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Jack of Diamonds | [Bryce Courtenay]

Jack of Diamonds

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (742 )
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4.5 (641 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rodney Rochester Hills, MI, United States 03-18-13
    Rodney Rochester Hills, MI, United States 03-18-13
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    "Great narration great story"
    What did you love best about Jack of Diamonds?

    This was was my first audiobook with Bryce Courtenay. When it first started I asked myself why did I buy a book that starts out in the 1930's????? My doubts were quickly dispelled and it sure did help pass the time away on a long Uhaul trip across the country.... in fact sometimes I couldn't put it down


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula 03-12-13
    Paula 03-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Absolutely Brilliant Story."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Jack of Diamonds to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but will probably buy it as I have every one of Bryce Courtenay's books. He's the most amazing storyteller.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack of course! He's flawed, but brave, innocent but inquisitive, talented and kind, unbiased in any way (like all Bryce's hero and heroines), picks his causes and they are always good ones. Loves his family, is loyal to his friends, and they to him. Makes enemies becos of his actions and views, but always sticks to his beliefs, and stands up for both those, and for others too weak, helpless or bullied to stand up for themselves. But yet, even though he sounds like a super hero he's very real.


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

    I haven't listened to any of Mr. Bower;s any other performances. His voice was perfect for this story.


    If you could take any character from Jack of Diamonds out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Jack of course!


    Any additional comments?

    I am heartbroken that this is Bryce's last book, and I loved that he realized that we would all want to know what happened in the next book which was "in the writing" and would have flowed out of him in 2013 - so he told us briefly what happens. I am so sad that all his brilliance was condensed into just a few chapters - when it could have been chapters and chapters more - but I am so grateful that he told us the rest of the story. Thank you, Bryce for all your wonderful characters, amazing stories, incredible observations, respect for the truth and for goodness. I loved every flash of writing brilliance, and there were hundreds and hundreds of them in every book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Slidell, LA, United States 03-09-13
    Kim Slidell, LA, United States 03-09-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Can't believe I got through this book."

    An awful and pompous use of words. I can't believe this got published! I had to persevere to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christoph Briggi Roseville, CA United States 02-25-13
    Christoph Briggi Roseville, CA United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2013

    CA_Yankee_Fan

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    "Excellent LONG story!"
    Where does Jack of Diamonds rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Bryce Courtenay put together one of the longest novels I can remember. 24 hours of listening pleasure that didn't drag out very often. It was fairly easy to pick back up where you left off using the rewind 30 seconds - excellent feature and resource when listening over a month. Voice of Humphrey Bower was great at the different characters during the novel. Overall flawless execution


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The epilog introduction - stunning reality of Bryce's and your own mortality.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colin Manly, NSW, Australia 02-23-13
    Colin Manly, NSW, Australia 02-23-13 Member Since 2014

    Live in Sydney, Australia. South African heritage. Love audio books. Constant company on my non-stop business travels.

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    "For Bryce Courtenay fans"

    His last book and so a truncated conclusion as you may expect given the rapidity of his decline. Have had many enjoyable hours of listening to Bryce's work over the years. Power of One was his first and best in my humble opinion. Vale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janette Sydney, Australia 02-21-13
    Janette Sydney, Australia 02-21-13
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    "Wonderful experience, thankyou audible.com.au."
    What made the experience of listening to Jack of Diamonds the most enjoyable?

    I found my self so involved with the novel that I couldn't wait for the next opportunity to listen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack Spade.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I cried when he was introduced to his son, by the lady he loved so much.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first Bryce Courtenay novel. First of many thanks to audible.com.au

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 02-20-13
    John 02-20-13
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    "Great book remarkable ending"
    What did you love best about Jack of Diamonds?

    Great story could not stop my phone narrator just the best congratulations


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Story


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The characters he became


    If you could rename Jack of Diamonds, what would you call it?

    Leave it alone


    Any additional comments?

    My first Audiobook loved it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria M. Tutor 02-11-13

    Maria

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    "Master Story Teller...."
    What did you love best about Jack of Diamonds?

    You do not understand why the book is called Jack of Diamands until the very end.... Jack of Diamonds is an epic story stretching 3 phases of Jacks life. Loved the variety in the each of the stories across the span of Jack's life.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Humphrey Bower gives a superb performance which enhances the experience of the book - best performance I have heard!


    Who was the most memorable character of Jack of Diamonds and why?

    I loved Jack and the book if full of lively, thoroughly developed characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quilter 02-11-13
    Quilter 02-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Didn't want it to end!"

    I loved this book. One of the best I've listened to in a long while. The narrator was fabulous, the story was interesting, entertaining, and simply wonderful. Throughout this book I never got bored or wanted to turn it off. The story of Jack as a child and as an adult was delightful, full of twists and turns, sadness and delights. All starting with a harmonica his dad gave him as a belated birthday gift. I don't want to say more because I'm not only not a good reviewer but I really, really don't want you to miss reading this book. I really, really did not want it to end. EXCELLENT! I highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Australia 02-05-13
    Margaret Australia 02-05-13
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    "Fantastic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Jack of Diamonds to be better than the print version?

    Definately. Humphrey Bower really makes the characters come to life. Bryce Courtenay writes such big books it's hard to read them in bed at night. Listening is much more fun.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Jack of Diamonds?

    When Jack was stuck in the laundry truck.


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

    Jack would have to be the favorite.


    Who was the most memorable character of Jack of Diamonds and why?

    Jack. He went through so much in his life.


    Any additional comments?

    A fantastic read. So sorry that Bryce is gone. I have read all his books and loved them all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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