©2004 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pty. Ltd.
Wow! Humphrey Bower can really bring a story to life, and this is a doozy! From a Korean POW camp, to the intrigues of Shanghai in the first half of the 20th century, to a terrifying hurricane at sea, the images keep flowing, helped along by really likeable but not perfect human beings caught up in one adventure after another. The details of what it is like to be held captive in Korea are hard to listen to, but there's so much more to the book than that. It held me spellbound!
This was a thoroughly entertaining book all the way through. The performance was excellent and the storyline very engaging. It took me a long time to decide if this was a true story or fiction. Thanks for the great read.
I was hesitant to begin such a long book but was immediately entranced by the narrator, the characters, their story and the history. I came to love and truly admire the main characters of Jacko, Jimmy and the Countess. They are all quiet heroes. The friendship, compassion and love that spanned decades was heart warming. The story was always entertaining. The narration was perfect. The book was a great listen.
I tried listening to this book, but I had trouble following the story. I drive for my job, and I'm driving as I listen, so maybe that had something to do with it. It just seemed like the story line was all over the place. The reader was fine, but I like more of a progressive story, this went back a lot to things that happened in the past. I tried for 2 days, and then I gave up, and I don't do that very often.
This book is awesome!! I almost gave up on it during the first part download when the writer went on an on about the Korean war. Am so very glad I continued. The author has put together the lives of 3 people in such depth. And as he continued through their stories, they just came alive. Now that I'm finished, I find myself thinking about them! The reader did an excellent job on narration especially given the various accents. Excellent listen.
The combination of an incredible narrator and a gifted writer is what makes this audio book truly remarkable. Courtenay takes you on journey spanning 3 generations - the most difficult and yet exciting of the last century, and he does it with a no nonsense style I can appreciate so much.
I generally don't care for books by male authors but since it had great reviews I decided to give it a chance. It took me a while to get into the book, mainly because I had to get used to the Australian accent, and the assorted phone calls and family members interrupting me. I was glad that I stuck with it because it is a wealth of information and entertainment. The characters are so well developed and interesting. The background for different world events allows for a better understanding of that period of history.
I loved James' singing voice of "Johnny I didn't know ya"! Excellent performance! I looked for the same song being sung on YouTube but none of them compared to the performance in the audiobook. Wonderful!
The acknowledgment at the end shouldn't be missed either. The acknowledgments give credit to the many people that were part of the creation of this book and helps explain how one person can create such a work. Bryce Courtenay is a master at bringing the experiences and minds of many people to create an unforgettable literary work.
It took me three tries before I actually was able to get down and really give this book a chance. AM I GLAD I TRIED THAT THIRD TIME! I don't really enjoy stories about wars, but as it turns out, the story is really about the relationships that the three main characters have with each other over decades. Once I got past the very first 30 minutes, I was hooked. Humphrey Bower is a fabulous narrator and really brought ALL of Bryce Courtenay's charcaters to life. His accents are wonderful and really kept me listening and coming back for more.
This is the third Bryce Courtenay book I have listened to and I want to hear them all, but I'm afraid I will run out of them eventually if I don't pace myself. I drive 10 hrs a week to and from work and so I go through books pretty quickly. Humphrey Bower is amazing as always! I completely agree with other reviewers who say that this combination has not been given their due. The history is great, I love the detail about the cultures and the characters are so real. Power of One will probably remain my favorite because it was my first, but this is a close second.
Another unique and interesting story by Courtenay. But also worth it just to hear Humphrey Bower's skill set as narrator. He was awesome in Shantaram, but to hear an Australian do a dead-on impersonation of an African American impersonating a Scot was amazing.
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