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Return to Paradise
Cover of Return to Paradise
Return to Paradise
Stories
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James A. Michener, the master of historical fiction, revisits the scenes of his first great work, Tales of the South Pacific, the Pulitzer Prize winner that brought him international acclaim. In this sequel collection, Michener once again evokes the magic of the extraordinary isles in the Pacific—from Fiji and Gaudalcanal to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea—through stories that burst with adventure, charm, and local color. For Michener’s many fans around the globe, Return to Paradise is a precious second look at a land of enchantment by one of the most gifted storytellers of the twentieth century.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James A. Michener's Hawaii.
 
Praise for Return to Paradise
 
“A brilliant book and a worthy successor to Tales of the South Pacific.”The Atlanta Constitution
 
“This is a book that should be read by everyone. . . . All who have seen the South Pacific will find on every page the odors of frangipani, copra, blood, and beer.”The New York Times
 
“There’s drama and pathos and adventure and humanity . . . and a very high degree of excellence. Michener can write.”Kirkus Reviews
James A. Michener, the master of historical fiction, revisits the scenes of his first great work, Tales of the South Pacific, the Pulitzer Prize winner that brought him international acclaim. In this sequel collection, Michener once again evokes the magic of the extraordinary isles in the Pacific—from Fiji and Gaudalcanal to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea—through stories that burst with adventure, charm, and local color. For Michener’s many fans around the globe, Return to Paradise is a precious second look at a land of enchantment by one of the most gifted storytellers of the twentieth century.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James A. Michener's Hawaii.
 
Praise for Return to Paradise
 
“A brilliant book and a worthy successor to Tales of the South Pacific.”The Atlanta Constitution
 
“This is a book that should be read by everyone. . . . All who have seen the South Pacific will find on every page the odors of frangipani, copra, blood, and beer.”The New York Times
 
“There’s drama and pathos and adventure and humanity . . . and a very high degree of excellence. Michener can write.”Kirkus Reviews
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Excerpts-
  • From the book MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO, WHEN THE CONTINENTS were already formed and the principal features of the earth had been decided, there existed, then as now, one aspect of the world that dwarfed all others. It was a mighty ocean, resting uneasily to the east of the largest continent, a restless ever-changing, gigantic body of water that would later be described as pacific.
     
    Over its brooding surface immense winds swept back and forth, whipping the waters into towering waves that crashed down upon the world’s seacoasts, tearing away rocks and eroding the land. In its dark bosom, strange life was beginning to form, minute at first, then gradually of a structure now lost even to memory. Upon its farthest reaches birds with enormous wings came to rest, and then flew on.
     
    Agitated by a moon stronger then than now, immense tides ripped across this tremendous ocean, keeping it in a state of torment. Since no great amounts of sand had yet been built, the waters where they reached shore were universally dark, black as night and fearful.
     
    Scores of millions of years before man had risen from the shores of the ocean to perceive its grandeur and to venture forth upon its turbulent waves, this eternal sea existed, larger than any other of the earth’s features, vaster than the sister oceans combined, wild, terrifying in its immensity and imperative in its universal role.
     
    How utterly vast it was! How its surges modified the very balance of the earth! How completely lonely it was, hidden in the darkness of night or burning in the dazzling power of a younger sun than ours.
     
    At recurring intervals the ocean grew cold. Ice piled up along its extremities, and so pulled vast amounts of water from the sea, so that the wandering shoreline of the continents sometimes jutted miles farther out than before. Then, for a hundred thousand years, the ceaseless ocean would tear at the exposed shelf of the continents, grinding rocks into sand and incubating new life.
     
    Later, the fantastic accumulations of ice would melt, setting cold waters free to join the heaving ocean, and the coasts of the continents would lie submerged. Now the restless energy of the sea deposited upon the ocean bed layers of silt and skeletons and salt. For a million years the ocean would build soil, and then the ice would return; the waters would draw away; and the land would lie exposed. Winds from the north and south would howl across the empty seas and lash stupendous waves upon the shattering shore. Thus the ocean continued its alternate building and tearing down.
     
    Master of life, guardian of the shorelines, regulator of temperatures and heaving sculptor of mountains, the great ocean existed.
     
    Millions upon millions of years before man had risen upon earth, the central areas of this tremendous ocean were empty, and where famous islands now exist nothing rose above the rolling waves. Of course, crude forms of life sometimes moved through the deep, but for the most part the central ocean was marked only by enormous waves that arose at the command of moon and wind. Dark, dark, they swept the surface of the empty sea, falling only upon themselves terrible and puissant and lonely.
     
    Then one day, at the bottom of the deep ocean, along a line running two thousand miles from northwest to southeast, a rupture appeared in the basalt rock that formed the ocean’s bed. Some great fracture of the earth’s basic structure had occurred, and from it began to ooze a white-hot, liquid rock. As it escaped from its internal prison, it came into contact with the ocean’s wet and heavy body....
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.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus Reviews

    "A brilliant book and a worthy successor to Tales of the South Pacific."--The Atlanta Constitution "This is a book that should be read by everyone. . . . All who have seen the South Pacific will find on every page the odors of frangipani, copra, blood, and beer."--The New York Times "There's drama and pathos and adventure and humanity . . . and a very high degree of excellence. Michener can write."

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