Saturday, April 24, 2010

Faery Lands of the South Seas by Nordhoff and Hall

Faery Lands of the South Seas by James Norman Hall and Charles Bernard Nordoff. 1921

After I read Lure of Tahiti, I realized that Nordoff and Hall were a big deal in the world of South Pacific literature. I picked up Faery Lands for $15, 1st edition, no dust jacket at a local bookstore. Being cheap, $15 is about as much as I will spend but I liked the cover and wanted to read something by the fellows.

This is the first book they wrote together and in a future post I will review their Bounty trilogy, which is really what they are known for.

It starts with the authors in Paris at the end of World War I, dreaming of going to the south pacific. Somehow they made this happen because the book skips right into them about to make landfall on the island of Tahiti. At that point the authors went their separate ways but had made plans to rendezvous at a distant date.

One thing that is totally charming about this book are the illustrations throughout it. The one called Landfall precedes
different sections of the book.

Also included in the book are about 29 sketches in the book that really give you that island feel.

I am also a sucker for when you get a little illustration at the beginning of each chapter.

Content wise, some of the stories were really great and some kind of a snooze. The stories that Hall wrote I liked a little better. This book is great example of classic south pacific stories, though. If you want to read it immediately (and see more of the illustrations, but not the sketches) you can read it on Google Books. Or perhaps you would like to listen to it, well you can do that here.

If you want to learn more about James Norman Hall, click on the official site about him. One day I will make it to Tahiti for visit his museum.

And lastly, do you have a spare $17,500.00? If so then you can buy the whole collection of their books here. If anyone wants to buy it for me, I will write you a very nice thank you note!

No comments: