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Melal: A Novel of the Pacific
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Melal: A Novel of the Pacific

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  9 reviews
On Good Friday, 1981, Rujen Keju and his two sons come face to face with their complicated inheritance -- one that includes years of atomic testing and the continued military presence of the U.S. in the Pacific. In this highly original work of history and adventure, novelist Robert Barclay weaves together characters and stories from mythological times with those of the pre ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by University of Hawaii Press (first published June 1st 2002)
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Roderick Vincent
Sep 29, 2013 Roderick Vincent rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: topten
I've read the book three times. I'm a sucker for a sea adventure novel. This novel has one of the greatest life and death conflicts out in the open seas. "Melal" is a story set in the Kwajalein Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Rujen is a Marshallese native living on the small, filthy island of Ebeye who is shipped in to work on the pristine American island of Kwajalein each day in order to support his family. Deeply conflicted, he is a man seeking to save his heritage. His sons, Jebro a ...more
I have read several books where the life of Pacific islanders is changed by contact with the outside world, but where they usually manage to keep a love of their home island as a kind of paradise. These islanders are removed from their island, forbidden to return, dumped on another island in concrete blockhouses surrounded by imported rubbish and dead coral, then forced to become sewage treatment workers or maids at minimum wage by the occupying colonialists. It is not slavery, but it is not all ...more
It took me a couple of times to get into this book, but when I finally did, it was actually hard to put down at times. The focus is on a Marshallese man and his two sons, and their life on their small island under the restrictions of the U.S. government. Intertwined with their story are mythological characters, one being somewhat mischievous, the others actually fairly grotesque.
This is definitely not a romantic or happy book of the Pacific. I did wish for a little more when I reached the end
Bored me out of my goddamn mind. I only regained consciousness when the words 'frigate bird' showed up.
Postcolonial lit book #4
Got this book from a great friend/professor Keith Camacho...great read about the situation in the Marshall Islands with an overtone of magical realism.
This is a really interesting book about the South Pacific -- a region I know little about. I would highly recommend it.
This is an interesting book on the Marshall Islands. I would recommend this book.
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