Centennial Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in James A Michener s magnificent saga of the West is an enthralling celebration of the frontier Brimming with the glory of America s past the story of C

Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A Michener s magnificent saga of the West is an enthralling celebration of the frontier Brimming with the glory of America s past, the story of Colorado the Centennial State is manifested through its people Lame Beaver, the Arapaho chieftain and warrior, and his Comanche and Pawnee enemies Levi Zendt, fleeing withWritten to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A Michener s magnificent saga of the West is an enthralling celebration of the frontier Brimming with the glory of America s past, the story of Colorado the Centennial State is manifested through its people Lame Beaver, the Arapaho chieftain and warrior, and his Comanche and Pawnee enemies Levi Zendt, fleeing with his child bride from the Amish country the cowboy, Jim Lloyd, who falls in love with a wealthy and cultured Englishwoman, Charlotte Seccombe In Centennial, trappers, traders, homesteaders, gold seekers, ranchers, and hunters are brought together in the dramatic conflicts that shape the destiny of the legendary West and the entire country.

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    266 James A. Michener

  1. James Albert Michener is best known for his sweeping multi generation historical fiction sagas, usually focusing on and titled after a particular geographical region His first novel, Tales of the South Pacific, which inspired the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.Toward the end of his life, he created the Journey Prize, awarded annually for the year s best short story published by an emerging Canadian writer founded an MFA program now, named the Michener Center for Writers, at the University of Texas at Austin and made substantial contributions to the James A Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, best known for its permanent collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings and a room containing Michener s own typewriter, books, and various memorabilia.Michener s entry in Who s Who in America says he was born on Feb 3, 1907 But he said in his 1992 memoirs that the circumstances of his birth remained cloudy and he did not know just when he was born or who his parents were.

825 Reply to “Centennial”

  1. Michener stayed with our family for two weeks when he was writing this book We had a cattle ranch in southeast Wyoming and he was doing some of his ranching research with us I was just a teenager then, but I remember him vividly He asked the sort of question that would allow someone to respond thoughtfully and in great length He would smile and listen and never write anything down, but I could see him filing away every word that was spoken He read at least 200 books for every book he wrote He wo [...]

  2. You could take a university course in the History of the American West and not learn as much as you can from this completely thorough fictional history by James Michener His background research is as detailed as any writer in the genre And he has the skill to fold those details, that history, into a fictional story that makes history come to life I ve read most of his novels and they are all exceptional, but the three that really stand out for me are Hawaii, Centennial, and The Covenant.

  3. A magnificent epic of a book set in Colorado in the USA from prehistoric times to 1974 Taking us from the development of the different types of prehistoric animal life from dinosaurs to wolves and beavers to the arrival of man biography of the Arapaho chieftain Lame Beaver and his rivalry with the neighboring Comnache and Cheyenne tries to to the arrival of the first European settlers the beaver trappers Pasquinel and Alexander Mc Keag The journeys of Levi fleeing into the prairies with his chil [...]

  4. Four stars because it was expertly written, but not five because it pissed me off The historic details, interweaving of plots, and lifelike characters were a collective thing of beauty I did note that Michener left a couple of loose ends Ethan Grebe, to start , and seemed to forget to color up a character who fascinated me Tim Grebe The character was toward the end of the book maybe he just got tired of writing and wanted to finish it already What pissed me off, however, was a distinct sanctimon [...]

  5. Well, I finally got around to reading not the paperback but the hefty 1974 Random House hardcover holding the book steady and unright was a nightmare Yes, I have delicate little hands This novel is pure unadulterated ambitious Michener and great fun Paleontology, horses, the Oregon Trail, Colorado, Indian tribes, sugar beets, the ranchers and the cattle industry, guns, the railroads A Colorado saga, and the narrative does not flag I think it s one of his best, but not better that The Source.Of c [...]

  6. Another of my favorite author s I have yet to read one of his books I didn t thoroughly enjoy This is a saga of a family out west and very entertaining.

