Karen's Reviews > Texas

Texas by James A. Michener
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's review
Aug 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from August 08 to 14, 2011

I first picked up Michener's Texas because I am a fan of Edward Rutherfurd. Both authors tell the story of a specified place through the interlocking stories of certain families through the ages, a method which I usually enjoy. This novel then, is meant to be a fictional narrative of Texan history. Michener examines important events like the battle at the Alamo and the Civil War and factors like religion, the immigration of various different ethnic groups, oil and American football and examines how they affected the Texan spirit.

At first I thought I was reading an okay, fairly slow book. About halfway through I realised I was really enjoying it. This was despite usually not liking the characters. Being English and someone who has hardly ever seen a gun in real-life some of the stories and personalities made me feel almost like I was reading about an alien species. I think I am meant to feel like that as well.

I really enjoyed some chapters, in particular The Mission and The Fort. However you don't always find out what happens to all the characters - in particular the female characters - for example Franziska Allerkamp Macnab and Emma Larkin Rusk. Either that or I blinked and missed it. I would have liked to find out more about what happened to the family of Mordecai Marr as they could have made an interesting example of an Hispanic-American family as compared to the all-Hispanic family of the post-Benito Garzas. I think there could have been more Native American and black viewpoints and stories as well. The weakest parts of the book were the chapters set in the twentieth century as it becomes harder to make an adventure out of arrogance, optimism and greed in times within many reader's memories.

Overall, I would recommend this book. In view of political events which post-date this book I found it particularly enlightening. I wonder what Michener would have thought, but we will never know as he passed away in 1997.
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Reading Progress

08/08/2011 page 263
23.0% "I have to admit I was expecting to enjoy this more. I liked chapter 2 - The Mission - though."

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