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Fishing for Stars | [Bryce Courtenay]

Fishing for Stars

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Simultaneous release of the sequel to the best-selling The Persimmon Tree.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (546 )
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4.6 (371 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Anya C. 03-13-15
    Anya C. 03-13-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved everything except Marg"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gwen Lake Oswego, OR, United States 09-03-14
    Gwen Lake Oswego, OR, United States 09-03-14 Member Since 2013
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    "A Sequel for Fans Only"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    What could Bryce Courtenay have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    restricted the amount of cliches about women and expanded more on the final outcome of his writing his story and Marg Hamilton.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    he redeems some of the self depreciating humor and allows you to overlook the authors at times tedious repetitions and cliches.


    Could you see Fishing for Stars being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    yes but only if it were together with the first book, The Persimmon Tree. No idea on actors!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 02-01-14
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 02-01-14 Member Since 2011

    Westport, CT

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    "Entertaining Read"

    Although not at the same level as the first one in the Duncan series you will not be disappointed with this installment if you enjoyed the Persimmon Tree. Like all Courtney novels he seems to project himself in all his hero's and may fancy himself being desired by two gorgeous women as Nick Duncan is. The novel expounded in semi detail on Tasmania’s Green movement which was a little boring, seemed like it was forcible integrated into the story, likely it really requires a separate novel to address and certainly a novel which I would not download.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Brisbane, Australia 01-24-14
    Sharon Brisbane, Australia 01-24-14 Member Since 2015

    I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.

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    "Who cares about these people?"

    A beautiful heroin addict, a bored housewife looking for a cause and a misogynistic ex-pat with PTSD. Do you want to know their story? I thought I did but I quickly became totally bored with the three of them.

    Story: The beautiful and successful heroin addict, what a joke. Heroin addicts have to buy cut heroin and the ravages upon their physical being are obvious. This was my first annoyance. Then this ex-pat who has sex with multiple women and then "lets them go". You're kidding right? Women are so disposable and willing to involve themselves in such relationships so easily?? Don't even get me started with the bored housewife and her Kegal exercises!! Ugh!

    Narrator: Oh Mr. Bower! I bet you wish you had never read this trite rubbish! Still a great job! Thankyou for being the only saving grace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garret Charlotte, NC, USA 01-07-14
    Garret Charlotte, NC, USA 01-07-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Pretty good, not great"
    What did you like best about Fishing for Stars? What did you like least?

    The Japan angle was very interesting. So was the drug rehabilitation angle. Anna becoming a cunning business tycoon and belittling Nicholas at every opportunity got a bit old. How many times does she have to tell him he is an idiot? So did the entire Marg Hamilton angle. It was ridiculous...At the beginning of the book I had complete buy-in to the characters of Anna, Nicholas and Marg. By the end I could have cared less what happened to them. I just wanted to be done with them.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The continuation of the Japan angle, other than that I found the story dragged a lot.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Humphrey Bower is literally a genius as a reader. He brought to the story some interest for me, without him I would have likely turned the audiobook off long before.


    Could you see Fishing for Stars being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No way...


    Any additional comments?

    About 2/3 of the way thru the book I started hoping it would end. The whole Marg/Anna back and forth did not work for me. Neither did the entire Tasmania section. Neither did anything that happened after they came back from Japan. The word "Gobsmacked" could have been used a few less times, and I actually think he repeated sections of the book multiple times by accident. It simply did not flow like his other stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Darley Qld, Australia 01-01-14
    Margaret Darley Qld, Australia 01-01-14 Listener Since 2010
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    "Not my favourite Bryce Courtenay"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I found it a bit too pornographic for my taste. The story could have had the same impact without being so explicit.


    If you’ve listened to books by Bryce Courtenay before, how does this one compare?

    Bryce Courtenay is a wonderful story-teller, although I found this one a bit long-winded


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Humphrey Bower is an inspired reader. He portrays the accents of the characters wonderfully well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TopCat 09-21-13
    TopCat 09-21-13
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    "Sorry I Purchased"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not time well spent. This was the retelling of a previous book and nothing new to offer. So disappointed as I loved all the others. One more of Courtenay's already purchased. Hope it will be a credit well used


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Fortune Cookie


    Did Fishing for Stars inspire you to do anything?

    No!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hyacinthe 08-16-13
    Hyacinthe 08-16-13 Member Since 2014

    Prolific reader, writer of short stories, novels and non-fiction.

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    "Not up to his usual standards"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not this one. The core story of Anna and Nicolas and Marge the eco-nut was generally acceptable, but why did he create such a profoundly damaged woman as Anna, with her perverse attachment to her Japanese war criminal tormentor. She was never redeemed, which is what I was waiting for. Why was Nick the war hero such an unbelievable wuss with his intimate relationships? The book could have been cut by 1/3 - the diatribe about hydro-electric development, East Timor, oil drilling, gorillas and endangered frogs was a lecture that belonged in a 'green' publication, not a novel.


    Has Fishing for Stars turned you off from other books in this genre?

    This is the last one I had purchased to listen to, which is a good thing. Bryce usually meanders, but not this drastically off topic.


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

    Humphrey is always magnificent - the range of his talent seems boundless. But this time, there was no one character whom I'd want to share a beer with. The Yakuza Oyabun and the POW Goji Moru were the most potentially interesting.


    Do you think Fishing for Stars needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Good grief, no. It went on too long and I just didn't care what happened to any of the main characters about 4 chapters before the end of the book. They were all self-absorbed and with the exception of sad, twisted Anna, not fully developed as human beings.


    Any additional comments?

    A disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juliette Scobie Lake Wylie, South Carolina USA 08-05-13
    Juliette Scobie Lake Wylie, South Carolina USA 08-05-13

    Author Bryce Courtenay's 'Tandia' 'Power of One' 'Fishing for Stars' & voice of Humphrey Bower is outstanding & Shantaram by G D Roberts. A+

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    "Consuming, Spicy, Historical"
    Would you listen to Fishing for Stars again? Why?

    Highly recommend Fishing for Stars as the plot intrigues then consumes.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fishing for Stars?

    The character, Anna, held up against injustice imposed by the Japanese. Love her strength, power and dignity.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Anna meeting with the Japanese boat dealers in Japan.


    Any additional comments?

    Bryce Courtney + Humphrey Bower = Symbiotic Relationship. 'Persimmon Tree' and sequel 'Fishing for Stars' is a must read that will not disappoint. Bryce Courtney's research is flawless--love his character's imperfection,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki Montpelier, VA, United States 07-03-13
    Vicki Montpelier, VA, United States 07-03-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Disappointing"
    What would have made Fishing for Stars better?

    I love Bryce Courtenay's books and especially enjoyed The Persimmon Tree. Unfortunately, I wish I had left this one on the shelf. It's as if Mr. Courtenay was told to weave some more "modern" topics in his books. This one has it all: environmentalism, sexual dysfunction, breast cancer, superhuman woman and greed. I imagine that he Googled "current issues" and picked the top 10 and made a game of including them all in one book. The whole story is simply ridiculous and the book is very weak compared to his other books.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Humphrey Bower is such an exceptional narrator that I'm convinced that he's the only reason I was able to finish this book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    DOn't let this book turn you away from Bryce Courtenay. Every other book I've read I have enjoyed, especially The Australian Triology.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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