Nicholas Duncan is a semi-retired shipping magnate who resides in idyllic Beautiful Bay in Indonesia, where he is known as the old patriarch of the islands. He is grieving the loss of his beautiful Eurasian wife, Anna, and is suffering for the first time from disturbing flashbacks to WWII, the scene of their first meeting and early love. His other wartime lover is the striking Marg Hamilton, a powerful and influential political player in Australia who has remained close to Nick. Marg suspects Nick is suffering the onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and organises for a specialist to meet with him in Sydney. But when they meet, Tony Freedman stirs long-buried emotions in Nick and the two men don't hit it off.
Nick leaves in an explosion of anger and finds himself in hospital after being hit by a car. Tony visits and encourages Nick to write as a form of therapy - to write about Anna. So he sets about writing about the woman who has inspired him since his late teens, and in doing so draws us into the compelling tale of the life he has lived post war-hero days building a shipping empire, navigating international corruption, supporting his wife's third-world education crusade and loving the women who inspire him. Set in the exotic locale of the spice islands during the excitement of post-war prosperity and possibility, and driven by strong, colourful characters, this book is truly epic in scope. Is it possible for a man to love two women?
©2008 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing
I love Bryce Courtenay and have listened to most of his books, loved the first book but this sequel seemed a bit like a history class, too preachy. I found myself drifting off in some parts when the detailed history became too long. Still one of my favorite writers though.
A continuation of the story of the characters in The Persimmon Tree, this book demonstrates Courtenay's usual masterful weaving of history, politics, romance, love, & all the complexities of human relationships, in wonderful storytelling. Humphrey Bower is an outstanding reader & brings the characters alive.
I'm a LLL (a Life Long Learner) I love growing my education. Its not cool 2 stop school so early. The ones who do complain that life is hard
I recommend you listen to the Persimmon Tree beforehand. This is beautifully narrated . It covers many decades and is well researched.
I first read THE PERSIMMON TREE. The two books should both be read. The author has detailed, almost ponderous, descriptive history of the South Pacific just before World War II and the Japanese invasion of the many Sutherland's Pacific islands. Told from an Australian man's point of view, it was ver illuminating. I did not know about the culture of the various ethnic groups on the islands, Japan or Australia . At times it is very graphic and there is a lot of sexual customs. But they are described frankly and it is informative, not tawdry. I have read much about the European theatre of WWII, but knew nothing about the Japanese aspect. Many of the names mentioned re true people. As the novels combined span about 60 years, the politics, finances of the Pacific were surprising and fascinating. The audio version was well done and I don't think I could have read such detailed novels in print from. It was shocking to me to learn about the corruption and nuances of Asian businesses. Makes me wonder if America is operating the same way! Enlightening read.
another iridescent, engaging, complex, and simply wonderful experience with Courtenay and Bower. Thematically and morally challenging work that is masterfully articulated by one of the finest authors of our day... or any day and dispensation, really
The Persimmon Tree was awesome. Fishing for Stars as sequel not as much. Although a great story & perfection in reading, there was too much information regarding the environmental & political minutiae. Sadly this left me bored & thinking about fast forwarding which I would never have done in the other Courtenay books I have listened to.
As always, Humphrey Bower's does a masterful job of bringing the story to life, but unlike other Courtenay books this one never really grabbed and held me. It felt like Courtenay wasn't sure where he was going with this one. At several points I was tempted to abandon the book but trudged on to a so-so ending. Glad this wasn't the first Courtenay book I listened to as I would likely have passed on his other very excellent books.
50ish retired public radio news broadcaster, female, rancher. I love good writing from historical fiction and interesting, off beat mysteries to history of religions and interesting biography coupled with excellent voicing. I have no use for poorly delivered reading. I'll suffer though so-so writing if the content is engaging, but if the narrator is bad, I'll buy the book and read it myself.
While it was great to catch up with Nick, Anna and Marg, this story went on an and on and on about politics, history and environmental issues. Toward the end I skipped large amounts just to get back to the story.
