Like the celebrated Klondike Tales , the stories that comprise South Sea Tales derive their intensity from the author’s own far-flung adventures, conveying an impassioned, unsparing vision borne only of experience. The powerful tales gathered here vividly evoke the turn-of-the-century colonial Pacific and its capricious tropical landscape, while also trenchantly observing the delicate interplay between imperialism and the exotic. And as Tony Horwitz asserts in his Introduction, “When London’s stories click, we are utterly there, at the edge of the world and the limit of human endurance.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: South Sea Tales|
|Release Date: 09-22-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||South Sea Tales|
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South Sea Tales
Percival Ford wondered why he had come. He did not dance. He did not care much for army people. Yet he knew them all—gliding and revolving there on the broad lanai of the Seaside, the officers in their fresh-starched uniforms of white, the civilians in white and black, and the women bare of shoulders and arms. After two years in Honolulu the Twentieth was departing to its new station in Alaska, and Percival Ford, as one of the big men of the Islands, could not help knowing the officers and their women.
But between knowing and liking was a vast gulf. The army women frightened him just a little. They were in ways quite different from the women he liked best—the elderly women, the spinsters and the bespectacled maidens, and the very serious women of all ages whom he met on church and library and kindergarten committees, who came meekly to him for contributions and advice. He ruled those women by virtue of his superior mentality, his great wealth, and the high place he occupied in the commercial baronage of Hawaii. And he was not afraid of them in the least. Sex, with them, was not obtrusive. Yes, that was it. There was in them something else, or more, than the assertive grossness of life. He was fastidious; he acknowledged that to himself; and these army women, with their bare shoulders and naked arms, their straight-looking eyes, their vitality and challenging femaleness, jarred upon his sensibilities.
Nor did he get on better with the army men, who took life lightly, drinking and smoking and swearing their way through life and asserting the essential grossness of flesh no less shamelessly than their women. He was always uncomfortable in the company of the army men. The...