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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 (2030 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ursula HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC, United States 01-31-13
    ursula HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC, United States 01-31-13
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    "I loved this novel"
    If you could sum up The Persimmon Tree in three words, what would they be?

    Dutch East Indies, WWII, and much in between


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A nice, light Australian accent; clarity.


    Any additional comments?

    none except how do you enter your review?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 01-31-13
    Melissa 01-31-13
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    3
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    Story
    "Loved the narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this book (and have). It is in the same vein as The Winds of War - a WWII "love story from afar" with a decent story line and lots of historical details, but set in the South Pacific (as opposed to Europe). If you like historical fiction, you will like this book. I particularly liked it because I had very little knowledge of the political situation in Southeast Asia prior to our current environment. Certainly I knew of the Dutch East Indies, Indochine and other places, but I had never associated them with the current names and am happy to be able to do so after having read this book. Also, as an American, I am fairly unknowledgeable of the WWII experience of any countries besides the Unites States with respect to the South Pacific, so while the story was fiction, at least I don't feel quite as ignorant as I was a couple of weeks ago. (I should say that there are not nearly the number of true historical events portrayed in this novel as there are in The Winds of War or its sequel.)

    I really liked the narrator who did an amazing job with a dozen or so different accents. Good on ya, Mate!

    There were a couple of things that about the book that I didn't relish and without wanting to spoil the story, I'll just say that there was a fair bit that was unbelievable - and towards the end, because I came to know the characters - predictable. Also, at times it seemed as if the author perhaps thought he was being paid by the word. That could just be me, though, as I am not terribly patient.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann 01-30-13
    Ann 01-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent listen."
    Where does The Persimmon Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book ranks in the top 10 percent.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Although a love story, it is also historical fiction. A good combination. I do not want to ruin the story by saying too much about the plot. I could not wait to see how the story would unwind and was not disappointed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudia 01-29-13
    Claudia 01-29-13
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    "Wonderful listening experience"

    I had this book in my library for a while and hadn't listened. once I started I have been enthralled.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Raymond Terrace, Australia 01-29-13
    Paula Raymond Terrace, Australia 01-29-13 Member Since 2015
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    12
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    "Gripping Story line"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Persimmon Tree to be better than the print version?

    yes, I loved the freedom to listen to the story while driving long distances I don't always have time to read a long book


    What did you like best about this story?

    the author's ability to combine facts from the 2nd world war and weave a fictional story into it was fantastic


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    the different accents


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alan Beecroft, Australia 01-29-13
    alan Beecroft, Australia 01-29-13 Member Since 2006
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    Story
    "Just like being there"
    Would you listen to The Persimmon Tree again? Why?

    Humphrey Bower brings the characters to life in your head. Listening to his portrayal of each character in this epic story by Bryce Courtenay made me feel I knew them all. I can't wait to relive their adventures once again.This being my first Bryce Courtenay novel I can see why he was so well regarded. Now have to listen to all of his others before I can go back to the Persimmon Tree.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    They were all believable, likeable and loathsome as required.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    SPOILER ALERT: Anna stabbing the pervert commander in the "nest of the swallows"


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not that extreme.


    Any additional comments?

    Bryce is a great loss, as it turns out. I have no interest in "war stories" but this is a great story that just happens to be set during a war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Anderson 01-13-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Not quite what I expected."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The book got off to a fine start,but the story seems to drag around the middle of the

    book. There starts to be too much detail, as far as I was concerned. A small example,-

    I'm not really interested in the sexual needs or desires of the WW2 Japanese soldier (s).

    There was more than ample violence and gore to disqualify this as a love story



    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    It was a good job over all.


    Was The Persimmon Tree worth the listening time?

    From the start to the middle, yes the rest could have been cut to the last chapter.


    Any additional comments?

    You're going to get a lot of well researched history, a lot of horror inflicted onto innocent

    people, cruelty to the extreme and, of course,sexual deviancy. If this seems a bit too

    much historic reality , better pass on this one. On the other hand, if that's the kind of

    thing you like, you're going to have to wade through some mushy spots.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 01-08-13
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 01-08-13 Member Since 2013

    BJS

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My first Bryce Courtenay Totally Awe Struck"
    What did you love best about The Persimmon Tree?

    What didn't I like? I'm a person who love historical novels and some one recommended I read Bryce Courtenay, because I would be truly amazed at the gripping tales of emotion and history. Not only that but Humphrey Bower, who narrated Shantaram by Gregory Roberts. (which I had listened to at least twice) I knew that I would get a great narration. The time lines and the actual history's of the story floored me. The facts, and the power of the story kept me listening. The emotional drama of this was something that kept me listening until I had to stop to do other things. ( I couldn't wait to return to listening)


    What did you like best about this story?

    The character development, the factual story line and the depth of detail


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    I think Humphrey Bower is in my opinion one of the top 5 narrators I've ever listened to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Several actually. When Anna killed the Japanese commander to try and make her escape.
    When Nick, found his father, and finally when Anna and Nick found each other again after five years of war that changed the people they were.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first Bryce Courteny book. I am devastated that he has passed away. However I will listen to as much of his works on Audible that I can. Especially since Humphrey Bower does the narration on them. I usually don't go on and on about recommending a book, however if you enjoy action packed factual historical novels as much as I do, with fantastic narration. This will not disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe H. VA 11-27-12
    Joe H. VA 11-27-12 Member Since 2008

    Audible allows me to fill my mind with something so much better than TV.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Masterpiece"
    Would you listen to The Persimmon Tree again? Why?

    Yes. Even with the length some books are just dragged out. This one always has your attention


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Preformer's ability to give each character such life....


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    More thumbs up than I am capable of giving. His acents are tremendous.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Persimmon Tree and why?

    Mick, Anna and the rest


    Any additional comments?

    A must for any true Audible listner

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn S. Daugherty Duluth, MN United States 10-26-12
    Kathryn S. Daugherty Duluth, MN United States 10-26-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sweeping, frightening, wonderful"
    Would you listen to The Persimmon Tree again? Why?

    Probably not but then I never listen to a book more than once.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character because I got to know him very personally. There was a lot of good character development but none was as "real" as the main character.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I could scarcely breathe as he watched what happened to the Australian and American sailors who went ashore.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is brutal and sometimes almost too difficult to read. This is especially true with Anna. But I did read every work and it was worth it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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