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James A. Michener
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4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,332 Ratings  ·  328 Reviews
In his triumphant best seller, James Michener unfolds a powerful and poignant drama of six young runaways adrift in a world they have created out of dreams, drugs, and dedication to pleasure. With the sure touch of a master, Michener pulls us into the dark center of their private world, whether it's in Spain, Marrakech, or Mozambique, and exposes the naked nerve ends with ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 768 pages
Published October 12th 1986 by Random House Publishing Group (first published 1971)
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Joe Ive read most of his books , The Drifters is unquestionably the best IMHO BUT I enjoyed the "Source" very much
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- Kids today! I wonder if the 70s won't be even worse than than the 60s. Honestly, you don't know what to think, dropping out of school, letting their hair grow, rock and roll music, free love, drugs...

- Another martini?

- Oh, why not! Thank you. As I was saying, I don't understand young people any more, as they would say, I just don't "get" them...

- Have you read the new James Mitchener? The Drifters?

- No?

- You should take a look at it, he'll answer your questions. Great piece of work. A bit sho
Emerline LA
May 07, 2013 Emerline LA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
"Kẻ khờ dại thì phiêu dạt, người khôn ngoan thì phiêu du."
-- Thomas Fuller --

Ở tuổi trung niên, George Fairbanks là một chuyên viên phân tích đầu tư thành đạt, làm việc cho ngân hàng World Mutual. Công việc dẫn ông qua lại giữa bao miền đất: nước Mỹ đang bùng nổ phong trào phản chiến, Cộng hòa Vwarda giữa cuộc chuyển giao chính trị giữa người da trắng và da đen, thiên đường nắng ấm phía nam Tây Ban Nha, xứ Bồ Đào Nha hoang sơ như đóng băng giữa thời gian, rừng rậm châu Phi mùa mưa ào ạt,... Chín
Laura Alfaro
The Drifters is the life I wish I'd had before getting married, having children, experiencing divorce and now playing it safe with a job, grown children and a mortgage. Joe, the main character from the US, is my hero. He epitomizes basic qualities of character that as you travel with him, you realize this guy is no saint but he's got heart. And he is loyal and kind, assertive and strong, and reasonable. But you'll have to read the book to know why.

James did a GREAT job with this novel and it is
Sarah Frey
Feb 20, 2010 Sarah Frey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can say with ease that this is my favorite book of all time. I read this book as a teenager and if it had done anything for me it instilled a vital desire to travel the world, especially Europe. The story-line is placed in front of a backdrop of rich European sites and culture that makes the reader crave the warm air of the Mediterranean. On top of this, the novel goes in depth to look at the politics and social conflicts of the late 1960's. It follows six very different travelers from six ver ...more
Helen Bothwell
Jun 10, 2010 Helen Bothwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me want to travel! Michener paints many pictures of places I'd love to visit, but also does not leave out the grimy side of the 60s-70s. The ending is a particularly vivid reminder that the flower children were much more (and much less) than sunny, idealic people full of love. He does a great job of portraying this generation from many viewpoints so that the reader can gain an understanding of the vibrancy and excitement of embarking on this new path of freedom, but also shows th ...more
May 07, 2013 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book by James A Michener, as I have enjoyed everything else he has written. He has a way of writing that just drags you into a story and keeps you hooked there. They are always very well researched, you get the feeling he is confident in all aspects of his story.
six young people from different parts of the world Britta, from dark brooding Norway, Joe from America, Yigal from Isreal, Cato from America , Monica from Englad and Gretchen from America, all their own individual r
Rosie Nguyễn
Dec 04, 2014 Rosie Nguyễn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Một trong những quyển sách xuất sắc, cực kỳ thích hợp với tuổi trẻ. Xen lẫn với những cảnh tượng thơ mộng hấp dẫn của những vùng đất đầy màu sắc ở Tây Ban Nha, Bồ Đào Nha, Morocco,... là những trăn trở mà thanh niên thường trải qua, giáo dục đại học, giá trị sống, tôn giáo, tình yêu và tình dục, xung đột sắc tộc,... Sáu người thanh niên trong truyện là những đại diện tiêu biểu của một thế hệ, với những tính cách riêng biệt nhưng vẫn cùng chung mục đích: tìm kiếm bản thân, tìm kiếm hướng đi cho m ...more
Karen Jett
Mar 16, 2015 Karen Jett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for the first time in the late 70's as a teenager. This time it's many years later and I am middle aged. How I wish that I could sit down and have a book club meeting with the teenage me!

