South Sea Tales
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South Sea Tales

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  307 ratings  ·  16 reviews
'This is to certify that Uma Daughter of Fa'avao of Falesá island of ---, is illegally married to Mr John Wiltshire for one night, and Mr John Wiltshire is at liberty to send her to hell next morning.'

The literary world was shocked when in 1890, at the height of his career, Robert Louis Stevenson announced his intention to settle permanently in Samoa. His readers were equa...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 11th 1999 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1893)
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This book is actually a combination of two different books, and as such the stories are clearly divided into two categories, that of realist colonialist critique and that of the exotic fable. For some reason I don't really understand, the two categories are not divided into two parts of the book, instead one alternates with the other.

The realist stories are interesting in their rendering of colonial attitudes towards the native islanders (I will refer to them with this term because Stevenson ra...more
These stories are charming and captivating, if you can find them under Stevenson's clipped and colloquial style. And I am surprised that The Ebb-Tide, with its melodramatic plot, hasn't been made into a film.
Hate to give RLS of all authors only 2 stars. Just not his best work, in my opinion. Not very entertaining. Ach! It pains me to say it.
Antonio Martín
If you can't travel, take a trip, read this novel/experience.
I'm reading this for an Independent Study class I am working on about European narratives about the South Pacific at the turn of the century.

Update 2013:
I reread this book this summer because it has been fundamental to my research interests. I ended up writing a paper on "The Beach of Falesa" and using it as my writing sample for my PhD applications. Now I think that I am going to write about these stories in my dissertation.

These stories are weird, and that's why I like them. They're not like...more
This book consisted of one novella and two longish short stories of which the novella was the best. The two short stories are mythical stories with native Hawaiian protagonists. One is very similar to the story of the Monkey's Paw, and the other involves sorcery and reminds me of a Murakami story. The novella is a story about a trader who comes to an island to trade copra and goes up against a rival trader who dominates the island's trade through dirty tricks. The narrative voice is convincing,...more
Having lived in Hawaii as a US Air Force police man. I really came to love the Polynesian Islands. This is another great collection of books about South Pacific around the late 1800's to the turn of the century. How wonderful it must have been. Stevenson certainly thought so. He lived in Samoa until his death and was much repected by the local population.
Karen Robbins
When you buy a Sony reader, you get 100 free classics. This was one--99 more to go. INE is a trilogy of Stevenson short stories all set in the South Pacific--Tahiti and Hawaii. I was surprised at the paranormal theme.
Paul Jellinek
A long way from the British Isles where Stevenson's better-known works take place, but every bit as well written and compelling. Highly reecommended.
Tales set in the South Seas, the first is a bit long, but the last two are very quick reads and progressively more fantastic, and all are interesting.
Contains "The Bottle Imp". Also "The Idle of Voices", a supernatural tale, and "The Beach At Falesa", a non-supernatural story.
Wondra Vanian
I dislike island fiction so I was turned off this book before I even picked it up. It was a chore to read.
Charlene Forbes
This wasn't really for me but it for works well with the course I had to read it for
Jul 09, 2008 Laura marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian
If it's as good as The Ebb-Tide, and I'm sure it is, I'm looking forward to it.
Esther Hong
Would've given it 4 stars if not for "The Ebb-Tide"...uggggghhhhh (shudders).
Living in Fiji and reading Island Night's Entertainment was an added treat.
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Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of Neo-romanticism in English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.

Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of...more
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