Winchester, Simon

  15 Reviews

Selecting representative events and circumstances for an entity that covers more than a third of the planet is no mean feat, but author Simon Winchester manages it with aplomb. From the superpower rivalry between the US and China, and the transition of surfing from Hawaii to California, to Australia's asylum seeker policy and the rise of the Sony empire in Japan, this award-wining writer and researcher dips his toes into the post-war Pacific and its people, through ten stand-alone topics.

Geopolitics and history, culture, climate, geology and more, it's all here in this extensively researched and easy-to-read ode to the Pacific Ocean.



AKAR 002
5 of us thoroughly enjoyed this book. Amazingly easy to read. Informative and interesting - now we are going to read 'Atlantic' by the same author. He is excellent and his books are A1.
PICT 005
Each member of our group chose a chapter to present and discuss, resulting in a very interesting session. We all appreciated the author's research and engaging narration. We almost rated this book 5 stars, but noted some surprising omissions, notably New Zealand's Rainbow Warrior experience; also Samoa and other South Pacific nations.
CHCH 494
Everyone in our group[ greatly enjoyed this book. The book is long and non-fiction, but everyone found their interest was sustained throughout. Every topic is packed with fascinating facts. Some topics were completely new information, such as the essay relating to creatures living at great depths in the dark of the ocean sea floor... It is an absorbing and very interesting read.
DRUM 001
Most members enjoyed but some chapters were hard going. Two didn't read it at all because of the size of the print.
WINT 001
Everyone enjoyed this book and to help cope with the size we decided everyone had to read chapter 1, then whichever chapters they wanted to. In the end almost the whole group read the book. The thermo nuclear testing chapter generated the most discussion, especially in regard to major powers versus small nations. An excellent read.
CHCH 194
An excellent book. Each chapter could be read independently in any order. We decided that each person would select one chapter to lead the discussion and review. This worked well to provide focus for such a lengthy book. It also provided an opportunity to select a chapter that held particular interest for us.
A favourite book. Our only complaint is that it is big, and the print is small. Several copies were kidnapped and read by husbands and partners. Several people have bought a copy for self or gift.
DIAM 001
"Pacific" proved to be a fascinating book. Simon Winchester writes well giving information in an easy to read, informative and often entertaining way. We all loved the book although struggled to read it all in the month. Our only criticism was that he did not include NZ. We felt our country has played an important role within the Pacific basin. Great discussion.
Everyone gave this a big tick. Loads of interesting information, accessibly written. Easy to read in digestible portions. 2 of the 6 members present had read it with their spouses; 1 member had bought a copy to keep. Great gift book.
Astounding. Informative. Amusing. Eye-opening. I think we would now read anything that Simon Winchester wrote.
NELS 002
Excellent modern history, but strangely little on NZ or the South Pacific.
CHCH 176
A splendid book - one of the best we've read! Members enjoyed the overall picture of significant events we have all lived through. Well researched, easily read, and the format of short chapters appealed to all.
AUCK 381
Some found this book too challenging for a summer read. But overall everyone was able to discover at least one chapter to engage with. I loved it!
Winchester's style of writing was sardonic, with a great use of words and in most cases very easy to read. Some of his descriptions brought a wry smile to your face even in the event of the seriousness of the essay. We all agreed that there was a huge amount of research that went into each of the essays due to the 'behind the scenes' information he shared on many of the topics. Pacific gave us much food for thought regarding China, America and our existence within the wider Pacific area and in spite of this, we found it easy to read, enjoyable and disturbing in equal parts.
Very much a favourite book. Our only complaint is that it's big and the print is small. Several copies were kidnapped and read by husbands and partners. Several people have bought a copy for themselves or as a gift.