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The Drifters

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  5,801 Ratings  ·  372 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 Fawcett (first published 1971)
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Emerline LA
Feb 21, 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
...more
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
...more
Manny
- 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
...more
Sarah Frey
Feb 20, 2010 Sarah Frey rated it it was amazing
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
Rosie Nguyễn
Dec 04, 2014 Rosie Nguyễn rated it it was amazing
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
Tuấn Nguyễn
Jun 15, 2017 Tuấn Nguyễn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rồi bạn sẽ tìm thấy mình trong sáu con người đó thôi.
Karen Jett
Jun 19, 2009 Karen Jett rated it really liked it
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!)

In
...more
Penny
Oct 28, 2012 Penny rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Helen Bothwell
Jun 10, 2010 Helen Bothwell rated it really liked it
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
Pio
Sep 30, 2013 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.
Hien Le
Jun 26, 2017 Hien Le rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hay quá !!! Quyển một khắc họa cuộc sống và hoàn cảnh khác nhau của 6 con người. Họ là 4 người Mỹ, một cô gái Na Uy và một cô gái Anh. Họ tìm đến cùng một địa điểm sống để trốn tránh thực tại, để tìm kiếm sự giải thoát cho chính bản thân mình. Có một điều mình rất thích nữa là quyển sách đề cập đến tình hình chiến tranh Việt Nam. Hóa ra không phải tất cả người Mỹ đều có máu chiến tranh.
Bây giờ đọc tiếp quyển 2 thôi !!!
Kevin
Apr 07, 2013 Kevin rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Carolyn
Jul 09, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it
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
...more
Amanda Markham
Aug 31, 2013 Amanda Markham rated it liked it
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
Huong Aromíta
Càng đọc tôi lại thấy mình càng bị cuốn hút bởi những câu chuyện, những cuộc đời, và nx vấn đề xã hội mà tác giả kể lại đầy cuốn hút và tunh tế.
Tôi hiểu hơn về 'insight' của những con người trong nạn phân biệt chủng tộc ở Mỹ, những người thanh niên bị buộc phải đi lính tham gia cuộc chiến Việt Nam, sự bất ổn của Isarel, hay sự tẻ nhạt, cam chịu hay thiếu kiên cường của 1 số người thế hệ trước....tất cả đã đẩy 6 người thanh niên ưu tú ấy, trong hoàn cảnh chính trị, gia đình đặc biệt của mình, đã
...more
Tuan-anh Nguyen
Apr 24, 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
Janet
Aug 31, 2011 Janet rated it really liked it
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
...more
Misha
Oct 08, 2009 Misha rated it really liked it
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
Patricia
Feb 16, 2016 Patricia rated it it was amazing
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.
Adrienne Manwaring
Jan 16, 2011 Adrienne Manwaring rated it it was amazing
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!
Cassienerdgirl
May 28, 2012 Cassienerdgirl rated it liked it
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
Apr 19, 2012 Russ Jarvis rated it liked it

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
...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
...more
Tran Thu
Chưa chết bây giờ được. Tôi còn phải đọc tập 2 :((
Huong Man
Jun 07, 2017 Huong Man rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Phần này viết cho cả 2 tập)
Cả tập 1 là phần mô tả từng nhân vật để làm bối cảnh cho tập 2. Mỗi nhân vật lên đường đi với những nỗi niềm khác nhau - Joe thì trốn lính vì phản đối cuộc chiến tranh VN vô nghĩa, Britta đi với khát khao thoát khỏi cuộc sống nhàm chán quê nhà, chàng da màu Cato trốn khỏi lệnh truy nã quê hương sau cuộc vũ trang bất thành, chàng trai 2 quốc tịch Yigal mang nỗi băn khoăn trước ngưỡng cửa tuổi 21 phải chọn duy nhất 1 quốc tịch cho cuộc đời, cô gái ưu tú Gretchen đam mê
...more
Quỳnh Ngọc
Không đồng tình
:) Mình rất háo hức mượn đọc bộ này. Quyển 1 khá hay vì nó khai thác được số phận các nhân vật trẻ trong các hoàn cảnh sống, văn hóa lịch sử khác nhau. Nó làm nổi bật số phận để tô lên cá tính của mỗi người.
Nhưng đọc sang cuốn 2 thì mình chẳng thấy gì ngoài sự buông thả và trốn chạy trong việc cứ liên tục chu du rồi làm những việc để quên hiện tại ( trừ 2 nhân vật 1 nữ 1 nam mà mình quên tên). Nói chung đọc xong mình cứ bị "ức chế" vì họ lãng phí tuổi trẻ để chìm đắm trong nỗi đau
...more
Rasma
Jan 16, 2017 Rasma rated it did not like it
Gag me with a beach towel in Ceylon. What kept me reading for a while was the sheer momentum of my astonishment at how poorly written this is, how zilch he knows about being a young person in the wake of the end of the summer of love, and most of all how much misogyny, racism and anti-Semitism he manages to squeeze onto each page. He even disparages the place I live, North Norway.

There are other erudite reviews here that give the book a well-deserved analysis, better than I can be bothered to do
...more
Alain Dewitt
Oct 02, 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
Cojaysea
Mar 11, 2014 Cojaysea rated it it was amazing
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
Abby
Sep 17, 2012 Abby rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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
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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.” 37 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.” 8 likes
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