Yes, I read THE FOUR FIRES years ago and although I thoroughly enjoyed it, the narration made a huge difference in this audio edition. Bryce Courtenay is a master at characterisation, and a talented actor reading the stoy brought the characters to life in an amazing way.
The characters are real, interesting and quirky.
The character of Nancy is a real crowd pleaser, and Humphrey Bower brought her to life brilliantly - as he did with the other characters too. Mrs Rika Rey also deserves a mention. His accents are fantastic and his timing perfect.
The power of family makes it possible to overcome any obstacle.
Although few books can measure up to Courtenay's THE POWER OF ONE, I think THE FOUR FIRES captures something of the incredible ability this author has to create characters that are real and with whom the reader can sympathise. Some of the characters are larger than life, which makes this book very entertaining. It is funny, touching and well-researched. My only criticism is the epilogue, which I think distracts from the overall work. But since it's right at the end, it's not a big problem.
Yes. The book is well researched and the author mentions many interesting facts and statistics.
The cultural difference in the way French parents approach parenting is fascinating, and it is interesting that they are so effective in dealing with young children. What concerns me, however, is that the author did not pay attention to the mental and emotional well-being of French adults - seeing that the inevitable outcome of childhood is, in fact, adulthood. If their parenting techniques are superior, I would like to see that portrayed in happier, more well-adjusted adults and not just well-behaved children. This does not seem to be the case.
Reminding children to greet people - something which is easily overlooked.
I like the self-effacing style of writing, the humor and personal experience throughout the book.
I was a bit surprised to find that "Ask and it is Given" Vol 1 ended on such a typical, commercial cliff hanger. The book's content is spiritual, and it is claimed that Esther Hicks channels Abraham and other spiritual entities. Towards the end of Vol 1, much is made of the exercises that will follow in order to give a practical application to the largely theoretical matters discussed. I waited in anticipation for the 20 steps that would revolutionize my life, only to have vol 1 end rather bluntly. Of course I will now buy vol 2 in order to put Abraham's wisdom into practice. I never would have thought that these spiritual entities have such a solid grip on commercialism!
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