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Download Alaska epub

by James A. Michener

Ranging from pre-history to the present day, this is a classic Michener novel, huge in scope, as vast as the land he so richly describes---a panoramic novel that is pure gold. (from backcover)
Download Alaska epub
ISBN: 0552134066
ISBN13: 978-0552134064
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: James A. Michener
Language: French
Publisher: Corgi Books, Transworld Publis; Corgi Edition edition (1989)
Pages: 1274 pages
ePUB size: 1263 kb
FB2 size: 1854 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 148
Other Formats: mobi docx doc txt

I had mentioned to my primary care doctor that my wife, son and I had an upcoming trip to Alaska and he highly suggested me reading this book before hand. He had been to Alaska three times and stated that the book really puts the geography, history and past culture as well as current culture in perspective. I can say that by reading the novel, I referenced several places and some of the information that was presented on numerous tours and had a better understanding due to this book. I understand Mr. Michener has a whole line of books written in the same format about many places around the world. I plan on reading more of his work in the future if we plan a trip to a place we have never been to. By writing in a novel form , it made the history of the great state come to life and made it much easier to follow along. The only con would be the books length. I read it on my ipad kindle and actually finished it while on vaction there. While there, we saw the paperback edition on sale at various places and picked up a copy to find out that the book is actually 1100 plus pages long! Having said that, if you enjoy novels and history, don't hesitate. Well worth the price.
For the most part, this is an awe inspiring and very informational account. I consider myself pretty well read and informed, but there were dozens of times I left the book and researched various events, people and places to find out if they were part of the Historical or Fictional part of the story. Most of the time I found them to be true historical facts and was amazed at how closely woven the story was.

This book is long. Very long. I strongly recommend that you have a month or two where you will be able to really devote to it. There are so many stories in it that even after setting it down for a week I had to read the last few pages to remind myself where I was. That's not a good or bad thing by itself, just something to consider.

The few points I have to make that detracted from the book are:
A) There is a fair amount of pure conjecture at the outset regarding prehistoric Alaksa. I almost gave up on it in Chapter 1.
B) Many of the vignettes are not resolved. And you don't realize that they are open ended until much later, because he often comes back to stories so you don't think anything of it initially.
C) The ending. There isn't one, really. It's like he suddenly decided to stop there. Very disappointing. You feel like you suddenly discovered that this was book X of Y. Except it's not.
This is only my second book by Michener and loved it as much as Hawaii. The books are long and get into a great deal of detail but are so informative and interesting that you don't mind. When it ends you want to know more. Would like to find a book that explained the last half of the 20th and so far into 21st century as clearly as Michener's did. Did the Eskimo and Tlingits get to choose the lifestyle they wanted to lead? Which governors did the right thing for their state? Did the leaders in Seattle ever realize how they had held the state back? You will love the book if you Ike to learn while being entertained. I think I will try Cheasapeake next.
The best thing about this book is that it left a permanent imprint in my mind. After reading it I feel that I understand Alaska complicated history and demographics a little better. And it was a surprisingly fun read all along.

Like most Michener books, this one is also a mixture of true history and life stories of mostly fictional characters with some real historical figures lurking in the background. Sometimes the adventures of the fictional protagonists were so engaging that I was forgetting a broader historical picture, at the other times the real history and geography become so fascinating that I was forgetting about fictional characters. At the beginning of the book there is a very useful short chapter explaining what is fictional and what is true. In agreement with the historical truth, there is a lot of cruelty and carnage involving both, humans and animals. But there is also a lot of compassion and love.

The book spans thousands of years and is 1200 pages long. But it is like a few separate books combined in one, each with separate (or only loosely related) sets of characters. Good thing about it is that if one is not ready for such long reading commitment one can always skip some parts and read about the periods in history which interest one most.
The ending is a little anticlimactic because it does not bring reader to the presence. I wish Mr. Berry (who wrote very nice introduction) wrote one short chapter at the end.
This is a huge book and I am only about 1/3 the way through. I am loving it! I made a point of starting this "historic" work while on a cruise to Alaska in June 2018. The trip and the book both illuminated each other. But apart from the cruise, this is yet another Michener masterpiece. You get drawn into the characters and their stories; and the extraordinary way Alaska was bought from Russia and slowly became a state. The momentum of the book keeps you ever wanting to know more. Michener's literary style is deceptively simple - which makes for readability - while also being well researched. He challenges my vocabulary from time to time, which I love. Who cannot revel in a word like "persiflage" and not determine to make it part of daily speech?

I not only want to finish this book; I want to go back to Alaska!

I've added an image of the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Sitka as it is now. The onion shaped dome is just visible on the left.
This is the third Michener book in a row I read adn I am not much of a reader. His research is incredibly detailed and his writing style is compelling. His books are about 1000 pages long - intimidating for me - but after reading Chesapeake and Hawaii, I am hooked on Michener. I am taking a break with another book right now, but will likely read Michener's Tales of the South Pacific in the future.
Read this book many years ago, and it held my interest this time around, despite being very long (in other words, a typical Michener novel). If you have any interest in history, the development of the western US, etc. I highly recommend it.