We each come from our own, unique background and I suspect that those who have not walked in the shoes of the less fortunate may identify only slightly with the character/s in this book. However, those who have some understanding of the plight of the addict, the abused, the pervasive nature of corruption and those for whom discrimination is a daily and unrelenting occurrence, this book will speak directly to their hearts, as it did mine. I greatly respect the way Courtenay wove the tapestry of this story and I love the hope he inspires with his words, whilst acknowledging the darkness and difficulties that plague all of us as we attempt to navigate the complexities of our lives. I particularly like the synchronicities he includes, showing how events can seemingly conspire for, and against all of us. Yes, the stories of Trim and Flinders were sometimes long-winded - but isn't that the way life is to us sometimes? The details that we'd rather not know about so that we can cut to the chase and get to the more interesting, inspiring bits? It was the telling of Trim's story that gave Billy hope and allowed him to employ his creative self, both through his drunken wanderings AND his sober perseverance whilst waiting for contact with Ryan. I experienced this book as a brilliant insight into the very heart of so many issues and I loved the narration - excellent work, as usual, by Humphrey Bower. Hats off to author and narrator!
I really like this narrator which is why I chose this book. I thought the book was decent but I wasnt a big fan of the stories the old man told about the cat. They were way too long and it didnt have anything to do with the story.
Rich characterisation, rich language, light hearted but serious and altogether, a good story. Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower have produced a wonderful piece of entertainment. It's been a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. Could not put this one down.
Bryce Courtaney is a Master, have yet to read/listen to one of his that I have not LOVED and Humphrey Bower's voice is incredible. I can't imagine anyone not truly enjoying this one!
I'm a professional dog trainer who loves to read. I have degrees in English and Adult Ed. I love well written books that take me away.
A bit slow to get going but an engaging story overall. Love the setting in Western Australia and loved the historical sub-story. However, the sub-story does make the book, overall, a little cumbersome and slow, hence 4 stars instead of 5.
Don't know. Never read the print version.
Reduced the amounts of time spent on the story of Matthew Flanders and Trim.
Humphrey Bower brings every book he narrates to life. I've listened to him lots and have never been disappointed.
A story af alcoholism and child sexual exploitation in Aussyland.
The story tells the tale of a very special friendship between an alcoholic and a child. I really think it was more about what BC wanted to say about alcoholism/addiction, it's recovery process, and make some points about child sexual exploitation. I really feel like he used this story to get his views across, while not wrong in any way, but took away from the story really just being about the characters. I connected with Billie, but would have more if he hadn't been so into project Mina bird!
Enjoyed this book in spite of it's gritty hard to hear content. This book addresses issues of today that we prefer to ignore..addiction, poverty, child abuse in a manner that is real but readable.
Unique, poignant, happy ending
I cannot compare this book to any other book except those by Bryce Courtenay.
Humphrey Bower is my favorite narrator.
Ryan, the little boy. I identified with him mostly because of my past, and also because I have experienced young kids in my adult life that were exceptional, yet were in a terrible situation. Like Billy, they changed my life, and I was willing to give up things to help them.
I have never read or heard a Bryce Courtenay book that I didn't like. I plan to read them all. This one, as with all of them, gave me the feeling of going to another continent, to experience a different way of speaking. The intricate sub-stories are easy to follow and all the pieces are knitted together meticulously for the grand ending. Characters are strong. When I completed this book, I felt a bit sad that it was over.
Its surprising how much you can come to love a drunk and find faith in humanity again based on his platonic friendship with a runaway/homeless kid. I always enjoy a good fiction beyond the he loves her, she loves him, or the action hero who saves the day, or blah blah blah. If you're looking for a simple, sweet story, this is a good choice.
My first listen to a book by Bryce Courtenay. A really good listen with characters you will care about from beginning to end. Reader Humphrey Bower is a real treat. His reading enhances any book. Not to be missed.