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Creatures of the Kingdom

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  346 ratings  ·  34 reviews
In these sixteen wonderful stories, bestselling author James A. Michener lights up nature's most awesome and beguiling handiwork--from the sublime shaping and reshaping of earth's land and seas to the ridiculous armadillo whose assault on a bit of Texas real estate paid off handsomely. Chosen from Michener's most popular books--including one story never before published in ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 314 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Fawcett (first published 1993)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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I finished Creatures of the Kingdom. It was a collection of animal stories, mostly from his longer books. There were stories from Alaska, Centennial, Chesapeake, The Covenant, Hawaii and Texas. I recognized several of the stories. I think my favorite was the last story, "the Colonel and Genghis Khan" about a squirrel who keeps invading the bird feeder in the retired officer's back yard. I don't think that this one was in any of his other books. ...more
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Like visiting an old friend. I read quite a few Michener book in the past. This book I got from the parents grab bag. The title caught my attention. It is a bunch of short stories that are taken from his other books. Some I had read and enjoyed revisiting. The beginning of his books he goes thru geological history of a region and talks about the evolution of different animals. If you enjoy Michener I think you would like this book. I am going to pass it on to Clay eventually. If anyone want to r ...more
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: those interested in easy to read nature tales
Selections about animals and nature from various of Michener's novels. Some are fairly good. Others are rather dated. The dinosaur story (though presumably OK at the time it was written) is now seriously outdated and inaccurate (in light of our current knowledge). ...more
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
It is an excellent book for kids. I read all of the stories in their original. There is one classic bonus story that does not appear anywhere else. It is actually the most memorable in the set.
Darren Cormier
My first exposure to reading Michener. I always viewed him as "those long, boring books on Dad's bookshelf." I liked it overall, but the further along I got into it, the less enamored of it I was.
The writing and stories were still excellent, but I liked the stories without people better. (Perhaps that says more about me than it does Michener.) I preferred those that were strictly about nature and animals more than those that involved people.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprised to hear of a "new" Michener novel and couldn't wait to read it. I was equally surprised to hear familiar stories, took me halfway through to realize this novel is a recycling of previous Michener novels. I felt kind of bilked but realized I was actually getting a mini preview of Michener novels I have yet to read.

I loved it but reduced a point for the recycle.
James Biser
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This book is amazing. I have been searching for texts that teach the prehistory, particularly the natural prehistory of the world. This volume is the group of lessons I have been pursuing. Michener is a fine writer who maps out the natural history of the world with excellent insight and knowledge. This book is fantastic.
Dawn Lofink
A collection of the beginning chapters in some of Michener's best selling books, focusing on the creation and evolution of life and animals. Featuring chapters from Centennial, and Hawaii amongst others. It showcases the authors love of animals, and using them as characters in their own right. ...more
Susan Krupski
Jan 14, 2022 rated it liked it
I usually love James Michener's books, but this one was not quite as interesting as his others. The good thing about this book is that it's made up of short stories s it's convenient to read in small bites. ...more
William A Stussie
The basics of animals on our planet

He takes through evolution of life as on earth. Species by species. He concentrate s North America, but with a little more. Tedious at times because it doesn’t appear to be one story, but many. But it all comes together.

Aug 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Leaving out a major religion in the development of man is disgusting. I'll never read another Michener book. ...more
Charlie Shaw
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Typical Michener - wonderful research and fantastic description of animals learned from research performed over his career in the writing of all his novels.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I remember. This is a second read and still love Michener's style. So enjoyable. ...more
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
16 wonderful stories from one of America's greatest writers. I came close to giving this book five stars. Not my usual type of book, but very, very enjoyable. I recommend it highly. ...more
Jul 17, 2022 rated it liked it
All but one (last) chapter previously published in earlier novels.
Suzanne Auckerman
May 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book immensely. What a treat.
Michael Dunn
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very unique way to read a book from animal perspectives, Michener always tells stlries in compelling ways and did not disappoint.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature
First let me say that I’m a huge fan of James Michener’s writing. This book is a collection of chapters from other books that are only related in that their topic is nature. From geological processes to conjectures about prehistoric animals to modern animal tales from the wild and the backyard, the excerpts don’t really hang together as a cohesive unit. The pace is somewhat uneven, but since I’m a fan, reading excerpts helped me determine which novels to read (Chesapeake, The Covenant, and maybe ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Normally I like animal stories. Give me a Watership Down or Raven's End to have animals reflect on the experience of the world, and sometimes on being human or not, from a unique perspective!

Do not give me descriptions of lava drying into rocks like that's a story because you tell it chronologically. No, James. Stop. Why is this still going?

This book is a collection of not-short-enough stories about animals, or sometimes just rocks. These animals don't do much. They don't reflect or embody some
Mar 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Slow at times, still I am amazed at the breadth and depth Michener can bring to a short story of any setting. He allows us to access prehistorical times and places (without an archaeology degree) as though we are still deeply connected to the actions and habits of extinct creatures. I love to read the impact on ecosystems a single fictional animal had, and marvel at how our present-day lifestyle in the Western world is so realistically interpreted by him in this animal perspective style of writi ...more
Lynn Alan Heath
I thought this was a new book, but it turns out it is a collection of short stories from James Michener's other books (i.e., Hawaii, Chesapeake, Alaska, etc.) with the exception of the last story about a Texas gray squirrel named Ghengis Kahn.
I thought the story was pretty good, but the book was a let down. I was expecting a new production based on the title I knew I had not read this Michener book before so I was deceived.
Feb 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is great. It takes all of the animal stories from many of Michener's books and puts them together to form this book. Even if you have read his others books, still neat to just read the animal stories. ...more
Mar 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love his books. The only thing wrong with this one is it is short stories which I'm not into much. I will have to get the books these excerpts are taken from and read them I haven't gotten to all of them yet. ...more
Mar 31, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I got this at Greenburgh Library today for $1. A good deal, I think. It's Hardcover, in good condition. ...more
Deborah Carter
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Now and then I like to read a good collection of animal essays. There are some wonderful ones out there and James Michener's is one of them. I devoured it! ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There is always that one book we regret chucking into the recycling bin in the heat of the moment. This is mine.
Beth Zirbes
Apr 01, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: quitters
Couldn't get into right now. I like Michener, but need to be in the right frame of mind to read his style. ...more
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some of the most amazing books about nature. Vividly written, pure pleasure to read, and read again.
Sep 27, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Had to return book to library. .75% finished but the clock ran out.
Remark on how Mitchner bring to life the average animals living as the do. And through sympathy you take them on and cheer them.
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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

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