The Mulroney Family is a wonderfully close, loving family with the matriarch of Nancy as having the most opinionated and having the most practical logic a person could imagine. I love Mole and Bozo and all the Mulroney children. The characters in this book had me laughing and crying and just plain enjoying their lives as they all go along learning and growing. Each one a different personality, all coming together as a loving family. Great listen. I love long audiobooks because you get to know the characters completely. Bryce Courtenay is one of the most imaginative writer's I have listened to.
Mole because he is telling the story and being a young man, the way he looks at life is just simply put: wonderful.
My imagination, as I listen to the characters I can see each one in a light I wouldn't see them in if I were reading. When reading I am trying to read each word as not to miss anything. When I listen: I hear each word and my mind's eye sees all of the picture.
Tommy--he is so misunderstood and yet so brutally honest in his character.
Way to go Bryce Courtenay. I have read many of the books this author has written and they all come home to me as if I were in the story. Just watching all the going's on and enjoying the laughs when they laugh and the tears when they cry.
Yes. Haven't heard a thing from Bryce which didn't resonate with me. As a South African, Bryce's style of prose and terminology ring familiar to earlier times of my childhood.
Humphrey Bower is arguably the best narrator I have heard (and I have heard a lot!). Wonderful accents and emotive timing helps create an immersive listener experience which does justice to a great story by Bryce.
I am loving all of Bryce's books. As a fellow adman I am jealous and appreciative of his command of storytelling. Nice mix of moral, interest and, of course, all the wonderful Aussie and S. African turns of phrase and expressions. Makes me feel dumbs a box of hair :)
Humphrey Bower is the new king of narrators.
He rivals and surpasses in some ways Scott Brick and John Lee.
Amazing with accents, characters and emphasis
The Courtenay books are the best I have listened to in years! And I have 2 accounts listening to about 5 a month while super commuting.
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J.F., CA I am a voracious reader/listener who enjoys many different genres. I am often listening to multiple books at the same time - something on mobile and something else on my laptop.
This author had me since the Power of One. His books are always a tour de force. The characters are ALWAYS well developed and generally complex (meaning they are worth having a story told about them). Courtenay's books teaches about history, social systems and cultures in a way that the reader does not mind at all. His books are always a fantastic ride. The stories are always interesting, the dialogue believable - never cliched, preachy or overly verbose unless necessary to the plot. The only thing I do not like with many of Courtenay's books are the details about war and/or boxing when those elements are a part of the story. That of course does not mean anything is wrong with those subjects, just that I do not particularly like endless details on these subjects. The pairing of narrator Humphrey Bower with Courtenay is a marriage made in heaven. Bower is exceptionally talented and is a master at different accents and dialects. It would be awkward for me to listen to Courtenay's work narrated by anyone else. Courtenay is the #1 author in his country, Australia. He is extremely prolific and has written many books. He has indicated in his interviews that he has many more books to write before he dies and he therefore maintains a very disciplined writing schedule. This tells you that this man oozes with writing gift and story ideas.
Another good Bryce Courtenay story, Four Fires is nonetheless a difficult story to listen to, especially the lengthy recapitulation of the horrors of his Borneo POW experiences as recounted by the protagonist's father. The tale's strength lies, however, in the complex, somewhat dysfunctional, but still powerful family relationships. Definitely a worthwhile read, which I found enriched by Humphrey Bower's performance and vocal characterizations (although he may be improving in this regard, I object to his accents for white Americans--nearly as bad as most BBC actors').
This even supersedes Power of One, which I absolutely loved, but only just!
The whole art of integrating different characters,different viewpoints,different dialects is made to look easy when listening to this book. Bryce Courtenany brings his characters alive and with such compelling storylines that it's hard to stop listening.
I had already read this book an age ago but on discovering Humphrey Bowers ability to bring other books alive with his truly wonderful accents and nuances with each different character,was not disappointed when listening to this performance,absolutely one of his best to date!
It would be wonderful to be at dinner with the whole of the extended Maloney family, to be able to watch the interactions going on all around and feeling that you know them so well due to the depth of the authors and narrators performance
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I wasn't certian that I would fully appreciate this book since it is by an Austrailian author with the story background set in Australia. I can say without reservation that this is one of the best books that I haver ever listened to. The narrater is amazing! It was easy to forget that it was read by a single person because his voice changed with each character. I am sure that this is a book that I will listen to again sometime in the future. Thank you!
In view of the recent local bushfires in WA, of deliberate & accidental origin, it was earie to be reading this graphic & moving account of the Moloney family. The narration is excellent, giving each of the characters a life of their own. A moving & diverse fiction it may be, but Bryce Courtney certainly fires it with life.
This book took me a few hours to get into, but once I did I was hooked! The narrator is fantastic, and the character development is top notch. There's even a bit of history and environmental threads woven in, so I felt I learned a few things by the end of it! Very highly recommended.
I just finished Four Fires. I loved it from start to finish. I read it following Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken and it was the perfect match. Everything I have ever read about WWII has been about the Holocaust. Both of these novels give an entirely different perspective - that of what it was like in the Japanese POW camps.
Bryce Courtney and Humphrey Bower have once again proved to be a fantastic combination.