Some parts of the book seem almost comical seen at this distance. For example, some of the conversations sound like a cliche. "Like wow!" It's hard to remember or to believe that people used to speak this way. (Just wait until we look back on the late 80's and early 90's and the valley girls!)

Feb 17, 2016 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book explores the culture, politics, views on the Vietnam Nam war, changes in music, sexual freedom, racism, and drugs in late 1960's and early 1970's. The Drifters was published in 1972.
The narrator is a 61 year old man, Fairbanks, who feels close to six young people who travel through Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Mozambique during the Vietnam Nam era. There are three female 'drifters': one an American university student who worked on Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign and then suppo
Apr 07, 2013 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I've read this, but the book has stuck with me.

It was written in the late-60s / early-70s and is set in the 60s. It's a story deeply wrapped up in the issues of American culture at that time - the Vietnam War and the changing views on drugs and sex. Through Mr. Fairbanks there are also threads back to the past and the generation that had come before.

Michener is well known I think for books that focus on a place. Hawaii being once such book of that type I recall. I've
Amanda Markham
Whilst the first half of the book starts off strongly, introducing each of the six young people to whom the narrator has some link, the second half of the book becomes more about place; especially history and description of place. I found it annoying that the last half of the book completely dropped the bundle when it came to characterisation. In the first six chapters, you have these long, beautifully drawn characters, each with their own inner turmoil which they 'drift' out of mainstream socie ...more
May 01, 2016 Pio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Có hai lý do để cuốn sách này phải được đọc khi bạn còn trẻ: thứ nhất, nó nói hộ cho bạn nhiều điều; thứ hai, nó quá dài để có thể đọc khi bạn lớn tuổi hơn.
Sep 20, 2011 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about a group of young people who decide to exile themselves from their home countries and end up in Torremolinos, Spain. They start a journey of self-discovery that takes them to Portugal, Pamplona, Mozambique and Morocco. Their lives are observed by "Uncle" Gerorge, a businessman from Geneva, who ends up involved in each of their stories. Being from a different generation, he tries to understand their casual attitudes towards life, music, and drugs.
A great read, but allow a lo
Oct 08, 2009 Misha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, high-school
Someone mentioned Michener to me today and I suddenly remembered I had read The Drifters in high school when we did a unit on the 60s. This book about the intertwining lives of six very different 20-somethings who meet in Torremolinos, Spain really spoke to my 16-year-old self and my desire to just sling a bag across my back and set off to see the world. Somehow I never did that, though. I seem to recall the young people meet up with an older guy in his 40s or 50s, so maybe it's never too late a ...more
Adrienne Manwaring
Very different than other Michener books. For those of us who grew up in the 60's and 70's, it's a must read!
Tuan-anh Nguyen
May 08, 2016 Tuan-anh Nguyen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bạn có thể gọi nó là một cuốn tiểu thuyết, với tôi nó còn hơn thế nữa, một cuốn sách đúng như những lời chào mời trên bìa sách. Tôi sẽ gọi nó là một "cuốn tiểu thuyết giang hồ thượng hạng, như một bách khoa thư chất chứa trong nó vô vàn kiến thức về chiến tranh, tôn giáo, phân biệt chủng tộc, tình dục và quan trọng hơn cả là cách nhìn cuộc sống của giới trẻ". Điều duy nhất khiến tôi không cho cuốn sách này 5 sao có lẽ vì mình đọc nó hơi "muộn". Hết tập 1, tôi thực sự băn khoăn không biết nếu khi ...more
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
One of James Michener's big books. The first one on my list. A very good book. Beyond my expectations.

This book tells of six young people who travel across the continents. Along the way we learn a lot about the continents which they interact with. The people are rebelling.

