by James Michener

Hardcover, 1989



The Caribbean, a name to conjure with, retains an allure that is half hype and half history. Michener's magnificent novel captures the area's magnetic attraction. He begins his story long before Columbus. From earliest times, the Caribbean has been a crossroads of culture - from the conquest of peaceful Arawaks by their more powerful neighbors, from Columbus's arrival to the bloody revolt on Haiti, from slave trade and sugar plantations to the rise of Castro. Michener gives us 700 dramatic years in a tale that teems with revolution and romance, slavery and superstition, vivid characters and dramatic destinies.


(186 ratings; 3.6)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Darla
It's a horror story of greed, short-sightedness, and religious, national, & racial hatred--not even intolerance--outright hatred. I must say, he did a good job of showing how the various leaders could be both brilliant in some ways while they're downright evil in others. And he did a good job showing the dark side of all the sides. And I learned a lot. It was just pretty painful to read.… (more)
LibraryThing member p4style
Loved Michener so much that I bought every book written by him and in stock at a used bookstore. Everything he wrote makes you experience the setting as if you, too, traveled there and got to know the country.
LibraryThing member TimmyP
Very good book. I read this while living in the Caribbean. Even if I hadn't known the history of the region, it is a great novel. The book is made of chapters, each corresponding to a different ages. It starts with times before European colonizers and works its way up to present day. Each chapter has great characters and introduces you to a different culture that influenced the Caribbean (Native-Americans, Spanish, French, English, Danish, American...). Each chapter is so interesting that they could all be turned into their own full-length book. A long book but well worth the time investment.… (more)
LibraryThing member JohnDiehl
This novel by James Michener (one of our great authors) was a bit of a let down for me. It was an interesting and a informative historical story, but the story just seemed to drag on.
LibraryThing member jpsnow
This wasn't as captivating as my favorites by him, but it does as well at conveying the essence of the region and its roots in mercantile-era history. I especially enjoyed the tragic story in his chapter about Guadeloupe.
LibraryThing member alisonb60
A wonderfully written story. I almost gave up at the beginning, it was so violent but I am always glad that I persevere with Michener he never disappoints.
LibraryThing member LauGal
This was my first and last Michener book. It took me 3 months to get thru this book. The only thing I remembered as soon as I closed the book and what I remember to this day is the fact that pirates have gold earrings to pay for their funeral.
I am not a Michener fan. It is me. I would recommend this book to anyone willing to give it a go.… (more)
LibraryThing member santhony
Not as entertaining as Alaska, Texas, Centennial or Space, but a pretty good historical novel nonetheless.



Random House

Original publication date



0394565614 / 9780394565613
Page: 0.137 seconds