I found it a bit too pornographic for my taste. The story could have had the same impact without being so explicit.
Bryce Courtenay is a wonderful story-teller, although I found this one a bit long-winded
Humphrey Bower is an inspired reader. He portrays the accents of the characters wonderfully well.
Not time well spent. This was the retelling of a previous book and nothing new to offer. So disappointed as I loved all the others. One more of Courtenay's already purchased. Hope it will be a credit well used
Prolific reader, writer of short stories, novels and non-fiction.
Not this one. The core story of Anna and Nicolas and Marge the eco-nut was generally acceptable, but why did he create such a profoundly damaged woman as Anna, with her perverse attachment to her Japanese war criminal tormentor. She was never redeemed, which is what I was waiting for. Why was Nick the war hero such an unbelievable wuss with his intimate relationships? The book could have been cut by 1/3 - the diatribe about hydro-electric development, East Timor, oil drilling, gorillas and endangered frogs was a lecture that belonged in a 'green' publication, not a novel.
This is the last one I had purchased to listen to, which is a good thing. Bryce usually meanders, but not this drastically off topic.
Humphrey is always magnificent - the range of his talent seems boundless. But this time, there was no one character whom I'd want to share a beer with. The Yakuza Oyabun and the POW Goji Moru were the most potentially interesting.
Good grief, no. It went on too long and I just didn't care what happened to any of the main characters about 4 chapters before the end of the book. They were all self-absorbed and with the exception of sad, twisted Anna, not fully developed as human beings.
Author Bryce Courtenay's 'Tandia' 'Power of One' 'Fishing for Stars' & voice of Humphrey Bower is outstanding & Shantaram by G D Roberts. A+
Highly recommend Fishing for Stars as the plot intrigues then consumes.
The character, Anna, held up against injustice imposed by the Japanese. Love her strength, power and dignity.
Anna meeting with the Japanese boat dealers in Japan.
Bryce Courtney + Humphrey Bower = Symbiotic Relationship. 'Persimmon Tree' and sequel 'Fishing for Stars' is a must read that will not disappoint. Bryce Courtney's research is flawless--love his character's imperfection,
I love Bryce Courtenay's books and especially enjoyed The Persimmon Tree. Unfortunately, I wish I had left this one on the shelf. It's as if Mr. Courtenay was told to weave some more "modern" topics in his books. This one has it all: environmentalism, sexual dysfunction, breast cancer, superhuman woman and greed. I imagine that he Googled "current issues" and picked the top 10 and made a game of including them all in one book. The whole story is simply ridiculous and the book is very weak compared to his other books.
Humphrey Bower is such an exceptional narrator that I'm convinced that he's the only reason I was able to finish this book.
DOn't let this book turn you away from Bryce Courtenay. Every other book I've read I have enjoyed, especially The Australian Triology.
This novel is a continuation of The Persimmon Tree which was a terrific novel.
Strangely this book is not up to par for Bryce Courtney. I have read most of his novels and thoroughly enjoyed them. He is a wonderful story teller.
I can only guess that his illness was sadly affecting him when this one was written. At times this one is repetitious and long winded. I am not sure why he went onto the extra bit about the Franklin River protests. It was not necessary for the sequel to The Persimmon Tree. Having said this I am not sorry that I listened to this story and I am still a fan of Bryce Courtney.
Humphrey Bower the narrator is superb and adds a great deal to making it entertaining.
A real story instead of instructions for the green movement and all the ills of the world
I loved The Persimmon Tree. I will give it another try due to my first read
He is magical performer. I will seek out his performances in the future
It was the unsatisfactory conclusion of the Persimmon Tree. I was thoroughly educated with the green movements history in Australia, old growth timber, the need to care for frogs, statistics of rape, Yakuza's role in Japanese society, Women's right movement. Mistreatment of American Blacks, and indigenous populations in the south pacific, Australia and Japanese WWII POWs. The inherent horrors of big business with their plunders of the environment and rational for civil disobedience.
Mr. Bower preformed it superbly though.
Nicholas Ducan was strong independent character in the Persimmon Tree. In Fishing for Stars he was an emasculated, "purse holding" character spending his time placating two women. With all the Soap Box preaching, it was hard to get through this one.
Definitely, but this was not his best work.
Bryce got us lost in the weeds of international politics and business history. It tells the story of that region of the world but was missing the usual Dickensian characterizations that I love. True, the "Persimmon Tree" needed a sequel, but it just seems like Bryce lost his story-telling mojo on this one.
Humphrey Bower is his usual superb best at accents of all sorts.
LOTS OF TEARS
THE STORY OF WHAT WAR DOES TO PEOPLE. NOT TO MENTION THE TERRIBLE THINGS THAT PARENTS CAN SOMETIMES DO THAT PERMANENTLY AFFECT OUR MINDS.
ANNA, BY FAR SHE HAD EVERY REASON TO BE THE TYPE OF PERSON SHE TURNED OUT TO BE.
YES!!!!! MOSTLY CRY. IT ALSO CAUSED ME TO LOSE SLEEP AND BECOME VERY DEPRESSED.
IF THIS AUTHORS' GOAL WAS TO CAUSE ME TO DESPISE MARG AND DISLIKE A SELFISH SELF CENTERED MAN, WHO BELIEVED HE COULD/SHOULD HAVE IT ALL, THEN IT WORKED. NICK WAS SO INTO HIS OWN SELF I WANTED SOMEONE TO KNOCK HIM OUT....AND THEN DO AWAY WITH MARG. WHILE THE BOOK HELD MY ATTENTION (MAINLY BECAUSE OF ANNA) I WOULD NEVER CONSIDER IT FOR A REREAD.
I have listened to a lot of Bryce Courtenay's books, and ALL have rated 5 stars except this one. This is the first of his books that I've found myself anxious to know "when will this be over?"
First, I could listen to Humphrey Bower read a phone book. He has become one of my favorite narrators by far. It's like sitting around a campfire listening to someone spin a great yarn. He has the range of voices to keep me interested.
As for this book, the central theme seemed to be Nick's sex life and Anna's sexual dysfunction. It kept coming back to that over and over and over and over again. Enough already!
There were other parts of the book that were interesting, but they were overshadowed by the excessive recurrence of the sex angle. (And by that I don't mean to imply that the book is overly sexually explicit, because it isn't any more so than his other books.)
Courtenay has proven himself a gifted author, and I will continue to listen to his books, but I think he was either lazy or uninspired on this one.