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5.0 out of 5 stars James Michener's Alaska
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.
Published 6 months ago by David Millward

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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but...
I'm about half-way through and have so far found the book both educational and enjoyable. However, what's all this about nuclear reactions in the center of the earth creating all the elements heavier than hydrogen and helium (chapter 8--"Gold")? I realize the book is about Alaska and not Stellar Evolution but this is a pretty big goof.
Published on March 4 2001


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5.0 out of 5 stars James Michener's Alaska, Jan. 21 2014
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This review is from: Alaska (Mass Market Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Two books that are a must read if interested in Alaska, June 10 2004
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This review is from: Alaska (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
This review is from: Alaska (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
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This review is from: Alaska (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
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Anna L. Kroll "annalois" (Newhall, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alaska (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, Nov. 28 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Alaska (Mass Market Paperback)
One of his best, if not the best. Great characters, ideas and places that will make your mind soar. Loved it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fine historical fiction, June 30 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Alaska (Mass Market Paperback)
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. I have also read "Journey" so I know more about Alaska than perhaps I ever cared to know. Michener really brings his writing talents to the table in the final chapter about modern Alaska. The basic issue in the final chapter is the conflict between modern culture and traditional culture. Kendra, a teacher of Eskimos from Utah, ends up having to make a marriage choice between an idealistic lawyer who supports Alaska's traditional or subsistence cultures, Jeb Keeler, and the grandson of a Seattle business executive who works as a scientific worker on an iceberg and ran
in the
Iditarod dogsled race, Rick Venn. Perhaps surprisingly, she chooses Venn, mostly because of his noble behavior in the dogsled race, when he sacrifices his chance to win to aid a fallen comrade.
The third main character in the final chapter is Poley Markham, also a lawyer from Phoenix, who attempts to take advantage of the numerous legal problems that arise in connexion with the Alaska Native Settlements Act,making himself instantly wealthy. He is on the side of modernism,unlike Jeb, and with his rather macho personality has a strong side- interest in hunting which he shares with Jeb, and which is the final chapter's main subplot(hunting the"The Alaskan Big Eight"). There are others --the scientific expert on tsunamis is an important one. The ethical questions Kendra must face in connection with her Eskimo students are touching and are well developed. Michener occasionally uses tragedy if it serves his purposes, as it does here. A suicide and an unexpected death are symptoms revealing many of the problems of traditional cultures.
We are also repeatedly told how and why everything is more expensive in Alaska, due to the Jones Act of 1920. The lawyer Jeb Wheeler is finally killed by a tsunami in the climax of the book, perhaps also revealing Michener's views of liberal lawyers.
All chapters are similarly developed so that by the end one gets a real feeling for Alaska's traditional cultures, and a lot
more too. On the scientific side, we get geology, anthropology, oceanography, biology, including getting inside the minds of mammoths and salmon. We are introduced to a great deal of Russian colonial history in the early chapters as it relates to Alaska;to a great deal of seafaring lore including the hunt for sea otter and seal pelts, and to the destruction of the Eskimo's way of life by alcoholism , courtesy of an unscrupulous sea captain. We go on several whale hunts and are given details about them and the harpoons. By the time the Americans enter the picture, we are ready for the poor management; all the swindlers connected with the Gold Rush, which gets a thorough treatment, focusing on the Klondike and on Nome. Michener carries the characters from this period, and their progeny, through to the end of the book. There is then a long chapter on the salmon industry which tells us how the industry unscrupulously took advantage of the Jones Act of 1920, which puts all economic power in the hands of Seattle businessmen at the expense of native Alaskans. We are introduced to Sam Bigears of the Tlingit tribe, his daughter Nancy, and to Ah Ting, the Chinese worker who can repair machines but who is ultimately replaced by machines. In the next-to-last chapter we learn of the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian islands during World War II and the building of the Alcan Highway, as well as to the adventures of Leroy Flatch, the "bush pilot". There are numerous other sub-plots, and we also get a real feel both for Alaska's oceans, glaciers, icebergs, mountains, vocanoes, and earthquakes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly explains Alaska's evolution, June 28 2002
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This review is from: Alaska (Mass Market Paperback)
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. The BIG PICTURE as only Michener can display it. This book explains the ethnic, geological, zoological, and political roots of *all* Alaska's current predicaments. Very educational and a fabulous can't-put-it-down read into the bargain. If you can only read one book about Alaska, this is the one!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Alaska by James Michener, March 30 2002
This review is from: Alaska (Audio Cassette)
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? I am very dissapointed with the marketplace. The seller said that they would refund my money but never did. Original order was back in Oct.This is March. I leave for a trip to Alaska very soon and wanted to listen to this book on tape while I read other books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read in every sence, Feb. 6 2002
By 
Nathan I. Stromberg "natestromberg" (St. Paul, MN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alaska (Mass Market Paperback)
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! Though it took me a while to read, I had the sence that I was reading 10 fantasic novels that all related to the same place. Of course, that's Michener's style. The Source is still my favorite Michener novel, but this one came in a close second. Having read 4 of his books now, I'd say that this one differs in the way Michener carries his characters from Chapter to chapter. You really get a sence of wonder for the history of the land and it's intregue as you read about a character who reappears as an older person in another chapter. The last few chapters are great, as you understand more about the main characters family histories than they do! Alaska really book ends itself well. Some Michener novels cover such a broad spectrum of time that the chapters feel detatched and all together seperate. However, Alaska remains a novel first and foremost about the land itself, and there is just as much wonder and danger in the last chapter as the first. I'm so glad I read this book and can't wait to read another of Michener's books.
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Alaska
Alaska by James A. Michener (Mass Market Paperback - May 29 1989)
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