Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.
Jack of Diamonds is the story of a young, talented man, fighting to achieve his ambitions, and having to use his considerable talents to find his way in a perilous world.
©2012 Bryce Courtenay; 2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Loveable, noble, sad.
Brings the characters alive without any corny accents
Yes, made me sad due to the death of Bryce Courtenay a week after the release of the book
May Bryce Courtnenay rest in peace with his son (April Fools Day) knowing that all Australians will remember him for his great works and his contribution to society
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
I have enjoyed other Courtenay books more, but this is a very good story. For me, the difference was that in his other books, I have found a female character to empathize with/relate to; and found none in this one. Jack's mother, teachers, "girl friends" and others were just fleeting characters in the story.
Jack is bright but sure makes some crazy (aka stupid) decisions throughout the story. Nonetheless, he survives, even thrives and his life story takes the listener to interesting and exotic locales where he makes his way with music and/or gambling.
Humphey Bower as always, did a magnificent job narrating the story. I simply would have liked to "care" a little more about the characters, including Jack.
the epilog finished the story off well
well done - soothing voice
Jack's acceptance of life's bumps in the road and his steadfast outlook that they can be navigated with truth and grace
Love Bryce Courtny Books- only discovered them as his life was ending, wish it wasn't so as whe I get to the end I will be inconsolable.
...in too big of a hurry to get this book into print. Was shocked at how poorly written this book is, and Bryce Courtney is one of my favorite authors!
If you haven't listened to any of Bryce Courtenay's books, you'll probably love this and I recommend it. But if you've listened to The Power of One, The Persimmon Tree, or The Potato Factory, you'll find that 'Jack of Diamonds' is essentially the same story rehashed with different names, occupations, era's and geographical locations. The result is a story that's tedious, plodding and predictable.
It was essentially the same story as Courtenay's other stories; always a handsome, honest, ethical young man from a disadvantaged background who takes advantage of wonderful opportunities, has a first sexual experience with an experienced woman who teaches him how to please women, blah blah blah. Feh.
Humphrey Bower is wonderful - he kept me listening even when the rehashed story made me cringe.
'Jack of Diamonds' is worth a credit only if you haven't listened to any of Bryce Courtenay's books before.
I read like a madwoman all my life but now I have bad eyes. Thank goodness for audio books
Once again Bryce delivers a story that gives us a perspective of life that is interesting and different. The people are always real and the characters are alive. Furthermore the story has meaning and brings you inside the heart of the author. If you like Bryce Courtenay you will enjoy this one more of his brilliant sagas. If you have not tried him yet......this is a really good place to start.
Great read Bryce regardless of his age is just the best story teller I have ever read. From the Power of One to Jack its like reading the never ending corners of Mr Courtenay's mind. And as for Mr Bower's reading, well it makes me feel like I'm there in the room with the characters. Thank you both for your time and allowing me to enter your imagination to expand mine.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.