The Covenant

The Covenant Set in South Africa beginning years ago and ending with the Boer War this is a novel about people caught up in the march of world history It is a story of adventure and heroism love and loya

Set in South Africa, beginning 15,000 years ago and ending with the Boer War, this is a novel about people caught up in the march of world history It is a story of adventure and heroism, love and loyalty, and cruelty and betrayal.

  • The Covenant Best Read || [James A. Michener]
    247 James A. Michener
The Covenant

  1. 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 the year s best short story published by an emerging Canadian writer founded an MFA program now, named the Michener Center for Writers, at the University of Texas at Austin and made substantial contributions to the James A Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, best known for its permanent collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings and a room containing Michener s own typewriter, books, and various memorabilia.Michener s entry in Who s Who in America says he was born on Feb 3, 1907 But he said in his 1992 memoirs that the circumstances of his birth remained cloudy and he did not know just when he was born or who his parents were.

826 Reply to “The Covenant”

  1. I never believed I could understand the complicated, bloody, perplexing history of South Africa Leave it to Michener to prove me wrong This was published in 1980 I wish Jimmy was still around to provide a follow up from 1980 to the present 1235 pages And it only took me 8 1 2 weeks This is my big accomplishment for the year It may even be the longest book I ve ever read If I don t get through anything else on my 2011 challenge shelf, that will be okay.

  2. My favorite Michener The story behind South Africa And when I say behind, that is truly Michener s style He starts with the beginning of time, how the earth was formed, the first people to populate the area, and on to the present day An incredible amount of information, but entertaining to read as he masterfully follows several families whose lives cross again and again over centuries.

  3. I promised myself when I considered writing a review of this gigantic tome Woah there buddy, isn t it a little redundant to be calling a tome gigantic If it s a tome it is gigantic by its very definition, or are you saying that it s especially large, even for a tome Alright, so when I was considering writing a review of this tome, I made a promise to myself not to use the word epic.Newsflash, genius, you are writing a review and you just used the word epic Mission failed, promise to self broken [...]

  4. This is a difficult book to review As with all Michener books, it is well researched and written Anytime I recommend one of his books, I must verify that the intended reader loves history, loves reading, and is willing to hunker down and delve through slow stories to enjoy the incredible wealth of knowledge that can be gained from his stories The covenant is no different To read this story takes a level of patience and desire that most books, even most historical novels, do not require That bein [...]

  5. James Michener s epic book on South Africa It tells the story of that land from the early settlements by the Dutch, through the expansion of it by English immigrants and others, to the South Africa of the Apartheid age, shortly before it was eliminated.The tumultuous and violent history of South Africe is told with Michener s careful research and adherence to detail The people and their struggles and the values that drove them enrich the story and add the personal touch to the sweeping changes a [...]

  6. A bible of a book both in terms of size and contents that retells the history of South Africa through the stories of both fictitous and historic characters A truly ambitious endeavour in true Michener style, which had a profound effect on me when I read it at the age of 16 and still does The book ends in the 1980s, and I am still amazed at Michener s insight into the shaping of post apartheid South Africa.

  7. This is not a new book, but I m glad I ve found it as James Michener is a master storyteller In history classes we were taught drips and drabs of our history, so it was interesting to see how it all fits together This historical novel is obviously based on fact, but the author s own storyline is cleverly interwoven It gives one a comprehensive account of how South Africa came into being, the different role players involved as well as the dynamics of this multi cultural and multi faceted country [...]

  8. tl dr Read the book, don t listen to the audioI listened to the Audiobook if you can even call it that.It is actually a 1993 tape recording with a monotonous narrator that cannot pronounce a single word related to the Dutch, Afrikaners, Xhosa, Zulu.Being about 60 hours of audio, it gets a bit tedious being told to reverse, or turn the tape around every 30 minutes And if the narrator wasn t bad enough on his own, you had this static sea shell type background throughout the whole book.I truly cann [...]

  9. It was very interesting to read this book which ended in 1980 As of 2009 we can now look back at what happened to South Africa and it is wonderful to see that of the 2 scenario s that Michener thought most likely the relatively bloodless one emerged I especially enjoyed his section on South Africa under apartheid It is a reminder to me of how stupid, brutal and ineffective it was a system The whites now like to complain about Affirmative Action and BEE but looking at the system that we put the b [...]

  10. A panoramic novel, spanning centuries, where the tragic heroine is Mother South Africa, whose children are unable to live together in peace I wish my school history books had been written like this, with the insertion of fictional characters to bring story and life into what is normally a dull narrative.After a preface on the early Bushman who inhabited the land since pre historic times, the story follows the lineage of the Afrikaner Van Doorn, English Saltwood and Zulu Nxumalo families, from th [...]

  11. 4.5 stars When I realized this was a formidable book of almost 1200 pages I postponed reading it for several weeks Once I started it I was fascinated by the brutal and bloody history of this beautiful country.The story is told through the lives, actions and beliefs of three extended, multigeneration families, fictional but with some actual events and gave me insight as to how the reviled system of apartheid came to be There is an Afrikaaner family an amalgamation of mainly Dutch, Huguenot and G [...]

  12. The last time I read this book was about six years ago, and I remember thinking that Michener was overly sympathetic to the Afrikaners, and thus, to their cause apartheid Finding that morally repugnant, I decided I was done with this book and done with Michener Currently, I m experiencing a Michener revival, and after watching Invictus , thought I d give this book another try Like all Michener books, this is incredibly well researched, and very involved, with characters that span hundreds of yea [...]

