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  • Hawaii
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am 22. Mai 2000
Aloha! If you have never been to Hawaii, James Michener's Hawaii will entice you into going. If you have been to Hawaii, this book will show you what you missed while you were there.
Hawaii requires that kind of explanation. I remember visiting the orchid garden in Honolulu once. I thought I had seen everything and really enjoyed it after 30 minutes. Then a volunteer gardener introduced himself and asked me if I would like a tour. I naturally agreed, and in the next 2 and a half hours, I saw the garden for the first time. That is what Michener will do for you in this terrific novel about Hawaii.
Like all Michener novels, this one starts back millions of years ago with how the islands were formed and populated. You will get a great geology and history lesson in the process. Normally, you would probably not be interested in either one in a novel, but they are both very valuable to you as a tourist in the islands by adding to your knowledge.
The people in the story are full of passion for religion, acquiring material possessions, power and sex. Although the last is not explicitly described, lust plays a big role in the story. That seems as it should in a tropical paradise where warm weather and scanty clothing combine.
When you visit modern day Hawaii, you will see reminders of the founding families of modern Hawaii all around you. Hawaii will give you a sense of the histories behind the current power and business structure.
The book itself is written in a way that feels like you are sitting at a luau with someone telling you the story through a combination of traditional means (like the hula) and good campfire story-telling. It's almost like a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center on the northern shore of Oahu.
Seldom do I wish that long novels (and this one is really long) would keep on going, but that was my wish with Hawaii. Even if the fiction were not based loosely on fact, it would have been an exciting and engrossing novel. The fact that the reality is a lot like the novel makes it all the more appealing.
Hawaii will hook you on Hawaii. That's good. We all need more of the magic of the islands in our lives. Leave your misconceptions behind about Hawaii being too far away. It can be right inside of you. Enjoy!
0Kommentar| 9 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 13. Februar 2005
Interesting and very illustrative, the novel starts with first eruptions unter water and the folding up of the islands; then the first population came over the sea to settle on one of the Hawaiian islands, the sacral rites and social life developped; then - parallel in the 18th century - a group of missionaries and their wifes from the South States traveled on a ship to Hawaii to convince the islands' people with Christian belief and rites; of course many misunderstandings between the two so diffentently educated groups of people caused violations of rules and laws vice versa; the next generation grew up and some of the younger men and women did not go conform with their parents; new peoples from China and Japan immigrated into Hawaii first as farm workers but then became accommodated and formed also an important part of the mixed population, they all became official citicens of Hawaii before WW II, became then soldiers in the American Army and finally Hawaii became one of the 50 States of USA.
All in one, the novel keeps you in suspense from the beginning of the book until the very end.
0Kommentar| 4 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 27. Juli 1999
Like all of Michener's books, which are considerable in number, Hawaii was educational more than completely enthralling. Michener does not create true literature, instead he generates literally thousands of cardboard cutout characters that move around and sometimes even bump into each other in exact replication of actual historical events! Think of a very colorful and detailed diorama with factually accurate period pieces and almost lifelike wax figures representing important events in history. It is sometimes pleasing to the eye, and it is always informative, but storyline and characters rarely rise above the level of a daytime soap opera. This same criticism could apply to virtually all of Michener's historical works.
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am 6. März 2000
Though the book is a little hard to follow at the beginning, you have to persist, because what comes next is an incredible tale of how Hawaii was populated and later became such a mixture of races. Again, Michener has given us a beautifully written book and a real joy to read.
0Kommentar| 2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
I am about to do something I very rarely do. Give up on a book through sheer boredom. I'm 700 pages into the thing, so I feel I've given it every chance! Reading the previous reviews, a reasonable explanation might be that Amazon sent me a different copy of Hawaii than the others received. I doubt it though! The story starts with Michener's usual tedious geological data, followed by a fairy-tale type account of the original settlers, from Bora-Bora, would you believe? The story then leaps to the early 1,800's, introducing us to the first central character. Abner Hale no less! A devout, religious, New Englander. A stubborn, boring, would-be missionary in his teens. This poor wretch lives a long life in Hawaii, using his inadequate & flawed character to the full, converting the local SAVAGES (his word, not mine!) to Christianity. His treatment of his "flock" is devastatingly viscious & bigotted until finally dying alone, in poverty & insane. A well deserved fate if you ask me! There follows long pages on the progess of a boring, but industrious Chinese couple, an equally drab Japanese immigrant, etc.. Where (or perhaps, why?) did he come up with these people? The Hawaiian descendants are little better, bullies, braggarts & bigots almost to a man. In fact, racism & bigotry are underlying themes throughout the book. In my experience, Michener's novels have an unerring tendency to tail off badly into long, dry endings. With a beginning & middle like I have just read, I'm giving up now!
0Kommentar| Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 17. Februar 2000
I'm 338 pages through this book, and I can't put it down. It is literally stuck to my hand, and my eyes won't focus unless they're on Michener's wonderful words. I have never in my life read a book like this before. I'm only 16, MTV attention span and all that, and if I of all people can find a 1200 page book absorbing and amazing and superlative, then anyone can. Pacific Island history is some of the most colourful in the world, and often overlooked. I'm infuriated with Abner Hale, admire Malama and think Terero's tops. I love these characters! All right, well, I'm off to finish Hawaii. After that, I reckon I'll have all the inspiration I need to write the Great Novel O Aotearoa. Shalom!
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am 19. April 2014
I do read Hawaii on a regular basis all over again and was hooked from the very first time I had it as paperbook.
Mr. Michener is (was) one of those great novelists I would have truly liked to have a coffee with and talked to. He broadened my horizon and enriched my life with especially this story. When after waiting for so long Hawaii was finally publicised for the Kindle I had to have it. Had to! Even bought the Paperwhite because of this fact.
If you read Hawaii for the first time.... Brace yourself to embark on one of the most facinating stories ever to be told by men. From the first page to it's very last. TRULY spellbinding from A-Z
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am 18. Mai 1999
I have read a number of Michener's books, so I came late to this one. I really enjoyed the book. Michener has his own unique way of developing characters. You feel like you really know and care about the people he writes about. Although it is a very good book, it's still not "My" favourite Michener - for me that would have to be Chesapeake.
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am 1. Juli 1999
James Michener is undeniably one of the greatest storytellers of our, or any, time. He invents most interesting plots and people. His language is fluid, rich and absolutely striking. "Hawaii" is spectacular. It was the first James Michener book that I have read and, four years later, it is still the best. Nothing compares to the beauty of Michener's prose and richly-developed characters. There are dozens of quotes that I have re-read and memorized because they strike a familiar cord. "Hawaii" is a book that has something for everybody. I do not know how anyone can not like this book but people who are wondering whether to read it or not should go ahead and do it: they will not be disappointed. "Hawaii" stands out among all other books, including Michener's. His "Alaska", "Poland", "Texas", "Mexico", and especially the dreaded "The Covenant", among others, cannot even compare. Thus, if you do not want to be disappointed, read some of Michener's other books first and leave "Hawaii" until the end. Save the best for last.
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am 26. September 1998
If you've ever lived in or spent any length of time in Hawaii, then you must read this book. Though it took me a month and a half to get through it, I was sad for the book to end. My curiosity is certainly whetted now because I have no idea what real people the characters are supposed to represent. I'm sure the Hales, Hoxworths and Whipples, etc. are supposed to be Bishops and Blaisdales and Campbells, et al, but I'd like to know who specifically. I'm also sure that the Kees and Sakagawas are also probably about some specific people too, but who? I'd like to see a reprint of this book with a very frank forward by some scholar of the Islands who can break the code for the reader!
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