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
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
Like all Bryce Courtenay's books, I love his quirky, fascinating, lovable characters and uniqueness of his story lines.
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.
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.
EVERYTHING..... A great journey through Jack's life with the perfect ending.
What happened at the end. (Don't want to spoil the end)
It is too long... But it is SOOO good, it is hard to put down.
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.
Good story and characters but often seemed repetitive and slow moving. I think the abridged version may have been more enjoyable.
"You just need to keep listening!"
I like to get value for money from my audio books and when I saw the length of this one I went for it - over 25 hours. Not my usual read - I'm a cloak and dagger reader. I was nicely surprised that this had a bit of everything. A rags to riches story with a bit of cloak and dagger thrown in and just the taste of a love story to bring a tear. Add to all that some travel from Canada to the UK in WW2, to Las Vegas and then through Africa where you lived the life at the time.
This was more value for money than I could have wished for and I've signed back in now to look for more of Bryce Courtenay.
Bryce Courtenay is the master of fiction as far as I'm concerned. I have yet to find a book I don't enjoy thoroughly! The brilliance of Humphrey Bower had me living in the story and feeling everything Jack felt. I laughed with him and cried with him, how many writers can say they inspire people to that extent? I wait with huge anticipation for each and every one of Bryce's new books. What a perfect pair they make.
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