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Four Fires | [Bryce Courtenay]

Four Fires

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (1193 )
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4.7 (844 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gareth Waverly, PA, United States 09-03-12
    Gareth Waverly, PA, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "could not hear poor quality"
    What would have made Four Fires better?

    better audio


    Has Four Fires turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    could not understand at times


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

    no


    Any additional comments?

    I love scott brick and he has ruined me in the area of narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dal CARY, NC, United States 09-03-12
    dal CARY, NC, United States 09-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just another Bryce Courtenay / Humphrey Bower Book"

    You don't get any better than Bryce Courtenay / Humphrey Bower. I don't know who is most important of the two. As I listen to my 900 Audible books, I am more and more convinced that the narrator can make a good listen or completely ruin a book that should have also been just as great.

    Humphrey Bower is the best narrator I've heard, period!

    You can't go wrong with this combination if you're looking for entertainment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cornelle GeorgeSouth Africa 09-03-12
    Cornelle GeorgeSouth Africa 09-03-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Bryce Courtenay's characterisation is brilliant"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Four Fires to be better than the print version?

    Yes, I read THE FOUR FIRES years ago and although I thoroughly enjoyed it, the narration made a huge difference in this audio edition. Bryce Courtenay is a master at characterisation, and a talented actor reading the stoy brought the characters to life in an amazing way.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters are real, interesting and quirky.


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

    The character of Nancy is a real crowd pleaser, and Humphrey Bower brought her to life brilliantly - as he did with the other characters too. Mrs Rika Rey also deserves a mention. His accents are fantastic and his timing perfect.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The power of family makes it possible to overcome any obstacle.


    Any additional comments?

    Although few books can measure up to Courtenay's THE POWER OF ONE, I think THE FOUR FIRES captures something of the incredible ability this author has to create characters that are real and with whom the reader can sympathise. Some of the characters are larger than life, which makes this book very entertaining. It is funny, touching and well-researched. My only criticism is the epilogue, which I think distracts from the overall work. But since it's right at the end, it's not a big problem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Kruger Pretoria, Gauteng South Africa 09-01-12
    Paul Kruger Pretoria, Gauteng South Africa 09-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Best listen in a while"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Brilliant story and one of the best narrators I've encountered in ages


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Four Fires?

    Still busy only at chapter 7


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The visit by Sarah to the old indian woman, when Sarah tried to get rid of her baby


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul New York, NY, United States 08-31-12
    Paul New York, NY, United States 08-31-12 Member Since 2011

    Media Nerd

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    "Best heard to laugh, cry and cringe."
    Where does Four Fires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would not have appreciated the Australian atmosphere as much reading this book. The narration brought everything about the story up to 10. It helped to be Irish but more just to be able to appreciate the range of love and hate we humans can express. I really loved this book even though there were parts that I had to skip about the war in the Pacific that hit too close to home. But in total the whole story about familial love with quite a few hot spots thrown in. You will like it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Four Fires?

    I just loved the interaction between the family priest and the mother. True.. true...true.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The reader and the book are forever connected.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Beware - life ahead.


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes words are as strong as a thousand pictures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james Rochester, NY, United States 08-30-12
    james Rochester, NY, United States 08-30-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Touching Story of family & love"
    Any additional comments?

    Love Courtney's work, and this story does not disappoint. Humphrey Bower, as always, is fantastic! Enjoyed this story even more than the Australia trilogy (which is surprising since I loved those three books). Touching, funny, and so well written and read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Queen 08-25-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great once again!"
    What did you love best about Four Fires?

    This follows the story of an Aussie family just after WWII. Classic Bryce Courtenay and brilliant narration. From the town garbage collectors to university graduates this family shows that you can be what you want.


    What other book might you compare Four Fires to and why?

    Any other Bryce Courtenay


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    His accents are spot on and I get lost in the story because it sounds like he is talking to me directly.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly reccomend The persimmon Tree and the Astrailian Triology. All are so good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barb 08-06-12
    Barb 08-06-12
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    "Can't Turn It Off!"
    If you could sum up Four Fires in three words, what would they be?

    The Mulroney Family is a wonderfully close, loving family with the matriarch of Nancy as having the most opinionated and having the most practical logic a person could imagine. I love Mole and Bozo and all the Mulroney children. The characters in this book had me laughing and crying and just plain enjoying their lives as they all go along learning and growing. Each one a different personality, all coming together as a loving family. Great listen. I love long audiobooks because you get to know the characters completely. Bryce Courtenay is one of the most imaginative writer's I have listened to.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mole because he is telling the story and being a young man, the way he looks at life is just simply put: wonderful.


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

    My imagination, as I listen to the characters I can see each one in a light I wouldn't see them in if I were reading. When reading I am trying to read each word as not to miss anything. When I listen: I hear each word and my mind's eye sees all of the picture.


    Who was the most memorable character of Four Fires and why?

    Tommy--he is so misunderstood and yet so brutally honest in his character.


    Any additional comments?

    Way to go Bryce Courtenay. I have read many of the books this author has written and they all come home to me as if I were in the story. Just watching all the going's on and enjoying the laughs when they laugh and the tears when they cry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Northwold, South Africa 07-30-12
    Mark Northwold, South Africa 07-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Immersive Storyteller!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Haven't heard a thing from Bryce which didn't resonate with me. As a South African, Bryce's style of prose and terminology ring familiar to earlier times of my childhood.


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

    Humphrey Bower is arguably the best narrator I have heard (and I have heard a lot!). Wonderful accents and emotive timing helps create an immersive listener experience which does justice to a great story by Bryce.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael New Canaan, CT, United States 07-21-12
    michael New Canaan, CT, United States 07-21-12 Member Since 2014
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    "A great family story!( A story of a family)"
    If you could sum up Four Fires in three words, what would they be?

    I am loving all of Bryce's books. As a fellow adman I am jealous and appreciative of his command of storytelling. Nice mix of moral, interest and, of course, all the wonderful Aussie and S. African turns of phrase and expressions. Makes me feel dumbs a box of hair :)

    Humphrey Bower is the new king of narrators.
    He rivals and surpasses in some ways Scott Brick and John Lee.
    Amazing with accents, characters and emphasis

    The Courtenay books are the best I have listened to in years! And I have 2 accounts listening to about 5 a month while super commuting.
    You will love
    Enjoy!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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