Rascals in Paradise

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449214596
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1987
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet 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.

Biography

James Albert Michener is a Pulitzer prize-winning author reknowned for his historical epics. A prolific novelist and relentless researcher, Michener wrote over books. Despite his substantial commercial success, he was known to be a humble man and a was an active philanthropist. His many beloved works include Tales of the South Pacific, which was adapted for Broadway and film as South Pacific, Hawaii and The Source.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      James Albert Michener (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 3, 1907
    1. Date of Death:
      October 16, 1997
    2. Place of Death:
      Austin, Texas

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2006

    'Wherever you go, there you are.'

    'Tales of the South Pacific' with protagonists you can love to hate? That's what I was expecting when I picked this book up, since I'm a Michener fan from back far enough so I had to use my mother's library card to check out his books (for some strange reason the Children's Room librarian wouldn't let me have them!). On that level - whether or not this volume of true stories met my expectations - I'm disappointed. I'm not sure if it's because of the co-author's influence on Michener's style, but that definitely could be it. There's a certain academic dryness here that I don't remember from any other Michener work. Or is it because the people depicted are just so unremittingly BAD that spending time with them isn't fun? In any case, these are well-researched chronicles of the lives of some through-and-through rascals who did their evil deeds from the 16th Century through the first part of the 20th. There's plenty of irony, plenty of historical detail, and plenty of adventure. I found it depressing, but I recognize that as a personal reaction. Its premise, pointed out by the authors at the book's beginning, is definitely borne out: the 'refuge' so many men and women have sought, and continue to seek, in Polynesia just isn't there to find. 'Wherever you go, there you are?' So very true - and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed recognizing some of the true stories on which elements of Michener's beloved novel 'Hawaii' are based.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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