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The Persimmon Tree Audiobook
The Persimmon Tree
Written by: 
Bryce Courtenay
Narrated by: 
Humphrey Bower
 >   > 
The Persimmon Tree Audiobook

The Persimmon Tree

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Publisher's Summary

A sweeping saga from Bryce Courtenay, Australia's most popular author.

The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

To assist in the escape, Anna's father gifts Nick his prized yacht, Vlermuis, to sail to Australia. Singapore has just fallen, the Japanese have made it to Sumatra, and the waters are dangerous. Vlermuis is not long out of Batavia when Nick is forced ashore for repairs. He witnesses the bloody execution of shipwrecked Allied soldiers by natives, and while burying what's left of the bodies, Nick notices one wounded soldier has escaped death, and he carries him back to his yacht.

The rescued soldier is a lower-class Irish Catholic American called Kevin Judge. He has no sailing experience, but he assists Nick in navigating through some dramatic storms and the two form an unlikely and lifelong friendship.

©2007 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2007 Bolinda Publishing

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2029 )
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4.6 (1541 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jonathan Holligan Phoenix, AZ USA 09-27-11
    Jonathan Holligan Phoenix, AZ USA 09-27-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    149
    2
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    "Not worth the time investment"

    I have 174 books in my Audible library and this is the only book that compelled me to write a review. This is not the worst book I've listen to, but the largest waste of time. Much of the book is boring, uninteresting dialog, followed up with several very annoying characters, from the Chicago Marine who constantly repeated himself in violent outbursts, to the drunk father, evil step mother, to the main character himself who just happens to be the best sailor, rifleman, translator, butterfly collector, and stabby knife guy in the Australian Army, all be the age of 18 years. He should be promoted to General. Choose another book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 09-12-11
    Kimberly 09-12-11 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Persimmon Tree"

    Once again Bryce Courtney created characters that are larger than life and very engaging. I was surprised at the main characters so young but so mature. It actually is hard to believe, but anyone would want a teen like these people. Humphrey Bower did so well at the genders and foreign accents one really feels the story. Highly recommend this story ??? even with my tongue in my cheek knowing the ages of the main characters. Of course times are different ??? WWII and now? ??? eh, maybe ??? probably???I love the analogy of the Persimmon tree. (Part 3) ;-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine SPRINGVILLE, IA, United States 09-08-11
    Catherine SPRINGVILLE, IA, United States 09-08-11 Member Since 2007

    dogwalker

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    "What a entertaining story"

    I picked up this book on sale and did not think ir would be that good. Was I wrong! It is a well written intriguing story line. Some of the male lead activities are too good to be true. Almost Forrest Gumpish. I was drawn in though and found many reasons to finish listening to the story. Well worth the time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Moorehouse 09-03-11 Member Since 2008

    Jan

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    "Total Engagement"

    From the moment this book began, I was drawn into the story and looked forward to my long commute each day just so I could "read" more. I look forward to playing it for my husband on our next cross-country trip. There's plenty here for both of us: war scenes, love stories, intrigue, tragedy, cross-cultural interest, historical accounts, hair-raising adventure: So glad I purchased it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    verge hingham, MA, United States 09-01-11
    verge hingham, MA, United States 09-01-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Storyteller estrodinaire"

    A side of WWII I did not know much about, told though wonderful charactors. Bryce Courtney never disappoints in charactor development and dialogue. Humphrey Bower's voices make this very long listen very entertaining. Predictable ending, but who cares.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 08-26-11
    Mary 08-26-11 Member Since 2016
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    14
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    "The Persimmon Tree"

    This was a wonderful story of the South Pacific during WWII. Very interesting perspective of two young people from completely different backgrounds. I think
    both male and female readers will truly enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 08-23-11
    John 08-23-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Probably my favorite Courtenay book so far"

    This seemed to be the best book beginning to end as far as plot, characters, and action. This is number 6, as far as books of Courtenay I have listened to and has a slight edge as my favorite. Kept wanting to get back in the car to continue the book, always a sign of a five star book. Highly recommend. This author and narrator match is probably the best I have listened to. Enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacki Farrar 08-12-11 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved it"

    I love the way Bryce Courtenay mixes fact with fiction so that you almost think you are reading a true story. Loved this story and hated when it finished. Can't wait to hear the Sequel. Humphrey Bower is a great narrater.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Hoholulu, HI USA 07-28-11
    James Hoholulu, HI USA 07-28-11 Listener Since 2008
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    "Excellent, Historical, and Spellbinding"

    The opening lines and narration had me feeling at first that I might have errored in this purchase -- a hokey factor? -- but that was not the case. But, I was completely wrong -- it is for me that the beginning/intro simply captures youth naivete. The story is excellent! It is spellbinding and moves through a long period of WWII in a superb manner tying story elements, personalities, and personal development together. Many parallel themes are linked. Many interesting personalities illuminate the times of WWII. A very long book -- and the narration kept my attention fully, always anxious to hear the next part. Brilliant is perhaps the best way to describe this book with its rare glimps as many culture and many life and cultural themes. Outstanding! The narrator also shows incredible command of the different participants voices. The Japanese are not pitched in a good light, but it is story and history explained, some lessons there -- such may offend some, but half a century later the J. culture is different. The current Japanese culture and people are still at the top of my favorites. Talent everywhere in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy SACRAMENTO, CA, United States 07-25-11
    nancy SACRAMENTO, CA, United States 07-25-11 Member Since 2009

    I enjoy reading a wide variety of books, from epics to mysteries, some fantasy, and even better written chick lit. NO bodice rippers please!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another wonderful read by Bryce"

    As usual, Bryce has written another interesting novel about a point in history that is fascinating and has allowed another set of characters to survive by their natural intelligence, and kindness to fellow man. I enjoyed learning the history of the Pacific campaign of WWII, also. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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