They are rebelling against the system, family and government. They are intelligent. They are against war, racism, police brutality, colonialism etc. They stand for the new age. They drink and have sex as they please. They go
I had a lot of problems getting through this book. I understand that it captured a group that existed at this time, the feeling and attitude... But it was 40 years ago, and it was hard to experience the story without a sense of quaintness, as well as the events of the time in between colouring, it. But it was incredibly written, explores lots of great, huge ideas: generation gaps, and how each generation faces the problems left by the last. Drugs, racism, freedom, patriotism... You name it, the ...more
Russ Jarvis

I'm just getting into Michener. I understand that this book is different from his other novels. I found the characterizations most enjoyable and how he used them to place competing worldviews in discussion seemed realistic and unforced. It's a long book, but the way he used the first half to introduce the characters and then put them together int he second part allowed me to put it down and pick it up again according to my leisure. I felt that I really cared for these figures and they made me th
Hạnh Nguyễn
Jun 22, 2016 Hạnh Nguyễn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thật k nói quá khi nói đây là cuốn tiểu thuyết "đặc biệt thấu hiểu giới trẻ".

Câu chuyện xoay quanh cuộc đời của sáu thanh niên từ những năm chiến tranh Việt Nam với các vấn đề k bao giờ là cũ: cảm giác lạc lõng giữa xã hội, khoảng cách giữa các thế hệ và sự yêu thương k đúng cách đến từ gia đình, lựa chọn tình yêu hay tình dục, phản kháng với các giá trị cũ lỗi thời, đối kháng sắc tộc. Qua cái nhìn của một người đàn ông 61 tuổi từng trải càng làm câu chuyện chân thực và sống động hơn.

Các nhân vậ
Tran Thu
Chưa chết bây giờ được. Tôi còn phải đọc tập 2 :((
Alain Dewitt
Oct 22, 2014 Alain Dewitt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This is the second Michener I've read. I hated 'Space' because in it Michener decided to fictionalize the space program. I found it an un-necessary gimmick. It seems like this is Michener's modus operandi. He does the same thing in 'The Drifters'. He takes the late '60s and then fictionalizes a couple of locations (such as the former British colony in Africa, the improbably named Vwarda) and then populated them with uninteresting, self-important windbags for characters. It's like Michener painte ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Marsha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2014 Cojaysea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book over 40 years ago when i was 24 i guess and became a huge James Michener fan because of it and went on to read 10 of his other books…i just re read THE DRIFTERS and was surprised at how much i had forgotten in the book but i still say it is one of my all time favorite novels. I am now 64 and i believe the beatles wrote a song about that . Michener was born in 1907 ( same as my father was ) so he was not from the 60,s generation like me but he sure captures the feeling of t ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2016 Holli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found a paperback edition of this book with half a cover in a discount bin of a used book store. So glad i picked it up.....this book changed my life. I always wanted to travel the world, but growing up in small town Georgia, I'd never met anyone that traveled. This book gave me courage to live a gypsy life!
This hefty book begins with promise. It's 1968 and the first 6 chapters each bring a main character through their journey to a common physical location. The next few chapters chronicle their interactions and give a rich history of young people and the socio-political issues of the late 60's. That said the last half of the book devolves into a dry political commentary where the authors voice becomes so loud no character can break through. Even when the original 6 experience a terrific loss there ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is still one of my favorite Michener books. I read this book for the first time in about 6th or 7th grade and it shaped the way I saw the world and looking back, I think this book is what started my desire to travel. And to read even better books. To be more open-minded. To love all music. It's a great read.
Dec 14, 2014 Tej rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was Michener's ninth book of fiction. I'm surprised an experienced writer would use such a wonky narrative device. He tried having a first-person narrative who is also omniscient. At the same time, he's the sounding-board for the other characters. Simply stretched too far. One other thing that annoyed me was the constant discussion about the music. I often felt like I was reading the liner notes on an album cover. But, it wasn't a total loss. The characters and locales were interesting. It' ...more
Milt Jacobs
A good look at the times I was growing up, 1960's. Not my favorite of his but good.
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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 t
More about James A. Michener...

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“The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life comes when dreams are surrendered to reality.” 38 likes
“I can no longer take war or promotion or big income or a large house seriously. I reject empire and Vietnam and placing a man on the moon. I deny time payments and looking like the girl next door and church weddings and a great deal more. If you want to blame such rejection on grass, you can do so. I charge it to awakening.” 7 likes
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