©2002 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2002 Bolinda Publishing Pty. Ltd.
What a delightful surprise. The daily pattern of a street alcoholic is all that keeps Billy (former Barrister) together. His morning coffee, reciting poetry for mynah birds he is eliminating on the steps of the court house, the conservatory in the afternoon, and finally drink in the evening. Then Billy, meets a young lad of 11 who changes his life and makes him want to give up this life of alcohol, and help the child, too.
It does involve much of the seamier side of life, and is set in Australian, but the tale is so good. It involves Prim the cat, Billy's good friends, Mr. Williams, and other vivid caracters.
Rich characterisation, rich language, light hearted but serious and altogether, a good story. Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower have produced a wonderful piece of entertainment. It's been a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. Could not put this one down.
Bryce Courtaney is a Master, have yet to read/listen to one of his that I have not LOVED and Humphrey Bower's voice is incredible. I can't imagine anyone not truly enjoying this one!
I really like this narrator which is why I chose this book. I thought the book was decent but I wasnt a big fan of the stories the old man told about the cat. They were way too long and it didnt have anything to do with the story.
Enjoyed this book in spite of it's gritty hard to hear content. This book addresses issues of today that we prefer to ignore..addiction, poverty, child abuse in a manner that is real but readable.
Unique, poignant, happy ending
I cannot compare this book to any other book except those by Bryce Courtenay.
Humphrey Bower is my favorite narrator.
Ryan, the little boy. I identified with him mostly because of my past, and also because I have experienced young kids in my adult life that were exceptional, yet were in a terrible situation. Like Billy, they changed my life, and I was willing to give up things to help them.
I have never read or heard a Bryce Courtenay book that I didn't like. I plan to read them all. This one, as with all of them, gave me the feeling of going to another continent, to experience a different way of speaking. The intricate sub-stories are easy to follow and all the pieces are knitted together meticulously for the grand ending. Characters are strong. When I completed this book, I felt a bit sad that it was over.
Its surprising how much you can come to love a drunk and find faith in humanity again based on his platonic friendship with a runaway/homeless kid. I always enjoy a good fiction beyond the he loves her, she loves him, or the action hero who saves the day, or blah blah blah. If you're looking for a simple, sweet story, this is a good choice.
My first listen to a book by Bryce Courtenay. A really good listen with characters you will care about from beginning to end. Reader Humphrey Bower is a real treat. His reading enhances any book. Not to be missed.
The story of Billy, Ryan, the characters of Sydney's underbelly, and the city itself ring absolutely true to this Australian, and Humphrey Bower does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life, with his authentic Australian voices. The story of Trim and Matthew Flinders, gives depth and an historical counterpoint to this tale of despair, courage and redemption in modern Australia.
I can't seem to tear myself aways from Courtnay. Even so, I didn't think I'd be keen on the subject matter but it was a great story, even the bits about the cat. Bower is the best reader ever!
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