If you haven't listened to any of Bryce Courtenay's books, you'll probably love this and I recommend it. But if you've listened to The Power of One, The Persimmon Tree, or The Potato Factory, you'll find that 'Jack of Diamonds' is essentially the same story rehashed with different names, occupations, era's and geographical locations. The result is a story that's tedious, plodding and predictable.
It was essentially the same story as Courtenay's other stories; always a handsome, honest, ethical young man from a disadvantaged background who takes advantage of wonderful opportunities, has a first sexual experience with an experienced woman who teaches him how to please women, blah blah blah. Feh.
Humphrey Bower is wonderful - he kept me listening even when the rehashed story made me cringe.
'Jack of Diamonds' is worth a credit only if you haven't listened to any of Bryce Courtenay's books before.
I read like a madwoman all my life but now I have bad eyes. Thank goodness for audio books
Once again Bryce delivers a story that gives us a perspective of life that is interesting and different. The people are always real and the characters are alive. Furthermore the story has meaning and brings you inside the heart of the author. If you like Bryce Courtenay you will enjoy this one more of his brilliant sagas. If you have not tried him yet......this is a really good place to start.
Great read Bryce regardless of his age is just the best story teller I have ever read. From the Power of One to Jack its like reading the never ending corners of Mr Courtenay's mind. And as for Mr Bower's reading, well it makes me feel like I'm there in the room with the characters. Thank you both for your time and allowing me to enter your imagination to expand mine.
I had never before read anything by Bryce Courtenay, and downloaded Jack of Diamoinds based on Audible's recommendation. I found the story to be anodyne and predictable, but Humphrey Bower's fluid ability to navigate Canadian, American, South African and Australian accents, not to mention female voices and certain dialects made it a worthwhile read.
I listen to books all the time, When I am driving, cleaning, cooking or doing anything quiet. I am AUDOBSESSED!
This is a very unusual story of a guy who should have never had a chance at life, but got a great start and the adventures are endless.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
I have enjoyed other Courtenay books more, but this is a very good story. For me, the difference was that in his other books, I have found a female character to empathize with/relate to; and found none in this one. Jack's mother, teachers, "girl friends" and others were just fleeting characters in the story.
Jack is bright but sure makes some crazy (aka stupid) decisions throughout the story. Nonetheless, he survives, even thrives and his life story takes the listener to interesting and exotic locales where he makes his way with music and/or gambling.
Humphey Bower as always, did a magnificent job narrating the story. I simply would have liked to "care" a little more about the characters, including Jack.