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)
The authors "Australia Trilogy" is celebrated as his "love letter to Australia," but I found this book to be at least as much so. Like every Courtenay book I have read, it is populated with interesting and charming characters.Courtenay's love of language and dialect comes out in the dialog, and is masterfully conveyed by Humphrey Bower as narrator, whose performance ranks with Jim Dale in the Harry Potter books. The book does not have the epic sweep, however, of some of Courtenay's other books. I thought the story was good but not great and the story and narrative devices did not hang together enough for a 5 star rating.
How would I know ...
He is wonderfully talented. They are all good.
A little too much of Viet Nam.
I think I might listen to all books by the author, as well as this narrator. Both are superior.
I hated for the story to end.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Bryce Courtenay can tell a good story. Four Fires weaves the story of the Maloney family (of Australia, of course) with historical facts of WWII Japanese prison camps, brush fires, Auschwitz, the Australian garment industry and women's rights...among other things!
I don't gravitate to historical fiction...but I have always enjoyed the combination of Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower and will continue to turn to this pair if I want to be sure I'm getting a book I'll enjoy!
Absolutely, This is an amazing story about life in the mid 1900's for a family in Australia. I was captivated by the story and the narrator. He did a wonderful job portraying the characters in the novel.
Mole, Bozo, and Sarah. I could feel the struggles of each of the characters.
The story did drag along at some points but not enough for me to regret one minute of listening. I cannot wait to read and listen to another book by this author and narrator.
A great story engaging story that educated the listeners at the same time about fires, war and the tragic effects.
all the characters had their own stories that fitted well into a great novel the narrator Humphrey Bower does a powerful job of portraying each character
This books works wonderfully as an audio - probably better than reading. The narrator has just the right "Aussie" accent. I was initially concerned that it would be hard to understand as some of the British narrators are (for me), but instead, the whole story felt like a wonderful family tale handed down for others to hear.
I also put off buying this audio because it was so long and I wasn't sure I was that interested in Australian history. Instead, I was sad to get to the end of the audio and I learned so many interesting things about Australia; it was an amazing "read".
Occasionally, the story headed in a direction where I thought I would lose interest but that never happened. I stayed continually engaged. Also, the book, especially the narrators presentation, is very funny. His sharing of childhood interpretations of adult themes makes you laugh out loud. I didn't expect that from this book.
I've recommended this book to my sister who is an avid reader but refuses to try an audio book.
I love the stories of light supernatural tales with some romance, and giggles.
A new world of humor and the total story of a strugeling family
The good earth? I's a story for the movies. Of course the book would be better.
Nope! I'll certainly check into more books next credit I get.
They were all fasinating.
I was excited to have picked a great book, and it lasted me three whole blissfull days.
My first book by this author, about this subject, or with this reader - three enjoyable firsts. I laughed and cried. I learned about a people and an area full of culture and character.
There times when I fast forwarded a bit or didn't pay close attention for various reasons but overall the story and it's characters stayed with me long after I'd finished the book.
Yes, it brought the characters to life.
The story seemed to take for every, a shorter version may have been better, but it may also have changed the complete book.
It is hard to select, it has been some time since I listened to the story, amd may books have passed.
I am not able to nominate at this time.
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