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Alaska [Hardcover]

James A. Michener
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars James Michener's Alaska Jan. 21 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ordered 3 of James Michener's books that I had previously read and wanted these for my library. The three books were "Alaska", "Hawaii", and "Centennial". The books were received at my residence in excellent condition and the entire transaction was handled in a timely manner. Well done! Thank you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There are two books that are a must read if you or anyone you know is intersted in Alaska. They are ALASKA by James Michener and LOOKING FOR ALASKA by Peter Jenkins. Remember Jenkins from his book, A WALK ACROSS AMERICA, Michener from so many big sellers like TEXAS. Michener offers more of the history, in his fact-ion kind of style, Jenkins offers many fascinating views of real people and actual places from today. Michener wrote this book in the 70's and it is a very, very long book, so there is thirty years of Alaska that is no where to be found and this place has changed so much in that time. Peter Jenkins lived there for a year and a half in 1999 through the end of 2000 and traveled thousands of miles in search of the amazing Alaska of today. I wish Jenkins had included more history, is there a place that has had much more of a diverse and fascinating one than Alaska, I wish Michener had met more of the actual people and gone to the actual places and lived the Alaska life like Jenkins did. For these reasons I suggest both books to the several thousand people every year that I work with as they plan their tours of The Last Frontier. Many of my clients have told me after reading these books and going to Alaska that the books greatly enriched their trip and made them go back. One couple I book travel for has been to Alaska five times in the last three years!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Never Thought Alaska Could be So Interesting! March 22 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Michener has a unique ability for making history come to life in the most interesting of fashions. This book is no exception. I started this book feeling like I knew very little about Alaska and its value. By the time I finished I felt I like an expert on the history and the imense value of "Seward's Folly."
The characters come to life in memorable fashion. One character that I am puzzled by is Captain Michael Healy. For about 40 years he was the law in Alaska, battling pirates, rescuing lost seamen, importing reindeer from Siberia to ease starvation in Alaska. The reason I am puzzled is that Healy is one of the greatest Black Americans, with a "folklore" level history and virtually nobody has heard of him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Did Visit Alaska After Reading Jan. 8 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is among my favorites. I have read most or many of his books twice and always find them to be entertaining and educational. I keep a copy of Hawaii, Alaska, and Texas near at hand.
This is a nice 850 page historical novel that gives a very detailed picture of the evolution of a great state. Alaska is one of the last places to have a very clean and unspoiled environment where fish can still be seen to just jump out of the ocean.
Michener's books use a common plot formula that starts out by telling a story that in some way reflects and utilizes accurately the actual or known historical developments and time lines and people of a region. The story progresses through the development of the region starting with the very early people that came from Asia, he adds in settlers, bush pilots, fisherman, salmon canning factories, business people, etc. adding in more characters and phasing out others as time moves forward up to current times.
When I decided to review this book I was not certain if people were still interested in buying this book but I was pleased to see that there is still interest at Amazon.com in buying and reading this great story.
After this read this book I visited Alaska. If you have the resources I recommend a fishing trip to Alaska assuming that you like fishing - or just a wilderness trip. Alaska is cool even in the summers, but the clear waters, mountains and all the unspoiled wilderness and animals make it a special place. If you cannot go, then read this book. If you can go, read this first.
Good read and a good gift.
Jack in Toronto
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical fiction! Dec 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished this book in preparation for a trip to Alaska in half a year, and highly recommend it for those who want a sense of Alaska's history and culture. The nature of the book is to help people understand the history of the area, its geography, and what daily life was like from earliest times to the present (or at least to the 1980s when it was written). The characters are generally representative of the kinds of people who have lived and presently live in Alaska, showing their differing ideas, lifestyles, and backgrounds with some real historical characters described as well. The different characters and their descendents intersect each other's lives to form somewhat of a plot line, but plot and character development are secondary to showing the geography, culture and lifestyles, etc., of the peoples of Alaska. Michener has creative ways of bringing out explanations of how things worked by having some characters ask others about it, etc., and this he does with such smoothness that it seems natural to the storyline. It is masterfully written, and in the end, one does have a good idea of the history of Alaska and the differing cultures and ideas which have dominated at various times in its past. There are some maps included, and a section explaining which parts of the book are historical and which are fictional, which is very helpful.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
One of his best, if not the best. Great characters, ideas and places that will make your mind soar. Loved it.
Published on Nov. 28 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars fine historical fiction
Mr. Michener is known for his lengthy descriptions, but if you stick with it, you will be rewarded with a great deal of historical knowledge about Alaska. Read more
Published on June 30 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly explains Alaska's evolution
The Best!!! A compelling, brilliantly woven story that explains how Alaska evolved from the days of the mastodons to its current environmental and social justice issues. Read more
Published on June 28 2002 by Anna Noehre
1.0 out of 5 stars Alaska by James Michener
I gave the rating a 1 star since I haven't heard it yet. I never received the Audio tapes. I was charged for them and never got them. The seller claims to have sent 2 copies? Read more
Published on March 30 2002 by Cathy Sweetser
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read in every sence
Simply put, this is just a great book. Michener has got to be the only author that can keep me page turning for over a 1000 pages! Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2002 by Nathan I. Stromberg
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER GREAT BOOK BY MICHENER.........
AS HE DID IN CENTENNIAL AND CHESAPEAKE, HISTORY IS BROUGHT TO LIFE IN ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING FORMATS. Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2001 by W. G. Ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars Alaska
I read the book a few years ago and felt the venturesome spirit of the Russian. Neither I realized the Russian reached Alaska ahead of other European colonists until I read... Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2001 by lai hoi chaw
5.0 out of 5 stars ALASKA--THAT WORD SAYS IT ALL
As a mystery author with my debut novel in its initial release, I found myself booked for a number of promotional appearances in Alaska. I re-read Mr. Read more
Published on July 29 2001 by Kent Braithwaite
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