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Rascals in Paradise: Turbulent Adventures and Bold Courage on the South Seas [Mass Market Paperback]

James A. Michener , A. Grove Day
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 12 1987
In a thrilling collection of nonfiction adventure stories, James A. Michener returns to the most dazzling place on Earth: the islands that inspired Tales of the South Pacific. Co-written with A. Grove Day, Rascals in Paradise offers portraits of ten scandalous men and women, some infamous and some overlooked, including Sam Costock, a mutinous sailor whose delusions of grandeur became a nightmare; Will Mariner, a golden-haired youth who used his charm to win over his captors; and Captain Bligh, the notorious HMS Bounty captain who may not have been the monster history remembers him as. From lifelong buccaneers to lapsed noblemen, in Michener and Day’s capable hands these rogues become the stuff of legend.
 
Praise for Rascals in Paradise
 
“The best book about those far-scattered islands that has appeared in a long time . . . a portfolio of rare and ruthless personalities that is calculated to make the curliest hair stand straight on end.”The New York Times
 
“[Combines] research and scholarship (A. Grove Day was a professor at the University of Hawaii) with a gift for spinning a yarn and depicting character (Michener, journalist and novelist, needs no introduction).”Kirkus Reviews

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Review

“The best book about those far-scattered islands that has appeared in a long time . . . a portfolio of rare and ruthless personalities that is calculated to make the curliest hair stand straight on end.”The New York Times
 
“[Combines] research and scholarship (A. Grove Day was a professor at the University of Hawaii) with a gift for spinning a yarn and depicting character (Michener, journalist and novelist, needs no introduction).”Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

James A. Michener was one of the world’s most popular writers, the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tales of the South Pacific, the bestselling novels The Source, Hawaii, Alaska, Chesapeake, Centennial, Texas, Caribbean, and Caravans, and the memoir The World Is My Home. Michener served on the advisory council to NASA and the International Broadcast Board, which oversees the Voice of America. Among dozens of awards and honors, he received America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977, and an award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1983 for his commitment to art in America. Michener died in 1997 at the age of ninety.
 
A. Grove Day was a prolific author, teacher, and scholar of Hawaii and the South Pacific who wrote or edited more than fifty books. Born in Philadelphia and educated at Stanford University, where he befriended John Steinbeck, Day was also one of the co-founders of Pacific Science: A Quarterly Devoted to the Biological and Physical Sciences of the Pacific Region. Many of his works, including Mark Twain’s Letters from Hawaii and Best South Sea Stories, remain local bestsellers in Hawaii. He died in 1994 at the age of eighty-nine.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Those dirty rascals! March 24 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Michener and Day attempt to delight us with a collection of short stories of eccentric and sometimes deceptive real life characters who roamed the South Pacific throughout history. Any one of these characters would have made for the excellent basis of a full-length novel. Dear reader is entertained by the tales of some and bored by others. Take your pick. In short, this is a wonderful book to enjoy when one has either a short attention span or time to read only in short bursts.
The most prolific portion of the book is the introduction, where Michener explains the general feeling of any United States citizen. It was written when the atomic age was in full-scale crisis. Nuclear arms were being amassed at a frightening pace and seemingly tempramental political world leaders had their fingers all too close to the launch button. Michener explains that some Americans dreamed of escaping to the safe, care-free life of the South Pacific during a most perilous time in world history, just as his eccentric and unsavory characters in history have done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wild collection of amazing true stories July 7 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Michener and his partner, South Pacific expert A. Grove Day, tell a wild variety of stories from the horror of the Globe Mutinity to the incredible adventures of Coxinga, pirate of the South Pacific. If you want to know the true story of Captain Bligh, the man of mutinies, you'll find there's much more to the story than in the movies.
The theme here is that for centuries civilized man has dreamed of island life with beautiful willing women and few rules or responsibilities. This book shows the folly and tragedy of many and the luck and fortune of some who made it work. I have read most of these stories multiple times and find this a book that remains interesting. As always, Michener is well researched and quite compelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Island Read Nov. 27 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Great book about the dreamers of the South Pacific. It is a collection of short stories of important and not so important dreamers who have wanted to make a name for themselves in the South Pacific. Stories range from brutal mutiny to the early history of the Hawaiian Islands.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Island Read Nov. 27 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Great book about the dreamers of the South Pacific. It is a collection of short stories of important and not so important dreamers who have wanted to make a name for themselves in the South Pacific. Stories range from brutal mutiny to the early history of the Hawaiian Islands.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Michener's best, but unknown books. Dec 28 1996
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book several times and would recommend it to any
one interested in the history of the South Pacific. I have
read most of his books, and found it to be one of his best. I
enjoyed Tales of the South Pacific, but his non-fiction work
was very informative.
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