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Brother Fish | [Bryce Courtenay]

Brother Fish

From the author of The Power of One comes an inspiring human drama of three lives brought together and changed forever by the extraordinary events of recent history. Inspired by real events, Bryce Courtenay's new novel tells the story of three people from vastly differing backgrounds. All they have in common is a tough beginning in life.
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Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Power of One comes an inspiring human drama and war story of three lives brought together and changed forever by the extraordinary events of recent history. Inspired by real events, Bryce Courtenay's new novel tells the story of three people from vastly differing backgrounds. All they have in common is a tough beginning in life. Jack McKenzie is a harmonica player, soldier, dreamer, and small-time professional fisherman from a tiny island in Bass Strait. Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan is a strong-willed woman hiding from an ambiguous past in Shanghai. Larger than life, Private Jimmy Oldcorn was once a street kid and leader of a New York gang. Together, they reap a vast and not always legitimate fortune from the sea. Narrated by celebrated, award-winning actor Humphrey Bower.

©2004 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pty. Ltd.

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Literary Fiction

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1368 )
5 star
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 (49)
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4.3 (679 )
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Story
4.6 (679 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 05-13-09
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 05-13-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    426
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    101
    62
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    Overall
    "This is simply the best!"

    I have listened to 6 Bryce Courtenay novels and this is the best. "Tommo & Hawk" is close, but the story line and the unforgettable characters (esp. Brother Fish, Jimmy and the Countess) of this novel are outstanding. Just as importantly, the extremely talented Humphrey Bower's wide range of voices allows you to live every moment in the story.
    To put icing on the cake, the conclusion doesn't require the reader to purchase anti-depressant pills.
    Wow! I loved it! What a wonderful read! Thank you B. Courtenay, thank you H. Bower and thank you audible.com.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary j aboughadareh 08-12-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    188
    ratings
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    343
    89
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    Overall
    "Great! but you have to get past part 1"

    I thought at first I had made a huge mistake buying this one but I've listened to almost all of BC's books and love them as well as the reader. HB is simply the best . Part 1 went on and on with war stuff and so I decided I'd abort if things didn't pick up after part 1. It turned out to be excellent. A good story and what I really liked is he wrapped up everything neatly in the end. You find out what happed to everyone you hear about along the way. I loved it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Calgary, Alberta, Canada 08-21-07
    Dennis Calgary, Alberta, Canada 08-21-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    9
    3
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    Overall
    "Wonderful story with factual settings."

    I was enthralled with this audiobook, especially with the historical facts of the Korean War, some facts of China where I have worked (and ate dog) and Hong Kong with similarities to Malaysia (how to carry one's purse securely) where I have worked also. I found myself unsatisfied with the narrative to the extent I was looking up Tasmania and "King's Island" in the web to further my understanding of the story.
    The characters are a little "true blue" but the tale certainly carries it's heroes to the finish line in true heroic style.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada 07-31-06
    Peter Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada 07-31-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    53
    3
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    "Superb Narration"

    I decided to download Brother Fish after having listened to The Power of One and Tandia and having thoroughly enjoyed both books had great expectations for Brother Fish. I was not disappointed, but must agree with previous reviewers that I did find it a bit tedious at times. I found myself becoming annoyed with the number of times (actually lost count) the full name of Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan was repeated but toward the end of the book the name was finally shortened to Nicole. I know she was a principal character, but I think her name should have been shortened sooner in the story. Humphrey Bower's narration is superb and without his talent I might not have finished this book. Having said that, I would not hesitate to read/listen to
    other Bryce Courtney books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 03-24-13
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2007

    I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1507
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    144
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    Story
    "Humphrey Bower saves the day."

    This is typical Courtenay fare. We always get a character (or two) with a hard-luck beginning, tons of familial dysfunction and - after trials and tribulations - redemption. With this book there's at least 3 of those characters, depending on your definition of hard-luck. I would never have listened to more than a few hours if it had not been for one thing - Humphrey Bower. One of the characters is such a perfect fit for his expert narration that it saves the entire thing.

    This book is too long by 25%, too repetitive and too fantastical to call it historical fiction. Courtenay has a way of picking up a phrase and beating it into the ground unmercifully for an entire book. In spite of that, it's a great listen just because of Humphrey Bower. Really. He's that good.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Darnestown, MD, USA 07-08-09
    Christine Darnestown, MD, USA 07-08-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
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    126
    10
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    0
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    Overall
    "The best book I have read in many years"

    If I could only recommend ONE book for the summer, this would be it! There was not a single minute in this 4 volume story that I did not listen to with interest. Great, engaging story, masterfully read!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 09-23-12
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 09-23-12 Member Since 2009

    An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    165
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    "Magical performance"

    I swear Humphrey Bower could make the telephone book riviting listen listening and, as always, he brings Courtney to full value

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Sparks, NY, United States 07-14-12
    John Sparks, NY, United States 07-14-12 Member Since 2008

    NV, not NY

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Have yet to read a bad Courtenay book"

    So far I've read The Power of One, Tandia, and now Brother Fish. I loved them all and appreciate the fact that Courtenay writes long books. In the end they're never long enough. This story had the unexpected surprise of partially taking place in the area where I grew up, and when one of the characters is taken to the hospital where I was born, I burst out laughing. I know, I know, this has nothing to do with critiquing the book.
    This book actually contains four major stories, all of them fastenating. I just downloaded The Potatoe Factory - the first in a trilogy, and I can't wait to be taken away by this masterful story teller yet again. Courtenay isn't perfect, but when you're in love, you tend to overlook the small stuff. When I look at how many books Courtenay has on Audible, it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 04-29-12
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 04-29-12 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

    HELPFUL VOTES
    527
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    "Satisfactory...."

    Good story, really good narration - all in all a satisfactory experience......... but not really my cup of tea. The first part of the book was about the Korean war which was really good but the second half dragged for me and I found myself hanging in only because I was so invested already. I may check out some of this author's other works in the future, if only to find out why so many others rave about him - maybe I just picked the wrong book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Atascadero, CA, United States 12-12-11
    Rachel Atascadero, CA, United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2010

    I own a small shop selling custom/costume Jewelry. I love to listen to audio books while I create jewelry. I love all animals and get very upset when they aren't treated well, even in fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not at all what the Summary said"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If it had truly been what the summary it was about. This book is about the Korean war. It was filled with violent battle scenes--- YUCK. If the summary had been honest, and described this book as it truly is--- another war story, I would never have wasted my credit, or my time.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Bryce Courtenay again?

    Possible, I guess. I did like the Power of One. But if I can't count on Audible for actuate summaries, I may cease to even be a member. I own a small business, and I do understand that it is all about sales, but if I misrepresented my products and services as I feel Auible has done in this case, I'd soon be out of business!


    Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

    Jacko


    What character would you cut from Brother Fish?

    The entire war experience!


    Any additional comments?

    Good narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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