Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener 1948

I haven't seen the musical like most people, so I had no expectations about the story. It is a collection of loosely connected stories where some characters reappear, and you're never quite sure who the narrator is other than an eyewitness if not active participant to the events. You do come away with a good sense of the people, culture and geography of the South Pacific layered with the story of American boys at war. I think the story would have been more absorbing as a single tale.