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Topic: Fires of Spring by James Michener

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Subject: Fires of Spring by James Michener
Date Posted: 7/2/2008 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2008
Posts: 163
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I found it!!!  Have never forgotten this amazing read and have looked for it for years.  Has anyone else read it?  This book had a big impact on me years ago.   I must have been in my mid-20s when I read it.  I remember wanting everyone I knew at the time to read it and experience it.  I wasn't sure who the author was but knew it was someone well-known.  I even checked Michener's books when in libraries but never did find it.  Wasn't exact on the title but just today it came to me when browsing gems here at PBS.

This book is not as well known as other Michener's books, though I can't imagine why!  And other books I've read by him didn't affect me the way this one did - they seemed long and drawn out - drier.  The review here in PBS wasn't good at all and I thought - is this the same book?  So I checked the Amazon reviews just now and most are as raving and enthusiastic as mine would have been after I finished it. 

It is a coming of age story, the characters so real and setting and experiences of this boy then man so vivid it stayed with me for a long time.  It is one of those total DRAW YOU IN books, truly great reading and a definite HIDDEN GEM. 

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,155
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Can you tell us something about the story?  I am a Michener fan, and recall reading smaller, believe it or not, earlier work(s).  And while I can't recall the title(s), this title is not at all familiar.

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2008
Posts: 163
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This is from the inside flap:

"A warm-hearted, readable story, crammed with lively incident and remarkable characters."
THE ATLANTIC
David Harper was an orphan, loney and impoverished. But his longing to embrace the world that abandoned him was stronger than the harsh realities. And even though he's a con man and petty thief at a carnival, he still dreams. For it was there that David learned about love and about women--all of whom taught him the riches of himself.
Here is a rich segment of American life--a magic blend of longing and wisdom, saltiness, simplicity, and compassion.

 

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I've not heard of this MIchener title; I thought I'd read them all!

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2008
Posts: 163
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So even more proof it is a hidden gem Colleen! 

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,155
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I read that!  Years ago I read a Michener that had something to do with a guy in a carnival.  A small book.  I was thinking of that story when you posted, but still, that title stirs absolutely no memory.  I wonder if it is one of those that has been reissued at some time with a different title.

 

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2008
Posts: 163
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Could be.  I did find it on here and have it ordered, as Fires of Spring.  I do know it had that title when I read it long ago.

Seems strange to me that I could never find it, knowing somewhat what the title was, in any libraries over the years.  Such a good book, yet must have been overshadowed by his many other best sellers.

Date Posted: 7/3/2008 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,241
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I think that's one I may have missed also, and I thought that I had read them all. Thanks for the head's up.

Now that I look at the book cover (on the older copy) I'm pretty sure that I have it somewhere and have read it at some time. I'll have to look through my boxes of books.

As to the reviews on PBS, I don't think that "yuck" constitutes a review. lol.



Last Edited on: 7/3/08 9:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1