The Pacific Room

The Pacific Room This remarkable debut novel by Australian author Michael Fitzgerald tells of the last days of Tusitala the teller of tales as Robert Louis Stevenson became known in Samoa where he chose to die In

  • Title: The Pacific Room
  • Author: Michael Fitzgerald
  • ISBN: 9780995359550
  • Page: 156
  • Format: Paperback
  • This remarkable debut novel by Australian author Michael Fitzgerald tells of the last days of Tusitala, the teller of tales , as Robert Louis Stevenson became known in Samoa where he chose to die In 1892 Girolamo Nerli travels from Sydney by steamer to Apia, with the intention of capturing something of Jekyll and Hyde in his portrait of the famous author Nerli s presencThis remarkable debut novel by Australian author Michael Fitzgerald tells of the last days of Tusitala, the teller of tales , as Robert Louis Stevenson became known in Samoa where he chose to die In 1892 Girolamo Nerli travels from Sydney by steamer to Apia, with the intention of capturing something of Jekyll and Hyde in his portrait of the famous author Nerli s presence sets in train a disturbing sequence of events More than a century later, art historian Lewis Wakefield comes to Samoa to research the painting of Tusitala s portrait by the long forgotten Italian artist On hiatus from his bipolar medication, Lewis is freed to confront the powerful reality of all the desires and demons that R L Stevenson couldn t control Lewis s personal journey is shadowed by the story of the lovable Teuila, a so called fa afafine in the manner of a woman , and the spirit of Stevenson s servant boy, Sosimo Set in an evocative tropical landscape haunted by the lives and spirits which drift across it, The Pacific Room is both a love letter to Samoa and a lush and tender exploration of artistic creation, of secret passions and merging dualities.

    One thought on “The Pacific Room”

    1. In 1892, Italian painter Girolamo Nerli travels to Samoa to paint famous author Robert Louis Stevenson, known to the locals as Tusitala, ‘the teller of tales’. His goal? To capture something of the Hyde within Stevenson’s Jekyll. Over a century later, art historian Lewis Wakefield makes the same pilgrimage, in search of the story behind this portrait, leaving behind the medication that controls his bi-polar disorder and allowing him access to his own repressed feelings. Meanwhile, dancer T [...]

    2. When I saw that this book was about Robert Louis Stevenson I wondered if I should just spend a little time googling around before I read it. I knew very little about him beyond ‘Treasure Island’ and a vague sense that he was in the Pacific at some stage. No, I decided. Let the book stand on its own two feet and so I launched in.It doesn’t surprise me that Brian Castro wrote the blurb for this book. Castro and Fitzgerald are not dissimilar writers, who both revel in language and imagery. I [...]

    3. This is a beautifully written book set in Samoa with the rhythm of the Pacific set into every sentence.There are two intertwined threads - the first concerns the last weeks in the life of Robert Louis Stevenson who was known to the Samoans as Tusitala, the teller of tales. Stevenson was painted by an Italian painter, Girolamo Nerli, and the second thread concerns an art historian, Lewis Wakefield, who travels to Samoa to research Girolamo Nerli.There is also a thread within these threads - Steve [...]

    4. It’s just coincidence, but Michael Fitzgerald’s The Pacific Room – a novel loosely based around the last days of Robert Louis Stevenson – is being published in the same year as the biographical Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa by Joseph Farrell. It was interesting to have read the bio first, because it made RLS more familiar to me than if I’d relied on the novel alone.The Pacific Room is not, however, primarily about RLS, though allusions to his stories are woven throughout the novel. T [...]

    5. This is one of the best-written novels I've read this year. Fitzgerald's words are so perfectly honed, each sentence beautifully balanced and full of vivid imagery. The plot is languid, like the Samoan setting's air, inhaling in the past as Robert Louis Stevenson dies and exhaling in the now as Lewis comes to terms with his family's tragic past. Both sensory and sensual, this is a gorgeous piece of writing with a powerful sense of place.

    6. This is a difficult book for me to rate. I liked the story and, having spent time in Samoa and even visited Vailima, it prompted me to delve further into RLS and his time there. However, the time shifts and the jumping about of the various story threads was at times difficult to follow

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