Has there been a film version?
Who are the important characters?
Way too many to mention, the book spans thousands, if not millions, of years.
What’s it about?
The history of Alaska – how it was formed, the animals that lived there, how it was populated, “civilized”, came under Russian then American control, the natural disasters it has seen and its climb to value.
Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Most of Michener’s books are bestsellers because he puts so much into them – they cover an insane amount of history.
Do I recommend you read this book?
If you like history a lot – yes, I very much recommend most of the Michener books I’ve read.
How did this book make my list?
I enjoy historical fiction and historical novels – Michener blends the two.
Has it won any awards?
Sometimes I wish Michener would publish addendums to his books so that they’d get caught up to modern day history.
Michener books just astound me in their detail. He takes an enormous chunk of history and makes it seem like it’s no big deal to cover in under 1000 pages. The book covers the formation of the landmass of Alaska to the late 1980’s. And he brings to life lovely characters, some who are real and some who are fictitious in order to further illustrate his story. You see how each touches the land in some way that alters it forever. Some of their stories are uplifting – the village of Athapascan women who must band together to kill a whale or die; and some are heartbreaking – the American sailor and his young Eskimo bride who are brutally slaughtered by greedy Russians. And yet, with the plethora of stories, none of them take away from the main character whose story is being told – the state of Alaska.
Michener shows us what an incredible journey the land of Alaska has been through. From it’s violent beginning, to its bloody civilization and the wars between Europeans, Americans, and the various Indian tribes – it has remained a hidden treasure. And even though the book is anywhere from 688 to 890 pages, depending on which edition you pick up, it never gets boring.