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Caribbean Hardcover – Unabridged, October 24, 1989


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (October 24, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394565614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394565613
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Caribbean islands, which have seen pirates, bloody slave revolts and the Cuban revolution, are chronicled in this blend of fiction and history. "While the pace is sometimes achingly slow, the dialogue stilted and the characterization skimpy, Michener laces the whole with fiery Caribbean drama," PW remarked.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Review

“Michener is a master.”Boston Herald
 
“A grand epic . . . [James A. Michener] sympathizes with the struggles of the region’s most oppressed, and succeeds in presenting the Caribbean in its rich diversity.”The Plain Dealer
 
“Remarkable and praiseworthy . . . utterly engaging.”The Washington Post Book World
 
“Even American tourists familiar with some of the serene islands will find themselves enlightened. . . . In Caribbean, there appears to be a strong aura of truth behind the storytelling.”The New York Times --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Too many short stories that seemed so violent and so similar.
Jo G.
Michener mixes fictional characters with enough research based history to allow the reader to be well informed about the history of each island.
Dr. Robert Jacob Spong
Really good book...I highly recommend it if you are a history buff.
Midwest Bookworm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Betti Trapp on February 5, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reader beware - 800 plus pages, so this is no book for story time. Extremely prolific, James A. Michener writes as only he can write about the Caribbean, that vast expanse of ocean surrounded by Cuba, Puerto Rico and the extensive small islands smattered across the seascape. This is a powerful history of these islands, and James Michener takes us from the 1300s when a peaceful tribe of Arawaks are horribly destroyed all the way to Castro's Cuba. This is the sort of book one would do better learning about this area from, as the author weaves plot upon plot into a brilliantly masterminded historical novel. You will learn more from this book about the Caribbean Sea and its islands than any history or geography class could give you, and you will have more fun doing it! I gave it four stars simply because with a book this size, there was bound to be some dreadfully boring parts, and there were. If it were a bit shorter in length it would lack nothing but a Pulitzer.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jason Holloway on February 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have read and like michener, this is a classic (my personal favorite). If you have not, classic michener means that he takes a very in-depth, well researched area and wraps a novel around it. In Carribean, he looks at the evolution from the Mayan times to the modern, covering the cultures, the facts and the myths. What makes it fun is the way he wraps his exhaustive research of the facts into the regions myths and a set of characters. This makes the novels fun and interesting, because even though the people are ficticious, one identifies more with the stories of people than a textbook approach to the facts.
The chapters, dealing with different historical periods, focus on various sub-regions as they wane and wax in power and importance. It particularly appealed to my interest in history and frankly may be tiresome to those who do not have the same passion for history (ie, if you don't like historical accounts, you may not like this book!)
Oh, yes, there are pirates, human sacrefice, and you learn where the term barbeque comes from...you may not want to know that!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on May 6, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this novel , Michener takes us throught he ages in the magnifficent Caribbean. While it may be an exaggeration to refer to the Caribbean as a microcosm of the world , it is certainly a rich and diverse and fascinating region , it's tropical beauty matched by it's vibrant and interesting people.
Beginning on the island of Dominica , where the Arawaks, a beautiful , gentle and cultured people where displaced by the fierce and warlike Caribs , it continues through the adventures in the Caribeean of Christopeher Columbus , the great pirate admirals like Francis Drake , the struggles of the Spanish , French , British , Dutch and Engish over these islands, the cruelty of slavery , and the equally savage slave uprisings , how the turbulence of the English Civil War and the French Revolutions reached these islands , right up to the challenges of the present day , including a chapter about the Rastafari movement , and about the tyranny on Cuba of Fidel Castro , and the Cuban exile community in Miami. The book also covers a fictional island called All Saints.

While slow in parts , it is overall a fascinating and entertaining read.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mark Stephens on December 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read JOURNEY, ALASKA, CHEAPEAK, and HAWAII. CARIBBEAN is close to the top of my list. Though this isn't "heavy" reading (like Homer for instance), it isn't exactly "light" either. It is sometimes hard to follow, because so much material from various regions is covered. I often found myself looking back for details I'd forgotten. However, I find the challenge rewarding. I also appreciate Michener's consideration for the reader - he is never vulgar or explicitly sexual. I find that refreshing in today's society.
I learned a great deal from this book, including where "barbeque", "bacon", and "grog" got their meanings. I never really enjoyed history, so I've learned much more from Michener than I would have normally. Perhaps if I were an historian or a literary critic I'd knock it down a star or two, but I am blissfully ingnorant of any faults :-)
For reference purposes, from the list above I rated CHESAPEAK at 5+ stars and ALASKA at 4.5
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard De Clemente on May 31, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If ever I wondered why the Caribbean keeps drawing me back, it's read in the pages of "Caribbean". This fiction based on fact novel allowed me to understand and appreciate the history of the Caribbean. From the beginnings in Mexico and through the history of the Arawak and Carib nations. After I finished, I again traveled to St.Somewhere with a different propective on the islands and its people. My first Michener book, but not my last. A true lesson in Caribbean history.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Connor Eiff on July 14, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was Michener at his best. Sure, a few chapters were kind of boring but what else do you expect of an 800 page book. My favorite chapter was the scholar, near the endof the book about the hindu from Trinidad, Ranjit Banarjee. He was a student who went to the University of Miami and desperately tried to stay in the country after he got his phd. He eventually got caught up in a fraudulent marriage scam. The chapter Buccanears, about pirates was also good, and so was the stuff about Sir Francis Drake.
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