  7. I chose this book because I have decided to take a literary tour of the United States Having been to the south with Eudora Welty and the Optimist s Daughter, I decided to go West And I couldn t have chosen a better guide than Michener whom I have never read before I was absolutely fascinated by the details and historical information beginning way back some billion years ago when the cooling earth began to shape itself into what is now known as Colorado Each chapter of this book was like reading [...]

  8. 8 13 15 I seem to be making a serious attempt at re reading CENTENNIAL.8 21 15 Yes indeed At 280 pages, I m nearly one third of the way through, and enjoying it very much Michener packs a heck of a lot of historical detail into the narrative, but as I said in my original comments below, this novel seems to have better pacing than some of the formulaic ones that were to follow.8 27 15 Michener has often been accused of cardboard characters in his epics, but I don t find that to be true of CENTEN [...]

  9. Want a big summer read to sink your teeth into Try this one Michener details the story of a Colorado settlement, Centennial, from the geology and the prehistoric animals all the way up to the modern day There s native Americans, the trappers and early settlers, cattle ranching vs sheep herding, con artists, the circus coming to town, the horrors of the Dust Bowl, and the modern problems of today Most poignant is the fate of the Arapaho people, endlessly lied to and persecuted by the American gov [...]

  10. DNF 18% I m close to 200 pages in and we re only up to the late 18th century I can only imagine that once it gets to the meat of the story, the part I m looking forward to, it s going to be tedious and far too detailed Geology, dinosaurs, mammals, buffalo, beaver, eagles, rattlesnakes, the first Native Americans, flint knappers, Apache, Cherokee, Comanche I should have used this to put me to sleep.

  11. My favorite story of all time My favorite author too I love all the characters who have remained with me for over 35 years I read it on our honeymoon 1976 while traveling through Colorado The book in Italian is actually titled Colorado A great read about how the American west was developed from the prehistoric to indians to fur traders to cowboys to the American bi centennial in 1976 Oh, and we learn a lot of American history along the way in a pleasurable story telling way typical of Michener T [...]

  12. I like Micnener s writing and Centennial is no exception I learn a lot from his books This one could pass for a history of the settlement of the Great Plains But it is not just a history book dressed up as a novel, the characters are real people The book starts in the distant past and moves forward through the Native Americans, the fur trappers, the settlers, the ranchers and many I expected the book to be centered in the Rocky Mountains, since that is what I think of when I think of Colorado, [...]

  13. The name of the author can tell you a lot about this book His big book sagas never disappoint.It was well done as we usually expected from Michener A western saga, that I will recommend for those that like that type of genre, life as it evolved in the 1800 s and early 1900 s The ending a bit flat for me.

  14. My dad has often described this book as his favorite, so I decided it was time for me to read it I enjoy Michener s books and have had this one sitting on my shelf for a while I m glad I waited to read it I never could have appreciated it as well if I hadn t spent some time living and traveling out west The history and themes of this book have become some of my favorites to read about over the past few years It was a pleasure to read a fictionalized account of historical topics I enjoy, includin [...]

  15. Historical novels can be either a mix of really good history and really bad writing this is not the case with Centennial James A Michener invites the reader to be a fellow traveler from the first animals to first humans to the modern chaos that is the American West His characters are very human, often flawed, and mostly fighters to survive a land under tremendous pressures from with in and without He begins with the the story of the Arapaho, Lame Beaver and the courier dubois Pasquinel, who trad [...]

  16. Holy moly where to begin This was required reading in my High School AP US History class and I ll never forget touring the Southeast for colleges with my mother, knowing that this mammoth book had to be read before August We alternated between listening to the audiobook version my first real introduction to audiobooks and cramming in some nighttime reading in various cities such as Richmond, Nashville, Winston Salem, Raleigh Durham, and so on Centennial is the kind of book that will make you wan [...]

