|Plot Summary of Paradise|
|"Larry McMurtry is on a voyage aboard the freighter Aranui carrying American and European passengers around French Polynesia, specifically the Marquesas Islands. He has left his elderly and dying mother back in Wichita Falls, Texas to write about the life of his parents, his own family, and his trip to the islands. For the first 50 pages he writes of their struggles, disappointments, failures and eventual separation after 40+ years, while adding gratuitous facts about the life of Paul Gauguin in Tahiti, his penchant for young native girls, sexually transmitted diseases, and morphine. Married during the Great Depression, the McMurtry's never ventured far from the land his father worked, fretting about the things needing to be done. His mother was a chronic worrier constantly thinking the worst in any situation would occur.
After the initial discourse on his parents and Gauguin, McMurtry weaves a new narrative about the journey to Tahiti and the neighboring islands into a disjointed work, You may wonder where the author is going as eventually the book evolves into an autobiographical journey of its author seeking paradise for himself and the other passengers who have quested for a place far from the struggles of ordinary life. Periodically, he adds information about famous voyagers who have found refuge in the embrace of the placid winds and bright blue waters of the South Pacific: Michener, Stevenson, London, Maugham, Cook, Melville, Heyerdahl, and Suggs. "
David Fletcher, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Paradise|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
Biography of famous person?
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Very much smarter than other people
- average physique
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 10 ()
- Pacific Islands
- Los Angeles
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Book makes you feel?
Is book humorous?
If humorous, kind of humor
- eccentric personalities
Commentary on society?
- wicked rich people
- a lot of flashback and forwards
Writer's slant towards subject:
- somewhat unfavorable
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
Is this a biography of several people?
How much dialogue in bio?
- little dialog