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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 (1194 )
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4.7 (845 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 02-04-13
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 02-04-13 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Comes together after all"
    Where does Four Fires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'd have to rate it somewhere in the middle in terms of the books I've read by Bryce Courtenay. It got off to a very slow start, but ultimately, the development of the "four fires", the four siblings and their life stories, came through. Each character was developed with Mr. Courtenay's special style, and overall, the story had great appeal.


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

    Many of Mr. Courtenay's books have some element of the ravages of war in them, and this one is no different. The notion of following four separate people and how their lives developed was somewhat unique and i can't think of any book to compare it to in general terms.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    I especially liked his rendition of Morry Suckfizzle, the doctor who survived the holocaust.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I can't say I had an extreme reaction to the book as I did with some of Bryce's other books. But once it got going, I was anxious to continue and find out what would happen.


    Any additional comments?

    I love Mr. Courtenay's character developments in general and always get swept away into the story of his books. I am sad that once I finish the last book, that will be it. He was a very talented writer and I will miss him a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 01-26-13
    John 01-26-13
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    "extraordinary in every respect"

    I have listened to hundreds of books from Audible but the narrator of this book is the best I have ever listened to bar none. Great writing and great narration equals a truly delightful experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ursula 01-21-13
    Ursula 01-21-13 Member Since 2010

    Cape Town, South Africa

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    "Superb!"

    Another fantastic story by the awesome Courtenay-Bower couple! I didn't think I could fall in love with another cast of characters the way I did with those from The Power of One and Tandia, but Four Fires proved me pleasantly wrong! This is the story of a most amazing family as they journey through a challenging life and face it head on unashamedly. This is a long book that is such a delight to listen to. There are some difficult sections, difficult because of the account of Australian POW's during the 2nd World War not because of the writing, but this I found educational. Courtenay's attention to detail is astounding and I truly enjoyed a book about a different land, history and people which is written with depth, feeling and insight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada 01-21-13
    Margaret Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada 01-21-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Great"

    Good listen with interesting info on Australia and WW2. Humphrey Bower's is a great narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie 12-26-12
    Annie 12-26-12 Member Since 2014

    Rather adorable.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like a welcome visit from an old friend."

    Bryce is up to his usual. I love Bryce and he has been a favorite author of mine - RIP.
    If you like his style you will get more of the same formula. IE: Familiar phrases, family stories, characters you will care about, rich history, and always a few boxing references.
    Otherwise you might get tired of the same old same old. However, I see his books as familiar friends that keep me company. Can't wait to read his last book- it was published a few weeks before his passing this year.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MMA 12-16-12
    MMA 12-16-12
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    "Really enjoyed it"
    Where does Four Fires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Up there!


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    He is the best narrator I've come across so far - really makes it!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Ulmarra, Australia 12-05-12
    R. Ulmarra, Australia 12-05-12
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    "Great Story"
    What made the experience of listening to Four Fires the most enjoyable?

    Accurate to time, know the area, brings back a lot of good memories.


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

    Vision of the bushfire at it was raging into the town of Yankolilly


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

    Listened to many audible books and found Humphrey Bower to be by far the best narrator I have heard to date.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, if time allowed


    Any additional comments?

    Love the the combination of the late Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-24-12
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-24-12
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    "Wonderful story"
    Where does Four Fires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Toward the top... It was a deep, lighthearted book, if there is such a thing; the narrator was phenomenal


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked all the Mallony clan... they all had dreams and, with very degrees of success, went after them.


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

    I have to pick just one? Seriously, though, Humphry Bower is so talented that I doubt I could pick just one character to be a favorite; I felt like I got the know them all


    Any additional comments?

    With the exception of two quite uncessary coincidences at the very end of the book, I really enjoyed this book. It was a great introduction to Bryce Courtenay. I'm glad I started off with this book, because while it dealt with difficult themes and topics, it was generally light-hearted. His other works? Not so much

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 11-19-12
    David COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 11-19-12 Member Since 2012

    David is my husband - I'm the one that actually picks out and listens to the books. ~ Anna

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    "Excellent!"

    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Abbotsford, Australia 11-13-12
    Anne Abbotsford, Australia 11-13-12
    ratings
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    "Excellent allround"
    Where does Four Fires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Up there with the Life of Pi


    What did you like best about this story?

    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


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Made the story resonate both lyrically and creatively , wonderful voice


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

    The mum , she would have a few great tales of her colourful life


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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