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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 (806 )
5 star
 (378)
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2 star
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4.2 (696 )
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Story
4.5 (700 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Quilter 02-11-13
    Quilter 02-11-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    R. Ulmarra, Australia 02-04-13
    R. Ulmarra, Australia 02-04-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not quite up to previous books but still brilliant"
    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, we have listened to many, he has the ability to change characters which keeps the listener totally involved in the story.
    In the future we will look for other authors books that are narrated by Mr.
    Humphrey Bower.


    Do you think Jack of Diamonds needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    We are sure that a follow up book was in the late authors mind.


    Any additional comments?

    We have listened to 13 of Bryce Courtenay books all narrated by Humphrey Bower and have enjoyed all books, we will continue collecting the rest of the late authors books.
    The late Mr. Bryce Courtenay will be sadly missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Faith Durban, South Africa 01-29-13
    Faith Durban, South Africa 01-29-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "ENJOYABLE READ"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    YES. I ENJOYED IT VERY MUCH


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

    JACK AND BRIDGET IN THE BASKET AND WOULD HE KILL JD


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    FELT LIKE A FRIEND SITTING IN THE LOUNGE HAVING A RELAXED CHAT


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

    NO


    Any additional comments?

    I AM PLEASED I READ BRYCE COURTENAYS LAST BOOK. I WILL DEFINATELY GO BACK AND LOOK FOR MORE OF HIS EARLIER ONES.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan 01-18-13
    Joan 01-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    "A really good read"

    A thoroughly enjoyable, interesting and believable story, with well defined characters. Humphrey Bower tells it well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neva 01-16-13
    Neva 01-16-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Canada, Las Vegas, Congo traveling story"
    Would you listen to Jack of Diamonds again? Why?

    I will keep this book and read again because I like the character. The story talks of a period of time and changes in the countries during the mid 1900's. This will also be one of the last books that one of my favorite authors.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked all the female characters. Jack, main character is stable boy to man who lives through some difficult plans without feeling sorry for himself but he does get incredible support from loved ones.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary j aboughadareh 01-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    197
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    360
    93
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Sadly not Courtenay's finest"
    Would you listen to Jack of Diamonds again? Why?

    My favorite author and of course I would read anything he wrote.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The best part is the ending. His stories never leave you hanging, even the ones with sequels.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Humphrey bowers is me favorite reader. He's perfect. He can switch back and forth from male to female and do so many accent perfectly. I'm always amazed at his southern accent which no body can get right. You never get the chara ters mixed up because every one will have a different voice. I could listen to him read anything.


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

    The parrot. Just kidding. Jack. The story is about Jack.


    Any additional comments?

    I rolled my eyes more than once and sadly though that it would be the last of his I'd listen to. I thought it was his same old storie in different clothes. Imagine how bad I felt when I found out it WAS the last one I would listen to! I'm so sad he died. Still, dont let this be your first Courtenay's book. Go with The Power of One or the Potato Factory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kx Singapore, Singapore 01-14-13
    kx Singapore, Singapore 01-14-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Be ready for an epic adventure!"

    While Jack of Diamonds can be a little long-winded at times, it tells a heartwarming, rag to riches and back to semi-rag tale of Jack. Characters are lively and the story is good. Humphrey Bower did a splendid job of narrating Jack's epic adventure across America, Europe and Africa.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald ROCHESTER, NY, United States 01-12-13
    Ronald ROCHESTER, NY, United States 01-12-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
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    46
    30
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    0
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    "An astonishing farewell from Bryce Courtenay"
    Any additional comments?

    This is another excellent story form Bryce Courtenay. Fans of his books will recognize familiar themes from previous books. The characters are engaging and the narration by Humphrey Bower is excellent (although many of the female voice characterizations sound similar). The real impact comes in the epilog where the author, "facing his own use-by date", outlines the plot for the remainder of the never-to-be-completed trilogy. Few people leave this earth with as much grace and completeness as Bryce Courtenay.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carole Ormond, Australia 01-07-13
    carole Ormond, Australia 01-07-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    17
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    0
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    "BRILLIANT!!!!!"

    So sad to think this is the last story from Bryce courtenay. A wonderful story narrated perfectly as always from Humphrey bower .. Buyer will not be disappointed

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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