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
Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.
I loved this book! It took me to times and places I could never go in my own life. For critics who think Courtenay was not at his best for this story, well, no, he wasn't! In fact I suspect we're (bloody) lucky to have this book. Actually we're getting the story for a second novel with a very happy ending. It looks to me like Bryce finished the book in June and died in November, so God bless him for this last great push!
Yes, Humphrey Bower doesn't do q-u-i-t-e so well as a Canadian, but hang in there and you'll get to hear him do many more voices including a personable parrot. He had to narrate this book in order to do the parrot at the end, OK? I could put this another way: I like him better as an Australian; I think a lot of actors could have done the Canadian main character, but Bower had to do this book!
The book is a love song for black people, for racial equality, and for fairness to women. Every time I felt bad about some fresh violence, I reminded myself that this is historical fiction. As a tiny child in the 1940's, I studied the sometimes gruesome pictures in Life magazine; I had some long thoughts about how it felt to die. The violence in the book is based on history and how things really are at many times and places. Anybody who bails before finishing is going to miss a lot of delicious fun and closing of circles. Yes, there's sex but it's sweet and the partners have been introduced. Indeed, some of the same scenes recur here from earlier books -- mining, poverty, prostitution, music, the cultivated older woman who helps the boy. The Las Vegas history seems to be new. I loved how Bryce used the names of his doctors for characters toward the end of the book. I wondered while listening if this story was based on any real people. Have not found out yet.
Wonderful story! Thank you, Bryce!
He is the master of seemingly all dialects, Australian, South African, German, Irish, Chicago, New York, Canadian, the list goes on.
Watching Jack grow from childhood to senior citizen and all of his adventures was spellbinding. I am truly sorry we are at the end of Courtenay's books. What a gifted storyteller.
Another Bryce Courtenay brilliant book and as always narrated by Humphrer Bower .. what an exciting book. A great read.
the places jack goes the things that happen sorry to get to the end. started it again
any thing Humphrey reads is great
Jacks mum was great . she had pretty hard time
[RIP] Bryce loved every book . Audible we now need a good story teller like Bryce keep a look out please
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
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.
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.
I haven't listened to any of Mr. Bower;s any other performances. His voice was perfect for this story.
Jack of course!
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.
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
The epilog introduction - stunning reality of Bryce's and your own mortality.
Live in Sydney, Australia. South African heritage. Love audio books. Constant company on my non-stop business travels.
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.
I found my self so involved with the novel that I couldn't wait for the next opportunity to listen.
I cried when he was introduced to his son, by the lady he loved so much.
This was my first Bryce Courtenay novel. First of many thanks to audible.com.au
Great story could not stop my phone narrator just the best congratulations
The characters he became
Leave it alone
My first Audiobook loved it
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