I was thrilled to realize The Persimmon Tree had a sequel, and settled in to listen. To keep my review brief (and avoid spoilers), I loved every part of the story that involved Anna and disliked nearly every part of the story that involved Marg. Even allowing for that personal opinion, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it.
I would condense the content, a lot of the story from The Persimmon Tree is repeated and re-repeated far too many times in this book. There are a lot of cliches and editorial misses that should have been excluded and detract from the telling of this sequel.
restricted the amount of cliches about women and expanded more on the final outcome of his writing his story and Marg Hamilton.
he redeems some of the self depreciating humor and allows you to overlook the authors at times tedious repetitions and cliches.
yes but only if it were together with the first book, The Persimmon Tree. No idea on actors!
Read the Persimmon Tree first or you'll be disappointed and irritated. I read this sequel and can understand why other readers were disappointed and given poor reviews. This is not his best book, but I did enjoy most of it as part of the previous story. It took me a while to get into the first book, so I read The Four Fires which was more fun and more akin to The Power of One. I felt I had to got into the style of this author and so decided to go back to the Persimmon Tree but had to make an effort to tolerate some cliches and repetitions of storyline especially for Fishing for Stars.I still enjoyed it overall. There is some good storytelling and information in there, once you get used to the writing style but not everyone's cup of tea! One for fans I think and not the best Bryce Courtney book to start with.
"A disappointing sequel."
A different storyline with characters resembling their Persimmon Tree personae.
I am heading towards owning ALL of Bryce Courtenay books provided they are read by Humphrey Bower. For all round entertainment, including a bit of education, they are excellent.
I first heard Humphrey Bower narrating Shantaram and from that moment I have hunted out his performances. He could read 'small print' and make it riveting
Not for me, but everyone has their own opinion.
"Beautifully written, but difficult characters"
I bought this book to listen to as soon as I'd finished The Persimmon Tree, which I adored.
This book takes up Nick Duncan's story many years after the end of The Pesimmon Tree. I was immediately saddened to learn of the death of one of the characters, and was shocked by how strident another had become. While the story was just as well written as previously, and the narrator again was magnificent, I am left with a feeling of ambivalence. The innocence of the first book, in marked contrast to the war and atrocities it was set around, has been thoroughly and rudely ripped away in this book.
One part of the story which I particularly liked was Anna and Nick's visit to Japan. The style of this section was much more akin to The Persimmon Tree.
But sadly, the overall feeling I am left with at the end of this book is a distaste for all three of the main characters. Such a shame.
"Bryce Courtenay - where have you been all my life?"
I've only recently discovered Bryce Courtenay. I can't get his words out of my head. Fishing for Stars is such a beautiful and tragic love triangle story. I wish I could go to Beautiful Bay! Humphrey Bower is a fantastic narrator bringing Australasia to life. I almost feel like I am eavesdropping on the conversations.
"Another 5 star by Bryce Courtenay"
I'm totally addicted to the words of Bryce Courtenay. Once you have listened to one book you just have to hear them all.
I loved the characters in this 'so much more than a love story' and felt comletely drawn into their lives.
However, it does follow on from 'The Persimmon Tree', which I read afterwards, but did not find on audible.
This was wonderfully read by Humphrey Bower, who finds the perfect voice for each character. A must to listen to.
"I'm now a Bryce Courtney fan"
I read this after Brother Fish and, again, become totally involved with the characters - now I want The Persimmon Tree!
There is only one drawback - the narration is great but the voices used in the two books were similar. Jack McKenzie's voice in my head in Brother Fish then became Nick Duncan etc. It took some getting over, but worth it.
very capable reader who played all the characters very well. a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Thanks
"Fishing for Stars"
Too much detail. Easy to get lost. Good narration. Excellent story. To appreciate this book, should read the Persimmon Tree.
"fishing for statrs"
I have read several of Bryce Courtenay's novels. He confronts difficult and sensitive issues. I applaud him.
The story line was banal. Nothing inspired me to listen to another word. I think I got to chapter four.
Worlds without end was my next listen. This was absolutely enthralling.
It was not his performance it was the story. If Humphrey did not have a good story how on earth could he make it interesting.
From page one to whatever it ended with
Sorry this had no story line to keep me interested
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