  17. WowWhat a marathon of a book For years a friend has been suggesting I read Centennial, and now I see why Michener has created lush stories with engaging characters With each chapter, I became friends with a new set of characters and when they would show up in later chapters, it felt good to see them again It is apparent that the book is well researched, although only rarely does Michener go overboard with showing you how much he knows This is one of those books I did not want to put down at nigh [...]

  18. Stories set against historical backdrops or that contain historical threads in some manner OK, I m all right with those But, in general, the idea of historical fiction makes me bristle The notion of reading a speculative history such as, say, Lincoln by Gore Vidal versus, say, a factual documentary non fiction account by, say, DK Goodwin, would have me decisively favoring the latter, if one is going to set aside time for such an attempt When history is at hand, it s nonfiction for me.Having said [...]

  19. I have read this book 5 times So inspirational to me, I wrote a saga of my home state of Utah in a Michenerian style Love this author He leaves no stone unturned This is a book that you live as you read it It isn t just a read I lived with that family of beaver, the Indians, the settlers, the cowboys, and the environmentalist down to every thought the had and feeling they felt Even the beaver made me cry Michener is than a story teller, he is a historical scientist and a geologist He had the mo [...]

  20. I read this book when the mini series was about to be released on TV I was working in the Wyoming State Archives Historical Dept at the time, and Michener had done research there He acknowledged the staff there in the introduction to this book Because my dad s family lived in Greeley, CO, and I had family in Ft Collins and my dad s people Germans form Russia were described in this book, I was very taken with it I still remember the excellent characters McKeeg, Clay Basket, Potatoes Brumbaugh, et [...]

  21. I could even consider giving this book the highest rating, but I held back because it was a little dated and a little awkwardly heavy handed in parts Basically I always wondered if people just had Michener books on their shelves because they were long and impressive looking, or if they were actually good and engrossing reads I started The Source a while ago, but gave up when I got close to the present day I found the stuff about ancient times really interesting, but the modern it got the it lo [...]

  22. A novel about Colorado and a large book in every sense of the word, Centennial is one of Michener s most successful outings It boasts the humongous timeline we ve come to expect from him, but the fiction itself rests on a solid foundation of fascinating historical facts Exposition abounds, of course, but in this case it s well balanced against the human stories.Michener starts with a somewhat didactic geology lesson and gamely presents us with the personal trials and tribulations of dinosaurs an [...]

  23. If you ve ever stood in a spot and wondered who had stood in that spot before you, this book is for you Michener seamlessly weaves together the lives of all the past residents of the town Centennial, while simultaneously tackling political, social and ecological changes It is a long book, but he put the same amount of effort into developing the characters of the last story as he did with his first, and never once did I feel like he was rushing a plot With each new generation we are able to see h [...]

  24. This book was AMAZING I can see how some may be intimidated by its size, but it was worth every single word Michener is quite a story teller he does it with fantastic narrative and great descriptive prose You would think that with a book this size he would spend a lot of extra time describing things, but he doesn t it is the perfect amount, no filler Also, even though this book was written in the 70s, I think the parts toward then end dealing with modern day Colorado translate well to 2015.If yo [...]

  25. Centennial was a great book due to the complex, detailed and overlapping stories it contained that covered the entire range of the West s development This was focused on one specific town, Centennial, which is in Colorado, and thus it was also interesting to see it in relation to our visit to Colorado

  26. An epic masterpiece of the American Southwest from a master novelist And that says it all If you want to see how the Southwest evolved over time, read this book You will learn it all from pre historic to the domination of the Native American to their demise and the rise of modern day Southwestern culture It is an informative and entertaining read.

  27. Very probably the best book I have ever read This is a must read It is that rare book where I lived the experience and the pages simply came to life But it the life of Little Beaver that has stayed with me all these years since I read it.

  28. The middle of this book is very good The first 150 pages are very hard to wade through, and the last 50 pages or so are also very hard to wade through But I enjoyed the middle.

  29. I enjoyed the author trait of beginning his books at the start of time and develops his story and characters as time advances.

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