Hawaii, James A Michener: Review

Everything you wanted to know about Hawaii but were afraid to ask could be how I'd describe Michener's massive novel Hawaii. From the first rumblings on the ocean floor, to the first humans- the Bora-Borans, to the missionaries arriving, to the immigration of Asian workers, to Pearl Harbor and beyond. Michener covers it all. The novel is told through the eyes of a few exceptional characters, both men and women, whose ordinary lives change the history of Hawaii. Through all the upheavals, Hawaii is constant.

A novel based on the whole history of the islands, could have been boring and tedious reading but Hawaii definitely isn't this. The character's are well written and, lordy, there are a lot of them. They can walk off the pages. They are a complicated group of people who struggle to make a life for themselves.

My favorite part of the book was the first half when the islands were being settled and then when the missionaries came. Later, the book is bogged down by politics. There were also more characters with similar names. It was hard to keep them straight.

I found the last 40 pages or so slow going and the ending unsatisfactory. It ends abruptly. For the most part, the novel is quite an adventure, violent and ambitious. Be warned: the 1100+ pages don't make it beach reading material!

Also reviewed by: Teddy @ So Many Precious Books...


  1. Congatulations on finishing it! That's too bad it had some low points.

    Next step: visit Hawaii? aloha

  2. You found the last 40 pages slow going? After getting through the first part? lol. I really loved Hawaii when I first read it.

  3. Great review Christina. Though I liked better than you did, I like how you told us the good and not so good parts.

    By the way, re: Weekly Geeks 2, I am adopting Darla's policy. I am posting a link of this review of Hawaii to the end of my review of it. However, if you would prefer that I didn't do this, please let me know.

  4. Raidergirl- I wish!

    Carrie- I think I might have been Hawaii'ed out by then.

    Teddy- No problem! And I'll do the same for you.

  5. I haven't read this, but I have slogged through his book Space, and I remember really liking it, but also finding it to be extremely LONG.

  6. Kim- I haven't heard of that one but the length wouldn't surprise me.


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