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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 (1280 )
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4.7 (916 )
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Performance
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  •  
    GS 09-07-12
    GS 09-07-12 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    184
    ratings
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    46
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    Story
    "The Great Australian Underdog Story!"

    This is a classic australian underdog story - warts and all.

    Bryce Courtnay is probably Australia's greatest author. He is an immigrant and fittingly this story is full of characters both "5 generation aussies" and people who have adopted Australia as their own.

    His story tells of Australia as it is in the 50s and 60s. The friction between people who follow different churches. The statement on how aboriginals are considered lower than human beings. Touching glimpses of Auschwitz survivors living in rural Australia. People impacted by various wars and impact on families.

    In it all, Bryce's candor and ability to weave an engaging story shines through. The story is about the Moloney family who are the lowest of the low in a rural backwater and practically nobodies. They barely survive working as garbage collectors, the father's a drunk and a convict, the mum's a feisty overweight woman and the 4 kids are all from different fathers - yet the story is not predictable. Through their varied stories Bryce pulls together a mosaic of Australian people that is engaging, brilliant and satisfying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Couva, Trinidad and Tobago 09-03-12
    John Couva, Trinidad and Tobago 09-03-12

    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
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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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jason perth, Australia 03-28-12
    jason perth, Australia 03-28-12 Member Since 2014

    Aussie truckie, on the long haul!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "burns hot!"
    What did you love best about Four Fires?

    A good example of australian country town life back in the fifties.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I don't really have a favourite one, every character plays their part nicely but i do think tommy's story about his p.o.w treatment in ww2 had my ear buds stuck firmly in my ears & also made me shed a few tears too...


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

    yes i have listened to quite a few of humphrey's narrations & i think he really brings out the australian country town accent perfect in this book, my opinion of humphrey is that he rarely gets a character's accent wrong & nearly always brings the book to life.


    Any additional comments?

    One of my favourite bryce courtenay books, just remember it is a work of fiction, but with a good deal of research & facts thrown in which gives it a sort of non fiction feel. A must for anyone who loves to kill a bit of time with a great audio book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maura 01-04-12
    Maura 01-04-12 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exceptional talking book all round!"
    What made the experience of listening to Four Fires the most enjoyable?

    Quintessentially Australian story with a rich lineup of characters.


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

    Mole as he was so believable.


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

    Mole- he felt like I knew him and could easily spend time talking.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Coltman 08-23-11
    Ian Coltman 08-23-11 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well done again"

    I just never tire listening to this great writer's books. Lost count of how many now, but it feels like Humphrey Bower is a mate of mine. I cannot wait to listen again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Aldridge Savannah, GA 03-06-11
    S. Aldridge Savannah, GA 03-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great read, astounding reader"

    This is a great story or perhaps series of stories about a family from down under. Washed in the Australian dialect which made Crocodile Dundee a popular hit.
    But the best part of this read is the reader. How did God grant one human such talent to provide a dozen or more distinct voices, each of which is perfect. Well done

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Fraser Watertown,WI USA 02-10-11
    Lynn Fraser Watertown,WI USA 02-10-11 Member Since 2012

    walkaway

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I give it 11 out of 10!"

    By the time I was done with this book I felt I had lived in Australia for at least 19 years. I could easily say I felt at home but I was merely a transplant who watched it all fade away at the last word. I always enjoy Bryce's books, well, except Sylvia. This one is a close second to the Power Of One, which is the BEST.
    He writes characters that you wish you really could meet and lives you wish you lived. Do take the chance on this book, I truly believe you'll enjoy it -as I did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Grapevine, TX, United States 01-16-11
    David Grapevine, TX, United States 01-16-11 Member Since 2011

    Brit in Exile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My 7th Courtenay/Bower Combination - Stunning"

    So, as I mentioned in the title, this was my 7th Bryce Courtenay novel and I have listened to every one narrated by Humphrey Bower. Actually, I am now in the middle of 'The Persimmon Tree' which will be my 8th. So why haven't I just reviewed all of them - I should have done, but just haven't sat down on this site to do so. They are all superb, but I have never felt quite so engaged in a book and thoroughly moved and literally emotionally wrenched by a novel as I was with Four Fires. The description of the experiences of Tommy as a POW had me in tears, the love and togetherness of the Maloney Family is touching, humorous and essentially uplifting.

    As with most of what I have read by Bryce Courtenay, the research into the history, the development of the characters and the sheer artfulness of the storyline are a delight. Put all this together with an outstanding narrator in Humphrey Bower and you have an unforgettable experience - Highly Recommended, as are all of these books, especially with the combination of author and narrator. I am just sorry that I am going to run out of books to listen to by BC in the next couple of months!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IHeartShoes 08-13-15
    IHeartShoes 08-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Courtney strikes again!!"

    the history was crazy and the story poor everything together I want to read everything Courtney had ever written. he's the best!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I like fiction 07-14-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    21
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    "Never Tire of Bryce Courtenay"

    Given how long his stories are, it's a good thing.

    Review requires three more words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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