Back in 1991 I think it was I was visiting mom in Pennsylvania and noticed some books on her bookshelf about Hawaii. I was in the reading mood and pulled them off. They were old. They were in bad shape from having been read a lot. The author was “Jack London”. I remembered the name from somewhere.

I read.

The coolest stories about Hawaii were in those two books. Jack was in Hawaii at the turn of the 20th century. His way of looking at the culture and picking out the  idiosyncracies of it and creating stories about the people and culture of the time – is nothing less than awesome.

I read and re-read those stories dozens of times. The stories present an era that I wish I was a part of – whether as a Hawaiian local or visitor. I think probably as a visitor living in the islands at that time.

Stories of Hawaii – This book – along with South Sea Tales are the two most AMAZING books on what living in Hawaii was like as foreigners first coming to the islands. The timeframe is early 1900’s. Jack London writes in a way that BRINGS YOU RIGHT THERE to experience Hawaii as it was – and all the things that make it amazing… and odd – to foreigners arriving for the first time.


Peter Kay