This series of war-time stories won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948. Several formed the basis for the Rogers and Hammerstein hit musical South Pacific. Amid the war and the horseplay, theyre all here: the middle-aged French planter and the Navy nurse, the Lieutenant and the native girl, Bloody Mary, Bali Hai.
I normally enjoy Michener's works, but found this collection of short stories nearly impossible to stick with. I knew not to expect the bright and breezy world of the musical "South Pacific", which was loosely based on this book. These stories tell the more realistic, grittier, often not so pretty tale of life in the backwaters of the Pacific war, and they do it well. But the writing seems stiff and dated now, as do many of the characters. What was probably fascinating to readers closer to the event, who were familiar with minor operations on faraway islands, is much less accessible and immediate today.