Brutally beautiful. As noirishly dark as the deep depths of the Pacific Ocean that spawned them. These stories of the people, places, exploits and exploitations of the islands of the Pacific will haunt you long after you close the book. Important literature for the 21st century. They are stories of tragedy and triumph, genius and depravity. Tales of love and betrayal told in a voice at times as soft and reassuring as the whisper of the sea yet as powerful as a tsunami. There is perhaps no better, nor more important story teller alive, recounting tales of Americas 50th state and the people, islands and waters surrounding and embracing her shores.
"Assassin Orders Peking Duck" - The opening story recounts the reactions and fears of Hawai’i after the events of 9/11, by the populace as well as a Navy SEAL. In prose as vivid as a sunset, it is a tale of paranoia fulfilled in a world gone mad. Of a father and family’s hopes for the next generation dashed in a senseless act. It is a story of vengeance, nearly as senseless as the act that invoked it, yet somehow justified. It is a story where you “stop questioning what is good and what is bad and call a truce on metaphysics.”
"Mysteries Of Rapa Nui" - Transports you in a time machine to 1849 when Blackbirders hunted the Pacific Islands for slaves and the means and methods a proud, dying race would go to to protect the few men left, and their way of life on Easter Island. It tells of a clash of cultures, one doomed and the other doomed in their soul.
"Cannibal Nights, Colonial Afternoons" - Recounts the last days of the painter Paul Gauguin. Exiled and without a patron, he is exploited by those who wish to preserve his marketable genius by condemning him to a world where no medical help is available. It’s the tale of the struggle for a mans soul, between the ancient gods of the island jungles and the imported gods of the west. Riddled with tropical ulcers, syphilis and a half dozen other diseases he is cared for by the local population with whom he has a love/hate relationship. He comes to understand that it is neither love nor lust that drives him insane, but his art. It’s also the tale of a practical joke and how the natives that did care for Gauguin exploited the greed of those who bled him dry and left him to die.