No, it wasn’t because it was atypically short for a Michener. It is true that the paperback, in its entirety, is under 190-pages!
But, I have read another short Michener: ‘Miracle in Seville‘. That was different.
During much of this book I was convinced that he had NOT written it. That he had just lent his name to it so that the publisher could make a quick buck. But, curiously, this book, as its last chapter per se, contains a lengthy stream of consciousness from Michener talking about how this book came to be. The story was culled from his ‘1,000-page’ ‘Alaska‘. It, set 99% in Canada, was out-of-place in that novel and they were trying to keep it from getting too long. So, they took this tale out of that book and eventually Michener got around the publishing it as a standalone.
Maybe that is why it reads strange. In parts he seems rushed. The story is not very well developed. It feels sloppy.
Yes, great characters and you can really relate to them — especially if you, like I, are British. But, in the end I was left unsatisfied, unfulfilled. Like they say about Chinese. In the end you didn’t feel full.
Not a Michener I would recommend. I have just ordered Alaska in paperback.
Maybe I have read too much Michener. This was the 5th Michener in the last 18-months — and they included ‘Hawaii’, ‘The Covenant‘ & ‘Tales of the South Pacific‘. That is a lot of words from the same person.
It will be a couple of weeks before I pick up ‘Alaska’.
The ‘Michener Corner’ in my study.
Separate from all the other books.
Don’t make fun of me for recommending a book that was published in 2003. Sorry. I very rarely read a book as soon as it is published — ‘The Da Vinci Code’ the one exception I can remember.
We appeared to have picked up a copy of this alluring book at our local ‘Swap Shop‘ where you can invariably find a good book or two. I think it had been languishing around the house for some time. Having read ‘Hawaii‘, ‘Miracle in Seville‘, ‘The Covenant‘ & ‘ Tales of the South Pacific‘ within the space of 10-months I needed a break from Michener. I saw the book, liked the title and started reading it.
Yes, of course, millions have obviously raved about this book ahead of I. The cover itself has the splash banner that says ‘A New York Times Bestseller‘.
To I it was a less intense version of “To Kill A Mockingbird“! Set slightly later in the South but a story that revolves around the racial inequality and tension of pre-Civil Rights USA. Very cleverly done. Kind of disappointing to learn that it is all fiction. It definitely feels very real.
You want to know what happens next. As such it is quite the page turner. Yes, there is some ‘fluff’, but that is ‘OK’. I assume it was meant primarily for a female audience. That bothers me none. I enjoyed it. I have some familiarity of Black Madonna worship around the world. So, I enjoyed that aspect.
They have made a movie of the book. I watched the trailer. Hhmm. Some actresses from “Hidden Figures” a movie that I have already watched twice. But, from the little I saw, it didn’t seem to jive with the book. So, I am not going to rush into watching it.
Highly recommended. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and read it.
Click to ENLARGE.
Do not get me wrong. I am a HUGE fan of James A. Michener, as the photo below of my little ‘shrine’ to him in my library amply testifies. Also, if you do a SEARCH of this Blog (using the included SEARCH feature) of ‘Michener‘ you will see that I rave about him.
I know he was a good man, had a good heart and was a true philanthropist.
But, I finished reading his acclaimed, award-winning ‘Tales of the South Pacific‘ (1947) and I was NOT impressed. There were parts in it which were very disturbing. Yes, I appreciate that he wrote per 1946 standards BUT his tone and timbre when he deals with non-whites is patently wrong and offensive.
He repeatedly calls Polynesians and Chinese SAVAGES. I show but three examples above. There are more. Go to Amazon and use the electronic ‘Look Inside‘ feature. You can search for words with that. Type in ‘savages’.
You could NOT get away with that today.
Polynesians and Chinese?
Yes, that I am Asian probably makes me a tad more sensitive than others.
I like Polynesians and Chinese. They are NOT savages.
He also is very dismissive of American blacks in the forces. YIKES.
I also question his sexual-orientation. He comes across as ‘not that partial to women‘. Yes, I know he was thrice married and his last wife was Japanese. But, he was more than happy to leave his first wife for long periods of time and he was childless. Hhhmmm.
I was looking forward to reading this book. I had just finished ‘The Covenant‘. Yes, there were bits in there that raised my eyebrows and hackles, but nothing like what I encountered, alas, with ‘Tales of the South Pacific’.