This book did not thrill me at all, even though it is considered to be a classic. YUCK!!
I have read almost all of James Michener's books and this is by far his worst. It is preachy and moralizing and on every other page, the characters have a "break through" in their understanding of life, but it has no effect or improvement on their impoverishd lives. It is a depressing novel and its hard to find a point in why it was written. Michener wrote it in 1949 and perhaps it is in a way his own coming of life as a novelist,but there is no feeling of having learned anything by reaching its long end, just a feeling that finally I am done with this book and its depressing characters.
One of the finest books ever written. I would like for all readers to know about this book, because this book has the kind of depth that readers long for and cannot find amid the formulaic installment writers of this era. What is amazing is how this novel remains so vibrant 50 plus years after its release. The human interest aspect is still so poignant. The cast of characters are among the most interesting ever created and Mr. Michener does such a great job of bringing the time and place alive that you can smell it.
I've read several of Michener's books that give a fascinating history of a region and its people. This book has the same great story telling, but is the story of just one man. Quite different, but a good read.
I just finished reading this book and I feel a duty to warn others. Michener is a great author but this is not even a good book.It is almost certainly biographical and as such self indulgent tripe. The author speaks about a novel being a pot in which everything is tossed and that is the feel. I suspect he took his notes from all his formative years and attempted to distill them in one work. If he had not just won a Pulitzer for Tales of the South Pacific I doubt this would ever of made it past an editors desk.
If you love Michener as I love Orwell it may be worth while to read this and see him develop as a writer other wise be warned.