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Tales of the South Pacific

1 rating: 5.0
A book by James A. Michener

"Truly one of the most remarkable books to come out of the war. Mr. Michener is a born story-teller."  THE NEW YORK TIMES  Winner of the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction  Enter the exotic world of the South Pacific, meet … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: James A. Michener
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Fawcett
1 review about Tales of the South Pacific


  • Nov 16, 2009
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".

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