange cushions.Abandoning my job I wound up in Zurich with a rucksack, some kastinger hiking boots, and a copy of Jansens History of Art, which became our guidebook for the next six months of art history, hiking, galleries, public park camping (using the loo's), decent hashhish, lots of wine and all the good things that went well with being 22 (I turned 23 in Vienna) and having a fine gal (the older woman) to share it with.Well I shan't bore you with too much of my adventures, but the drifters was RIGHT ON with the dialogue and characters. Reading it now is a bit like watching Easy Rider (I mean I really thought I could ride a far out harley across amerika, but alas could barely ride my 10 speed) like far out but did we really talk like that?We did unfortunately and after more than forty years I wince at some of the dialogue that my unhappy parents suffered in my aerogrammes home.No email then, our adventures took a little longer to get to the ever suffering reader.But I digress, if you want a true period piece of Travelling Europe with all the cliched characters (including myself, I was the rich kid) they are in the Drifters and though the book and myself seem dated....what a far out time!If one can still do these things I recomend them, my prepschool French and German went a long way, having to suffer through CMDR Rugh's Greek class did not hurt as well.Get on a bus, buy some climbing knickers and head to the Alps or Dubrovnik or Vienna, or Milano.The dream is still there, the Older Woman and I just strolled the streets of Shanghai and Beijing where Drifters lurk.We are more detached, but the essence remains.So Drift on.

4-0 out of 5 stars I don't think Michener thought it was his best work!
I read this book in 1975. It moved me then, it inspired me, it help to create my dreams and I became emotionally involved with the characters.

I visited Torremolinos, because of this book, for 3 months in 1977. I met a Norwegian girl who also read this book (called "The Children Of Torremolinos" in Norway) and was visiting for the same reason. We got married and remained so until 2003 when she died of an illness.

Yes, the book may present some strange views of youth, some far-fetched coincidences and it dragged a little at times. But I loved it, it changed my life from the moment I started to read it.

Compared with the other Michener books I've read, I suppose, it has its failings. But who cares, I certainly don't.

I had the good fortune to meet Mr Michener in the 80's when he visited London with his Football Team the Miami Dolphins. We spoke for about an hour and I told him why The Drifters was my favourite book of his. I think he was a little disappointed as he didn't consider his "greatest" effort. He explained that the reason why he selected such a potentially "out of touch" character as Mr Fairbanks, was because he felt so out of touch with "youth" himself - and so thought that this might help excuse some of the musings in the narration. Nevertheless, he thought that the issues discussed, such as drugs, alcohol, sexual behaviour, the Vietnam war, were too important NOT to write about and that his lack of "expertise" in the thinkings of youth, should not prevent him from raising this subject matter. He certainly does not have any pretentions of being a "classical writer".

He invited me to his home in the US (I felt too awkward to take up the offer) and he also sent me a short note and a signed copy of "Legacy". I found this, probably the most boring book I had read, but of course, I shall treasure it.

I think that some of the reviewers have missed the point. The 60's/70's era was pretty unique and the gap in thinking between the old and young was rapidly increasing but communication was not anything like it is today. Kids rebelled in different ways, they "drifted" and lived in their own insular ways and avoided having to deal with the real issues and so looked for other ways to get some excitement like drugs, drink and sex. Elders looked at this strange world,in horror. The characters are not really meant to be "believable", they are charicatures of some of the youths of the day and Fairbanks was a charicature of the establishment.

Sometimes, books can just be read at the "right time" by someone and the effect will be more far reaching than other, perhaps more "classically perfect" novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Travel With Friends To Another Time And Place....
The Drifters was recommended to me by a friend who knows I love to travel, and the book exceeded my expectations on all fronts. Not merely a travelogue, The Drifters hurls the reader into the middle of the tumultuous year 1969 and the lives of six young people struggling with their futures. There is Joe the draft dodger, Britta the beautiful Norwegian, Monica the stunning yet troubled daughter of a British diplomat in Africa, Cato from inner city Philadelphia, Yigal the Israeli war hero, and Gretchen the activist from upper-crust Boston. They all end up meeting and bonding at the Alamo Bar in Torremolinos, Spain before loading up in a yellow pop-top VW bus to see Spain, Portugal, Mozambique, and Morocco together, each searching for their own direction in a confusing world.

Along the way The Drifters deals with the issues of race, Israel, African independence, the Vietnam war, the unjust brutality of the 1968 Democratic convention, drugs, sexual mores, age relations, music, and much more. You will spend time in idyllic fishing villages, run with the bulls in Pamplona, amble along unspoiled beaches in Mozambique, and wander the maze of tiny streets in Marrakech while meeting a host of wonderfully interesting fellow travelers along the way.

