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Mystic Isles of the South Seas.   By: (1869-1932)

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In "Mystic Isles of the South Seas" by Frederick O'Brien, readers are transported to a world of enchantment, where the beauty of nature intertwines with captivating cultural experiences. Through the author's vivid descriptions and engaging storytelling, the mysticism of the South Seas comes to life on every page.

One of the most commendable aspects of O'Brien's writing is his ability to seamlessly blend his personal observations with insightful commentary on the indigenous people of the Pacific Islands. His respect and genuine curiosity about their customs, belief systems, and way of life is palpable, making this book not just a travelogue but also a deeply respectful exploration of different cultures.

The author's descriptive prowess is truly exceptional. From the lush greenery of the rainforests to the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the islands, O'Brien's poetic language paints a vibrant picture that transports readers to these remote paradises. He delves into the intricacies of the local flora and fauna, providing a sense of the unique biodiversity of the region.

Moreover, "Mystic Isles of the South Seas" offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the islanders, showcasing their remarkable resilience and strong sense of community. O'Brien's encounters with natives, their stories, rituals, and often humorous anecdotes, allow readers to connect with these individuals on a personal level. Their warm hospitality and unwavering spirit leave a lasting impression.

The pacing of the book is well-balanced, with a mixture of exciting adventures and quieter, introspective moments. O'Brien skillfully navigates the complexities of his journey, capturing both the awe-inspiring wonders of the islands and the challenges he faces along the way. His introspective musings add depth to the narrative, shedding light on his own personal growth and the impact the islands have on his soul.

While some readers may be longing for a more detailed historical context or a deeper exploration of the geopolitical aspects of the South Seas, it is important to acknowledge that O'Brien's intention was to capture the essence of these mystical islands through his personal experiences. In this regard, he succeeds admirably, creating a captivating travelogue that immerses readers in the beauty of the South Seas.

In "Mystic Isles of the South Seas," Frederick O'Brien delivers a captivating account of his journey through the enchanting paradise of the Pacific Islands. With vivid descriptions, genuine respect for the local cultures, and a keen eye for detail, the author invites readers on a transformative voyage that will leave them yearning to experience the wonder of the South Seas themselves.

First Page:

Mystic Isles of the South Seas


Frederick O'Brien

Ia Ora Na!

This is a simple record of my days and nights, my thoughts and dreams, in the mystic isles of the South Seas, written without authority of science or exactitude of knowledge. These are merely the vivid impressions of my life in Tahiti and Moorea, the merriest, most fascinating world of all the cosmos; of the songs I sang, the dances I danced, the men and women, white and tawny, with whom I was joyous or melancholy; the adventures at sea or on the reef, upon the sapphire lagoon, and on the silver beaches of the most beautiful of tropics.

In this volume are no discoveries unless in the heart of the human. I went to the islands below the equator with one thought to play. All that I have set down here is the profit of that spirit.

The soul of man is afflicted by the machine he has fashioned through the ages to achieve his triumph over matter. In this light chronicle I would offer the reader an anodyne for a few hours, of transport to the other side of our sphere, where are the loveliest scenes the eyes may find upon the round of the globe, the gentlest climate of all the latitudes, the most whimsical whites, and the dearest savages I have known.

"Mystic Isles of the South Seas" precedes in experience my former book, "White Shadows in the South Seas," and will be followed by "Atolls of the Sun," which will be the account of a visit to, and a dwelling on, the blazing coral wreaths of the Dangerous Archipelago, where the strange is commonplace, and the marvel is the probability of the hour... Continue reading book >>

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