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James A. Michener, a Biography

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Everyone knows the name, but scarcely anyone knows the man. James A. Michener, the world's best selling story teller, didn't begin writing until he was 40, but with Tales of the South Pacific, his first book, he hit the jackpot. Each succeeding bestseller made him a millionaire many times over. Here for the first time is Michener's life story. This biography, written with Everyone knows the name, but scarcely anyone knows the man. James A. Michener, the world's best selling story teller, didn't begin writing until he was 40, but with Tales of the South Pacific, his first book, he hit the jackpot. Each succeeding bestseller made him a millionaire many times over. Here for the first time is Michener's life story. This biography, written with Michener's cooperation, explores the drive behind the man's success, his relationships with women, agents, editors, publishers and friends. The book was published a dozen years before Michener's death.


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Everyone knows the name, but scarcely anyone knows the man. James A. Michener, the world's best selling story teller, didn't begin writing until he was 40, but with Tales of the South Pacific, his first book, he hit the jackpot. Each succeeding bestseller made him a millionaire many times over. Here for the first time is Michener's life story. This biography, written with Everyone knows the name, but scarcely anyone knows the man. James A. Michener, the world's best selling story teller, didn't begin writing until he was 40, but with Tales of the South Pacific, his first book, he hit the jackpot. Each succeeding bestseller made him a millionaire many times over. Here for the first time is Michener's life story. This biography, written with Michener's cooperation, explores the drive behind the man's success, his relationships with women, agents, editors, publishers and friends. The book was published a dozen years before Michener's death.

30 review for James A. Michener, a Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    JCB

    An evenhanded look at one of the best selling authors ever, the book doesn’t come close to the hagiography I thought it might be. It explores many of Michener’s faults and weaknesses, his ego (apparently he was miffed that he hadn’t won a Nobel prize), and other less praiseworthy aspects of his personality. The book also deals with Michener’s deep interest in politics (he ran for congress, and explored other political activities throughout his life), and the sometimes heavily political bent of so An evenhanded look at one of the best selling authors ever, the book doesn’t come close to the hagiography I thought it might be. It explores many of Michener’s faults and weaknesses, his ego (apparently he was miffed that he hadn’t won a Nobel prize), and other less praiseworthy aspects of his personality. The book also deals with Michener’s deep interest in politics (he ran for congress, and explored other political activities throughout his life), and the sometimes heavily political bent of some of his books. One of his observations noted in his short book ‘Presidential Lottery' (written regarding the Wallace effort to force the 1968 election into the Electoral College, of which Michener was later a member of) is especially prescient: 'Refusal to revise/abolish the Electoral College system is major proof of our stupidity...sometime within this century (it will) explode with dire consequences. In retrospect one day they’ll remember that (I) was right’. So Michener was a bit off on the timing, but ultimately correct in his fears. So the book is interesting . And though the last of Michener’s half dozen books are speedily compressed into one paragraph, and despite the bio being written about a dozen years before Michener’s death, it does seem to deliver on what it set out to accomplish - and that is to paint a realistic portrait of this best selling novelist/historian.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christine Mathieu

    To be honest, it just was not what I expected. Most of all I was hoping to find out much more about Michener's novel "Chesapeake". Well, this biography was from 1984 and has only 276 pages. "Chesapeake" is mentioned in one sentence on one page. Maybe another author dedicated more research and effort into Michener's life and work in the meantime. Because of the wonderful novel "Chesapeake" I decided to stay for 2 nights at a lovely B & B close to the Choptank River which was mentioned in the book. I p To be honest, it just was not what I expected. Most of all I was hoping to find out much more about Michener's novel "Chesapeake". Well, this biography was from 1984 and has only 276 pages. "Chesapeake" is mentioned in one sentence on one page. Maybe another author dedicated more research and effort into Michener's life and work in the meantime. Because of the wonderful novel "Chesapeake" I decided to stay for 2 nights at a lovely B & B close to the Choptank River which was mentioned in the book. I participated in a river cruise.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I have always been fascinated with James Michener and how he managed to be so prolific, successful and interesting. This biography of him doesn't disappoint. Hard to put down and endlessly fascinating. Loved it I have always been fascinated with James Michener and how he managed to be so prolific, successful and interesting. This biography of him doesn't disappoint. Hard to put down and endlessly fascinating. Loved it

  4. 4 out of 5

    John

    Interesting. He was a complicated man. Well written bio.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ross-Barry Finlayson.

    This was the last of Michener's books I read and there was so much I could relate to in his writing. Through all his book there was a character, no one of the main characters in the story, who popped-up in all his books.The character was a member of the "Religious Society of Friends", or a Quaker - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quakers. Michener was himself a Quaker. This was the last of Michener's books I read and there was so much I could relate to in his writing. Through all his book there was a character, no one of the main characters in the story, who popped-up in all his books.The character was a member of the "Religious Society of Friends", or a Quaker - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quakers. Michener was himself a Quaker.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Harris

    A find from the APL Recycled Reads Store. A very interesting story, not especially well written, about an author whose works I enjoy reading. Michener is one of few fiction writers that makes me feel I am reading history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kartik

  8. 4 out of 5

    Judith Grace

  9. 5 out of 5

    George

  10. 5 out of 5

    LA

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sharienne

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cindy G.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeana Fors

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brionski

  17. 5 out of 5

    SamiKat

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julie Hesketh

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Tessmer

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lesley West

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Anne Clairmont

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diane Dahl

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  29. 4 out of 5

    Don Garvey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gary Osborne

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