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Editorial Reviews

"Michener is a gifted storyteller." (Kirkus Reviews)

Publisher's Summary

An intimate early novel from James A. Michener, now remembered as the beloved master of the historical epic, The Fires of Spring unfolds with the bittersweet drama of a boy's perilous journey into manhood.

David Harper is an orphan, seemingly doomed to loneliness and poverty. As an adolescent con artist and petty thief, David spends his days grifting at an amusement park, the place where he first learns about women and the mysteries of love. Soon he discovers that his longing to embrace the world is stronger than the harsh realities that constrain him. Featuring autobiographical touches from Michener's own life story, The Fires of Spring is more than a novel: It's a rich slice of American life, brimming with wisdom, longing, and compassion.

©1949 James A. Michener (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A warm-hearted, readable story, crammed with lively incident and remarkable characters." (The Atlantic)
"Heartfelt.... Immensely readable.... Michener is a born writer." (The New York Times)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jay
  • Clnton, SC, United States
  • 08-06-16

Not Your Typical Michener Story

Any additional comments?

This one didn't begin with dinosaurs and land bridges connecting continents, instead it was a novel of a boy growing up as an orphan in a poor house and falling in and out of love as he grew up. He struggled with being good vs getting ahead but the women he fell for always seemed to set him back. I would classify it as a coming of age book and, maybe it's because I'm a dad now with kids his age, but I kept wanting to strangle David for some of his bone headed choices. But I guess we learn from the good and bad choices we make throughout our lives. I appreciate Michener's writing and was looking for something from him that wasn't so vastly sweeping. That is what I found in the Fires of Spring.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good not great

I love Michener and think he is a wonderful storyteller. You can tell this is one of his earliest works, it’s not as well organized as some of his later novels but he still does a great job of creating complex characters and fascinating stories.
Larry McKeever does another wonderful job when I think of James A. Michener it’s McKeevers voice I hear.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • Glen Burnie, MD, United States
  • 08-13-18

ZZZZZZZZZ Tooooo Looooonnnnnngggggg

I seem to have hit a wall with Michener. The first 5 or 6 books I listened to were great, then came The Drifters, and Iberia and now The Fires of Spring. Way, way to long and drawn out. Perhaps it would be better in the abridged version. Again, as I have said before, it's a good thing this was not my first Michener book. I would have never read some of the great ones (Chesapeake, Alaska, Texas, Poland, Caribbean and ESPECIALLY The Source.

Probably will not get another Michener novel, again.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book, Horrible Narration

I read The Fires of Spring many years ago and loved this story. I was looking forward to listening but am so annoyed with the narration. It is stilted, halting and passionless. Very disappointed.