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Geoff

Newport, Australia | Member Since 2009

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • Whitethorn

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (350)
    Performance
    (269)
    Story
    (272)

    From the author of The Power of One comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people fanatically opposed to the English. The world is also on the brink of war, and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six-year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany.

    Karin says: "Whitethorn"
    "another masterpiece with a slight issue"
    Overall

    Having listened to all available books by Bryce, this is the first time I have had a slight issue. Before that the good stuff....As usual Mr Bower is superb in the delivery of this novel and the novel itself is another masterpiece.

    I did find however that there was a little to much of Peekay in this book, and in fact great tracts of it could have been in Power of One.

    This still will not stop me from checking every month for the next BC/HB journey to download.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Fortune Cookie

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (211)

    It's the 1960s and the world of advertising is coming alive - and it's an exciting world to be part of. Simon Wong, a Chinese-Australian and promising young advertising executive, is sent to Singapore to establish an office. He finds himself thrust into an environment that is at once strangely familiar and profoundly different; one where the rules that govern behaviour - both in business and in personal life - differ wildly from what he is used to. And where all is not what it appears to be.

    Corinne says: "If your a Courtenay Bower fan"
    "You need a refresh Mr Bower and Mr Courtenay"
    Overall

    I am a big fan of Humphrey Bower and have downloaded and listened to books I would not normally consider due to Humphrey being the narrator.

    However I think I must have heard to many because Humphrey does not have the range of voices and accents to differentiate characters across books, especially in the Bryce Courtenay books, the Chinese characters in this book sound exactly the same as the Japanese characters in Persimmon Tree, the ladies are always the same plummy English accent across all the books, and the Australians are so stereotypical it is a little annoying, even for me as an Englishman abroad.

    Having said this I will still actively search out books narrated by Humphrey and only hope he can develop some additional character voices in the future.

    In the same way, Bryce Courtenay needs to refresh his approach to his novels, again I would suggest he tries to expand beyond the narrow view he has of what he wanted to be and trying to realise this through his writings, we all know of his amazing life story which we all wish we had, but some may consider it is just that a story developed in an active mind that is able to translate this to paper. I think the line between Mr Courtenays real life and written life through his novels have blurred into each other to the point where one cannot be sure of the sincerity in either. Yes his books are fantastically descriptive and I cannot help myself but download any offering by the Courtenay/Bower partnership, but I do become more cynical with each tome.

    So in Summary, a great book well narrated but maybe just a bit to much like all the rest for the avid, long term listener, if this is you first book by the dynamic duo then you will get great pleasure by spending the next 20 plus hours immersing yourself in the wonderful characters. If, however this is your sixth or seventh by the Courtenay/Bower team be prepared to have heard it all before (I bet like me you still get it though)

    12 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Blood Tattoo # 2: Lamplighter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By D. M. Cornish
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The Half-Continent is becoming even more unsafe - monster attacks are on the rise, and every far-flung village or town is calling for help to fight them. Into this dangerous landscape the lamplighters must venture daily, keeping the roads safely lit for travellers. It is not a job for the faint-hearted, and every week there are reports of new theroscades. Foundling Rossamund Bookchild, sworn into the Emperor's Service as a prentice lamplighter, is finding his training at Winstermill Fortress difficult and lonely.

    Geoff says: "Thank goodness for Humphrey Bower"
    "Thank goodness for Humphrey Bower"
    Overall

    I chose this series as a alternate genre to normal and not least because of the narrator, the first book was entertaining and original with a good use of character. The second, however, has shades of Harry Potter and is trying to hard to invent new names for everyday items, the use of a single location with secret passages and an ongoing battle between good and evil within. fought by two understudies supported by a well meaning head and undermined by senior individuals could easily be mistaken for Hogwarts. I hope the third book moves away from this and regains the originality of the first instalment. For those that enjoy fantasy and want another version of the Potter series, this is just the book for you.

    I am a devoted listener to books narrated by Humphrey Bower and would suggest to anyone that they should focus on his renditions, this series does however show his limits with many of the accents no different to those used in his Bryce Courtney books, I feel it is time he learnt some new characters to add to his repertoire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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