The Drifters runs 768 pages and does tend to wander in places, but if you just go with the narrative and trust James Michener, he makes most everything relevant. The Drifters is huge in scope, and although you will feel that you know each of the characters intimately, it is important to remember that the true central character of the book, as in much of Michener's work, is the time and place of the novel's setting. You will come away from The Drifters with a much deeper understanding of both, and a yearning to visit The Alamo Bar in Torremolinos to see if the gang just might still be there, yellow pop-top full of gas and waiting for adventure.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brush with them. . . .
Maybe his best - A world and a life we all have something of a longing for.Mr. Michener brings it to us across the years and across the miles in a great "can't put it down" novel.

May I add, I know for sure that these people lived.In the mid-70's while a very young man in the Navy, I got a day away from my ship which was docked in southwestern Spain.I took a van trip with a couple of shipmates down to Torremolinos.While sitting at a table on a plaza drinking, we were approached by a couple of 20ish ex-patriot Americans.They were just "traveling and living".They were with others.In short order, we were invited to just "forget the navy" and join them and stay.I didn't, and I'm glad I didn't, but I'll always wonder . . . .

5-0 out of 5 stars The book that helped shaped my views
I LOVE this book.I have read it at least 3 times.It's an engrossing read every time.I read this first when I was in High School in the 70's.I gave it to my daughter to read a few years ago and she loved it too.I think the themes and stories in this period piece span the generations.I own a Kindle and looked for this book in a Kindle version - no luck.I still have my original dog-eared copy.I guess I will just read that once again.... ... Read more

19. Rascals in Paradise
by James A. Michener, Arthur Grove Day
Paperback: 336 Pages (1993-03-11)

Isbn: 0749311886
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The fascinating stories of adventurous men who sailed the South Seas

Some craved power, some craved peace, others merely surrendered to fate.

Sam Comstock -- A sailor crazed by the South Sea Islands and driven to lead the ruthless mutiny. He envisioned himself a magnificent ruler -- but his dream became a nightmare.

Will Mariner -- A golden-haired youth whose ship was captured by hostile natives. He was the sole survivor and his charm turned his captor into slaves.

Captain Bligh -- Was he the infamous captain of the Bounty, the monster legend had made him? Here is the true story of Captain Bligh.

Rascals In Paradise

They searched for adventure in the most dazzling places on earth. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Ya, OK
It was not so good a Michener book.Hawaii is much better.Journey is GREAT!

4-0 out of 5 stars Rascals in Paradise
Michener's compilation of short stories arrayed around the dreamer in all of us who lust over south seas lore, whether we have lived there or perhaps never even visited. These are stories rich in visual majesty, and the human ambition, drive, and misadventure, which the lucky few of us have actually lived.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Wherever you go, there you are"
"Tales of the South Pacific" with protagonists you can love to hate? That's what I was expecting when I picked this book up, since I'm a Michener fan from back far enough so I had to use my mother's library card to check out his books (for some strange reason the Children's Room librarian wouldn't let me have them!). On that level - whether or not this volume of true stories met my expectations - I'm disappointed. I'm not sure if it's because of the co-author's influence on Michener's style, but that definitely could be it. There's a certain academic dryness here that I don't remember from any other Michener work. Or is it because the people depicted are just so unremittingly BAD that spending time with them isn't fun?

In any case, these are well-researched chronicles of the lives of some through-and-through rascals who did their evil deeds from the 16th Century through the first part of the 20th. There's plenty of irony, plenty of historical detail, and plenty of adventure. I found it depressing, but I recognize that as a personal reaction. Its premise, pointed out by the authors at the book's beginning, is definitely borne out: the "refuge" so many men and women have sought, and continue to seek, in Polynesia just isn't there to find. "Wherever you go, there you are?" So very true - and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed recognizing some of the true stories on which elements of Michener's beloved novel "Hawaii" are based.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great collection
This is a wonderful collection of short stories that are bound to please. a cant miss!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wild collection of amazing true stories
Michener and his partner, South Pacific expert A. Grove Day, tell a wild variety of stories from the horror of the Globe Mutinity to the incredible adventures of Coxinga, pirate of the South Pacific. If you want to know the true story of Captain Bligh, the man of mutinies, you'll find there's much more to the story than in the movies.
The theme here is that for centuries civilized man has dreamed of island life with beautiful willing women and few rules or responsibilities. This book shows the folly and tragedy of many and the luck and fortune of some who made it work. I have read most of these stories multiple times and find this a book that remains interesting. As always, Michener is well researched and quite compelling. ... Read more

20. The Source by James A. Michener
by James A. Michener
Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1965)

Asin: B000U336Y4
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars good historical perspective
Although fictional, this book gives the reader a good perspective on the history of the middle east and help one better understand things about the current middle eastern culture.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice read!!!
Great story telling. I think Historical Fiction is the correct way to describe this book? Definitly will get more of Micheners books.

5-0 out of 5 stars The seller was most conscientious in attending to every detail.Thank you for The Source.Makes history alive.
The Source makes Biblial history ppalatable and understandable.Written in an engaging style from page one.Forty five years old and still going strong.My seller was very conscientious in fulfilling every expetation for an copy in excellent condition.Thank you. ... Read more

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