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Linda

MATTAPAN, MA, United States | Member Since 2006

53
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 2119 titles in library
  • 85 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
7

  • Four Fires

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1155)
    Performance
    (809)
    Story
    (804)

    The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

    Robert says: "Hit in the solar plexus"
    "Waiting Again"
    Overall

    I loved this book - it was pure Courtney! The characters - especially all of the Maloneys were believable, larger than life, comic and sympathetic. I have been waiting for another Courtney family to follow. I kept checking his website to see what was coming and to make sure that I had not missed a book. I gobbled this one up so quickly that I find myself waiting again for the next one (sigh).

    I can always determine who is speaking when Humphrey Bower creates his vocals. I recommend the book and Humphrey Bower is the bonus.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (9146)
    Performance
    (7220)
    Story
    (7257)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Amazon Customer says: "Word Thief"
    "Oh My Goodness - that's just what this book is!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost did not buy this book. I circled around it for weeks. The whole premise seemed a bit creepy and weepy but thanks to the reviewers I decided to give it a try.

    Markus Zusak created a story that I will listen to over and over. I loved the story; felt I knew all of the characters; and, began to if not exactly appreciate then at least understand the perspectives of Death - the narrator of the story. There was not one unbelievable character in the book.

    Many reviewers said the book was sad, and honestly it was heartbreaking for me too, but only because I fell in love with everyone in the neighborhood and wanted life for them after Nazi Germany. They worked so hard at maintaining an existence for themselves and their families and they deserved so much more.

    It was brilliant to allow Death to give away some of the story at the beginning because we did not have to spend the whole story dreading what we thought (or guessed) the ending would be. Death was so funny or so compassionate or so matter of fact in the telling of his various visits that it made the ultimate deaths bearable. Allan Corduner thank you for a fantastic performance. You made me forget to fear Death.

    This is a simple story about simple people. The best!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jack of Diamonds

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (716)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (613)

    Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.

    Brodie says: "On the Day we lost Bryce"
    "I Am Devastated."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mr. Courtenay usually writes about South Africa or Australia and we have gotten some real history lessons about these regions as well as entertaining stories. I have learned more history from great stories than I ever did in school. I really enjoyed Jack Diamonds. To absorb the life of someone "just across the road" from the United States in Canada during the turbulent "pre and post" World War II era was great fun. I quite simply love a good story (Bryce) read by a great reader (Humphrey).

    I want to say here that Mr. Courtenay brought me to tears with his afterward. As I listened I could only hope (I realize quite selfishly hoped) that he had time for another story or two. I greatly appreciate his thoughtful goodbye - to me it was extremely personal because I always thought of Bryce Courtenay as one of my personal writers. I was absolutely devastated to learn that he passed away.

    As a young person, I lived all over the world and the United States. I never got to Australia or Africa. Thanks to you and Humphrey Bower for the extraordinary journeys. I have always finished one story by looking for and anticipating the next one and have read each of Mr. Courtenay's books at least twice and some of them four or five times. Although I have not said much about this particular novel, I am sure that I will read and re-read and re-read Jack of Diamonds.

    I am going to miss you. May God bless you and your family.

    43 of 45 people found this review helpful

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