The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.
©2010 Bryce Courtenay; 2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"Humphrey Bower, speaking as Mole, delivers every possible nuance and emotion of his character’s story, and shows a startling aptitude for other dialects as well. Close family friends and enemies include surviving Polish Jews, an East Indian healer, an Irish Catholic priest, Japanese prison camp soldiers, and many others. All of them, young and old, male and female, spring to vivid life in Bower’s versatile voice. Narrative passages and dialogue elicit tears and laughter by turns, without a minute of boredom in the 30-hour production." (AudioFile magazine)
I listen to books as I work. It's a beautiful life.
"The Power of One" and this book, "Four Fires" are in the same league. I really enjoyed the storyline, the character developement, the drama, & the humor that Bryce Courtney brought to this book! It was excellent.
Up there with the Life of Pi
Written from the son s voice a great tale /tales of tragedy and triumph , and all in one family
The mood was not heavy despite the storyline
The narration was so wonderful
Made the story resonate both lyrically and creatively , wonderful voice
The mum , she would have a few great tales of her colourful life
This was a wonderfully engaging and emotionally involving book. The account of the conditions for POW's in Borneo was heartbreaking and historically very accurate. After the book ended I felt a bit bereft without the Maloney family. Some minor quibbles with the plot - it seemed as if everyone in the family was a bit too brilliant to be believed. I don't want to give the ending away, but it was marred by a glaring violation of professional boundries that would in reality be grounds for a loss of one's license to practice medicine. Humphrey Bower reads this wonderfully - not too much or too little expression, and his command of the subtle differences in Australian accents adds to the reading.
Up there with the best of them I've listen to this 3 times and read the book love it
Several but that would be giving away the story and it's better to be surprised rather than in the know
No , at first I didn't like the Aussie accent and I am a Aussie then the Jewish and Irish accent were believable so I guess it depends on how Aussie you want your character to be
Gotta love Nancy
This book returned a lot of memories for me Flinders Lane, the dunny man, Fires and there awful outcomes, and yet how they also bring life back, How many soliders who fought in all wars are never truly appreciated and often forgotten. How small communities can by working together can achieve so much. The fact I read it four times tells you it's worth it.!
As with all of the other Courtenay books I've read, this one was also phenomenal. The storyline was very engaging, characters likable, and there is always a wonderful moral to his stories. This one had me engaged until the very end. What a wonderful writer Bryce Courtenay is, weaving a full, rich, colorful book every time!
Humphrey Bower is a super narrator for these books, love his accents.
What a great saga! Loved the history and the Australiana. I'm a Kiwi but we share much so there was so much that I remembered and related to.
The emotion in the book was also huge, brought me to tears at times and in fits of laughter other times!
The reader also did a great job, managing young and old, male and female with ease.
A must read!
Yes I would and have done already.
Mole Maloney for sure! The story was told through his eyes.
Mrs Rika Ray. She was fantastic. Bower did a great job of all the characters.
Tommy Maloney-be great to talk to him about his experiences!
No, I never listen to books twice. Too many books out there!
Father and son "going bush" when the father told of his life before kids (the war, etc) and we found out why is is the way he is.
His tone of voice and Australian accent
Now listening to another Bryce Courtenay, Jessica. Love it too.
I don't know.
None in particular, I enjoyed the narrator who was the character "Mole".
Loved his narrative, rarely does a performance made story come to life as Humphrey did. Accents did not sound pitifully fake as many narrators do. Even the women's voices were appealing. I would listen to more of his narrations.
The mother, I liked her attitude.
I really enjoyed this read. Didn't expect the narration to be through a child's eyes, but I quickly got over that and came to enjoy it. GREAT performance. I felt at times that the author was being a little too instructive, but appreciated his desire to share some fascinating information. The single perspective was limiting at times - as indicated by the author needing to justify how the narrator could possibly be privy to some of the incidents he relates. I think this story might have had the potential to be a future classic if the internal voices of the individual characters had been present - allowing for greater complexity and sophistication in thinking and feeling than could be offered through the boy narrator's eyes. I loved the characters and had no trouble empathising with them and caring about their stories. I thought a couple of the characters were a bit too stereotypical, almost to the extent of parody, but on the other hand the complex portrayal of Tommy (and his relationships) was exquisitely handled. LOVED the descriptions of the Australian man-made and natural landscapes. Altogether a highly recommended read.
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