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Centennial: A Novel Paperback – May 29, 2007
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From Library Journal
- Gretchen Browne, Rockville Centre P.L., N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“An engrossing book . . . imaginative and intricate . . . teeming with people and giving a marvelous sense of the land.”—The Plain Dealer
“Michener is America’s best writer, and he proves it once again in Centennial. . . . If you’re a Michener fan, this book is a must. And if you’re not a Michener fan, Centennial will make you one.”—The Pittsburgh Press
“An absorbing work . . . Michener is a superb storyteller.”—BusinessWeek
Top Customer Reviews
As a middle school social studies instructor, I can say that Americana is on display in its most enticing format here! The acting is as superb as the actors are familiar! Star after star makes us forget whatever role they played on televison, and remember them for their characterization in Centennial! This is the highest compliment to a film-maker's casting director and producer!
The cast IS exceptional--especially Conrad, Chamberlain, and that old Detroit Lion lineman Alex 'Brumbaugh' Karas! Honestly, having seen this epic four times, I have often wanted to just sit right through all 20+ hours consecutively; it really does grow on you! I can never forget the 'Wendells' every time I hear 'Whispering Hope', and just watching that last half hour's flashback sequence accompanied by 'Guess He'd Rather be in Colorado' still gives me goose bumps!
I enjoyed this epic so much in fact, that while in Colorado in 1993, I tried to locate the town of Centennial. I noticed many familiar landmarks, crossed the Platte River, but of course, found no Centennial town--only the cafe.
I can only say that if one loves the history and drama of the American West and has not seen this chronicle--from Robert Conrad's trip downstream at the beginning, to David Janson's reflective retrospection by the lonely railroad tracks at the consclusion, one has NOT fully seized upon all that Hollywood can contribute to learning about our great country.
Thank you Clay Basket, Levi Zendt, Hans Brumbaugh, R.J. Poteet, Lame Beaver...though fictitious, you made learning come alive for us! And a special thanks to the production company of 'Centennial'!
"...only the rocks live forever".
In 1978 I was living in Boulder, CO, attending CU. I read in the paper that a casting company in Denver was looking for extras for a production of CENTENNIAL. My wife (now ex-wife) and I went down to the casting company. We met Chris who signed us on to the project. Chris was looking for Native American extras. We were both of Native American descent, my wife being full-blooded Lakota. We showed up early each morning east of Greely, CO., on location near the Platte River. We were in the story line that tells the story of Lame Beaver, an Arapaho, stealing horses from the Comanches. These were the first horses for Lame Beaver's band. One day we followed Lame Beaver, Navajo actor Ray Tracey, as we snuck up on foot on the Comanche camp, to steal horses. Lame Beaver (Ray) rides off on a pony, stampeding the Comanches horse herd, while the rest of us ran after Lame Beaver and the captured horses.
The production didn't have all the Native American extras it needed, so the next day we dressed up as Comanches and chased ourselves (yesterday we were Arapahos) away. It was great fun! Robert Conrad was great. He hung out with the extras and even did his famous battery commercial. I met Barbara Carrera...what a fox! The tipi's on the set were used for the extras to crash in or to store equipment. In one scene where a group of Indians is running along a ridge line shot from a distance; my moccasin came off and I stepped on a cactus. If you look closely, you will see one Indian hopping along on one foot...that's me. The 'Hollywood' wranglers were very racist against the Indians and were usually high on coke.Read more ›
CENTENNIAL is about a fictitious town of the same name in Colorado. The town is not nestled in the majestic Rockies, as one might expect, but instead is located out on the vast, open, treeless, windswept plains that run down from the eastern slopes of the mountains. It is here, at the nexus of two radically diverse land masses, that Michener gives the reader a comprehensive history of the area, from the formation of the land and its rivers, to its prehistoric inhabitants, to its early settlers, to its subsequent clash of various cultures. The plains Indians, fur trappers, pioneer settlers, soldiers, ranchers, dry land and irrigation farmers, and the hearty descendents of these diverse groups--all are depicted vividly and weaved into an engrossing story by an author with a keen eye for detail.
CENTENNIAL furnishes an impressive assortment of powerful, unforgettable characters: Lame Beaver, an Arapaho chieftan; Pasquinel, a French fur trapper; pioneer Levi Zendt; trail boss R.J. Poteet; ranchers Jim and Charlotte Lloyd; and many more. Through these characters the reader is given an epic tale of the American West, a tale that is beautiful, compelling, profound, and often tragic. CENTENNIAL is higly recommended to any student of the American West, or to any lover of epic literature.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great saga of the American West. Michener is such a fabulous story teller and meticulous chronicler of the history. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Rich
Read it when it was originally released. Enjoyed it more the second time. There are a lot of issues discussed in this novel that still pertain today, water, pollution, over... Read morePublished 16 days ago by ROBERT J HIGGINS