  13. I know some consider Michener a lightweight in fact I don t know anyone else who enjoys reading him but I have enjoyed learning a bit about complicated social histories of a particular area Piecing together the history of the Xhosa, Zulu and other natives in southern African, as well as the Dutdh and English colonisers was very interesting to me I am inclined to read such a book with human stories if fictitious , than to pick up a non fiction on the history of So Africa Anyone else out there e [...]

  14. This book was published in 1980.FACTS FROM THIS BOOK B.P.E Before the present Era Cave paintings in South Africa carbon dated at 13000 B.P.E.Hottentots the native people of southwestern Africa, closely related to the Bushmen The San people, commonly known as Bushmen, are believed to be the earliest inhabitants of southern Africa They have lived for 80,000 years as hunter gatherers in the Kalahari Desert, and are well known for their expert survival skills in a harsh environment Their unique cli [...]

  15. Remarks Religion destroy vs Education enlighten Old and New Testament, Paganism in evolution and civilization Art and War in remembrance, progression and humanityI m less a history buff than a fiction aficionado, not equipped to verify or criticize the historical facts and associated reasoning I immersed in the ocean of millennial saga, surrender to his craft, not getting drowned but in fascination.Less words given to blacks and colored than to whites, but they are the ones who left art cave pai [...]

  16. massive book but brilliant i zipped through the first 600 pages in no time but the last few dragged on a bit i thought its about the history of south africa simply talks predominantly about how the dutch adn french adn english invaded the country their intrarivalries as well as the rivalries they had in teh past with teh zulu and xhosa and other african tribes if you think youve read the long walk to freedom and my tritors heart and think you know south africa then think again this book has deep [...]

  17. I read almost all of The Covenant by James A Michener for the second time Maybe third Certainly the last time I read it was many, many years ago I have to be completely honest I didn t finish it Skimmed to the end The despicable characters in the last three chapters and the origins of their racism the stripping open of South African s racist past were blunt and horrible What ugly people I needed some heroes, and these people weren t it Small and ugly Luckily, I have the advantage of knowing thei [...]

  18. Michener s take on South AfricaMichener s true epics are always worth the time to read The Covenant is no exception Michener s take on South Africa and its history is an honest attempt to give some perspective on one of the complex histories that this history teacher has encountered.The book starts out strong my edition was the two volume hardback The first volume was vintage Michener, but the second one dragged Perhaps it was because the subject matter became and depressing With the final 20 [...]

  19. Great summary of the history of South Africa It s a learning experience and wish I had read James A Michener s books in high school history class One thing that particularly stood out for me was that the truly violent and horrific events in the book weren t from the people I thought they were gonna be from WE forget some parts of history sometimes Having said all that though, I did not like that you could not connect with ANY characters in the book By the end of the chapter, the character that y [...]

  20. BORING My dad gave me this book before I left the U.S to study in South Africa I got a third of the way through before finally giving up I love to read and rarely stop reading in the middle, but I found it very difficult to commit to The Covenant The history is interesting and useful and has been a good companion to my travels in this country, but ultimately the characters are one dimensional, and the stories seem forced, rather than developing in an organic way The author seemed interested in [...]

  21. An understatement of the truth would be to say that reading Michener is an investment in time However, this novel is a must read for anyone who wants to have a working understanding of the inhabitants, the history, and the culture of South Africa From day one to the date of publication, the people of South Africa are illuminated by consecutive stories of the period and the land Everything is presented without bias and is brought to light by the words of Michener s prose I read this book before a [...]

  22. Absolutely must read if you want to understand a tiny bit of the complex history and psychology of the people of South Africa Especially the Afrikaner and English struggle to settle in SA,customs, psyche and historical tipping points and their effect on SA s history are very well captured The African, black population is somewhat out of sight, and it would be great to have a sequel to this thoroughly researched book, this time with a focus on the anti apartheid struggle and great humanity of its [...]

  23. I have spent a total of 2 years in South Africa With the help of James A Michener who provided the historical backdrop for this beautiful part of the world, I developed an enduring love for the country and its peoples The richness of the narrative coupled with an incredibly fascinating insight into the trials of the characters kept me completely absorbed on those cold winter nights in Cape Town I have read the book twice and a third reading must be waiting in the wings.

  24. The novel is set in South Africa, home to five distinct populations Bantu native Black tribes , Coloured the result of generations of miscegenation between white Afrikaner and Bushmen populations , English, Afrikaner, and Indian, Chinese, and other foreign workers The novel traces the history, interaction, and conflicts between these populations, from prehistoric times up to the 1970s

  25. Mildly interesting Worth reading once, which is rare for Michener I ve read Hawaii and The Source many times Too much racial stuff and not enough gold and diamonds However, there s a Princess.

  26. Harrowing review of South African history, eye opening and foundational for understanding today s country but chilling and disheartening in many ways as yet another example of human s confounding ability to stigmitize and ostracize each other.

  27. This is one of my all time favorite books It is extremely long, but it details the history of South Africa I found it fascinating and think about it constantly to this day.

  28. Of the Michener books I ve read, this one may have been the most emotionally trying In most of his place history novels, we are faced with ugly truths about how nations and societies grow into the civilized places we know today In Chesapeake with border state slavery, in Hawaii with the missionaries and white families who came to dominate the economy and how they treated the immigrant Chinese, Japanese and worst of all the native Hawaiians, in Centennial with how the Indians were subjugated and [...]

  29. Maybe not the best if you want accurate balanced historical accounts of things but it does bring the history to life.

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