1.5 stars for some of the stories holding more of my interest, but overall 1 star. it's ironic - usually when i read michener i find myself going to the computer to look things up, to see if some of his characters are real or based on real people because they are so rich with information and texture and character development. i'm usually convinced that at least some of his characters were taken from reality, but i have always been wrong. now, to read a book of his that is actually based on fact - this is labeled fiction but isn't - i find myself totally bored and disappointed. he left out almost all of what makes his books good, and long - the character development, the motivation behind the actions, all the history that makes us care about what's happening and why it matters. maybe he had less information about these people because he didn't make them up himself. but it made it far less interesting to read, for me. this was the shortest book of his that i've read, and the only one that was co-authored. definitely my least favorite of his so far.