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 reading of this was excellent, and certainly enhanced the experience. I came to realize what people meant when they criticized the book for everything always working out just right. The characters were extremely likable, and they weren't without their share of sometimes intense problems, but I actually found myself a few times wishing the author didn't have to make everything so neat and sweet.
The range of experiences covered and the fact that everyone was indeed so likable made this a great read in itself, but also a good antidote to the experience I feel I often have where I'm like, "Does everything have to always NOT work out?"
The reader really gave life to each character and situation
How the character, stength and determination of the mother gave each child the courage to forge their own life
I would have trouble chosing between the mother and Mole. But as the narrator, Mole's special ability to empathize with the people in his life, creates a tale of real depth.
I hope other Bryce Courtenay books have been recorded and that Humphrey Bower is the reader.
As usual, the partnership between Courtenay and Bower is fantastic.
Most of the Characters are very well done. This difference between this novel and The Power of One or even Tandia is that there are many characters followed over a generation. Maybe too many. In those previous books there was one main character - Peekay - and many supplementary ones. In Four Fires there are many main characters. The characters are well developed, but we don't fall in love with them like we do Peekay.
He's the best in the business.
Tommy. Finding out how the war changed him was brutal.
Absolutely worth the read, but not on the level of The Power of One.
The performance was excellent. I think if I had been reading it, I may have wanted some editing!
yes, by introducing so many interesting topic
Like four books in one
Great story juiced by a superlative narrator
Any of Cornwell's Sharpe's series
Too hard to answer
My wife cried (also laughed)
Got to find more
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
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.
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.
I especially liked his rendition of Morry Suckfizzle, the doctor who survived the holocaust.
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.
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.
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.
Cape Town, South Africa
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.
Good listen with interesting info on Australia and WW2. Humphrey Bower's is a great narrator
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.
Report Inappropriate Content