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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 (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (588 )
5 star
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4.2 (504 )
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Story
4.5 (507 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 01-06-13
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 01-06-13 Member Since 2009

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    190
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    143
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    FOLLOWERS
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    70
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A gift from Bryce"
    If you could sum up Jack of Diamonds in three words, what would they be?

    Engrossing Mafia Saga


    What did you like best about this story?

    I actually had a bit of trouble getting into the book initially. But as it went along, I trusted Bryce to get into some legendary storytelling, which of course, he did. Full of rich characters I really loved this book.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    I was impressed that Mr. Bower was able to sustain a "Canadian" accent throughout this book, instead of his normal Aussie twang.


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

    I think it would be the parrot. I just loved the way Diamond Jim's repertoire grew during the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I felt that Mr. Courtenay gave his listeners and readers a huge gift by adding the "epilogue" to this book, as he knew he was dying and wanted this story to be completed. Normally, he would have produced a sequel but he obviously realized that this was not to be, and added this short epilogue to let us know what happened to Jack. I loved the ending (I'm a sap) and altogether, Jack of Diamonds was a wonderful experience for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregg Mason, OH, United States 01-02-13
    Gregg Mason, OH, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
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    Story
    "Unique and Fun"
    Where does Jack of Diamonds rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book ranks in the top 5% or all the books I have listened to. I didn't want to do anything else except listen to this book once I got started


    What did you like best about this story?

    Like all Bryce Courtenay's books, I love his quirky, fascinating, lovable characters and uniqueness of his story lines.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Auckland, New Zealand 01-01-13
    William Auckland, New Zealand 01-01-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "ACE NOVELIST"

    Leading characters are invariably beautiful Christmas cards and his villains as nasty as parking tickets. His stories contain lectures on factual subjects which slow them down a bit but I still wanted to plough through to the end...where poetic justice is generously given out.
    I am missing B.C already.The reading is impeccable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-01-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Storytelling at its best"
    Any additional comments?

    It was the best of times and the worst of times. This tale is a bit Dickensian - a coming of age tale with a very cheerful and fulfilling ending. Jack of Diamonds is Courtenay at his best - an excellent blend of social history, character development and pure adventure. I'm now keen to learn poker.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Chino, CA, United States 12-24-12
    Tim Chino, CA, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "FANTASTIC!!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    DEFINITELY!!


    What did you like best about this story?

    EVERYTHING..... A great journey through Jack's life with the perfect ending.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    What happened at the end. (Don't want to spoil the end)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is too long... But it is SOOO good, it is hard to put down.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ásdís Siglufjörður, Iceland 12-13-12
    Ásdís Siglufjörður, Iceland 12-13-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good storytelling."

    All though I was almost ready to stop listening at times, I did not. Jack Spade did hold me interested through out and the narration helped much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NatesNana Auckland, New Zealand 12-27-12
    NatesNana Auckland, New Zealand 12-27-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    110
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    0
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    Story
    "Good story but often ponderous and slow moving"

    Good story and characters but often seemed repetitive and slow moving. I think the abridged version may have been more enjoyable.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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