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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 (1263 )
5 star
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4.7 (900 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jacinda New Zealand 09-11-12
    Jacinda New Zealand 09-11-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    7
    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "A fantastic story enhanced by the performance!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would and have done already.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mole Maloney for sure! The story was told through his eyes.


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

    Mrs Rika Ray. She was fantastic. Bower did a great job of all the characters.


    If you could take any character from Four Fires out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Tommy Maloney-be great to talk to him about his experiences!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue 09-10-12
    Sue 09-10-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Four Fires"
    Would you listen to Four Fires again? Why?

    No, I never listen to books twice. Too many books out there!


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

    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.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    His tone of voice and Australian accent


    Any additional comments?

    Now listening to another Bryce Courtenay, Jessica. Love it too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Canton, GA, United States 09-08-12
    Rebecca Canton, GA, United States 09-08-12 Member Since 2011
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    5
    2
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    "Very well written & performed. One I will remember"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Four Fires to be better than the print version?

    I don't know.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    None in particular, I enjoyed the narrator who was the character "Mole".


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

    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.


    If you could take any character from Four Fires out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The mother, I liked her attitude.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adele 09-06-12
    Adele 09-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    100
    11
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    "Good Australian Family Epic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 09-04-12
    Mark 09-04-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A fantastic story weaving though decades and lives presenting an incredible window into the family and life in Australia. If you like James Michener or Wilbur Smith, this should be on your list. I immediately downloaded one of his other books - The Potato Factory. Looking forward to another great listen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Couva, Trinidad and Tobago 09-03-12
    John Couva, Trinidad and Tobago 09-03-12 Member Since 2014

    On a Sunday, I ride my motorcycle to Maracas Bay Beach while listen. When I get there up goes the hammock, and I then listen to my audiobook

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    32
    6
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    0
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    "Bonzer Book"
    If you could sum up Four Fires in three words, what would they be?

    One great yarn


    Any additional comments?

    This is a true insight to Australian Psyche

    Australian humor at its best

    Rooting for the underdog

    Totally Enjoyable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gareth Waverly, PA, United States 09-03-12
    Gareth Waverly, PA, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    18
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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 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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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
  •  
    09-03-12
    09-03-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    5
    3
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    2
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    0
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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

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