Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Of Michener and his Chesapeake

So, yours truly managed to pick up a first edition of this book for a few shekels recently.

I found it to be very typical of Michener.

His detractors will try to tell you that his formulaic writing style and lack of character development made the late author nothing short of a hack.

Indeed, I found this best-seller from 1978 to be very much like the other two Michener novels I've read.

And, as he covers nearly four centuries over 865 pages, the folks who populate his narrative are painted in very broad strokes.

Still, Michener fans will argue that his novels transcend these flaws.

They have a point.

If the reader will forgive the uninspired structure and lack of identification he allows (either with would-be heroes or villains), one can put down a Michener novel feeling that they truly know the spirit or character of a given place.

This is certainly true of "Chesapeake."

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