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Whitethorn | [Bryce Courtenay]

Whitethorn

From the author of The Power of One comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people fanatically opposed to the English. The world is also on the brink of war, and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six-year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany.
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Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Power of One comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people fanatically opposed to the English. The world is also on the brink of war, and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six-year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany. Tom's English name proves sufficient for him to be ostracised, marking him as an outsider. And so begin some of life's tougher lessons for the small, lonely boy. Like the whitethorn, one of Africa's most enduring plants, Tom learns how to survive in the harsh climate of racial hatred. Then a terrible event sends him on a journey to ensure that justice is done. On the way, his most unexpected discovery is love.

©2005 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty. Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (406 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Karin Warriewood, Australia 04-03-06
    Karin Warriewood, Australia 04-03-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whitethorn"

    At the beginning of this book I nearly stoped listening because of the harsh circumstances, but just in time things looked brighter. From then on the book becomes a wonderful experience and the whole plot is fascinating right to the end.
    The reader is absolutely ingenious and makes the whole book so much more enjoyable to listen to than you could ever imagine if you were merely reading it.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 12-06-12
    Melissa 12-06-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Typical Bryce Courtney/Humphrey Bower ....awesome"
    Where does Whitethorn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Though a great book, this is not my favorite Bryce Courtenay book. If you haven't read/listened to The Power of One (my personal favorite), The Potato Factory, Tandia and others, you should treat yourself. As with all his books, you will laugh, cry and experience many emotions. His stories are influenced by his personal experiences growing up during difficult times in South Africa and his life in Australia. I was sad to hear of his death November 22. He will be greatly missed!
    Humphrey Bower is by far my favorite narrator. He has an uncanny ability to change his voice and make the characters come alive! Such a talent is rare, you will not be disappointed. It's easy to understand why Bryce Courtenay chose him to read his books...what a great duo! Another book that he narrated beautifully (not Bryce Courtenay's) is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, if you like Bryce Courtenay, you should like this one, too.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoff Newport, Australia 01-31-10
    Geoff Newport, Australia 01-31-10 Member Since 2009
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    "another masterpiece with a slight issue"

    Having listened to all available books by Bryce, this is the first time I have had a slight issue. Before that the good stuff....As usual Mr Bower is superb in the delivery of this novel and the novel itself is another masterpiece.

    I did find however that there was a little to much of Peekay in this book, and in fact great tracts of it could have been in Power of One.

    This still will not stop me from checking every month for the next BC/HB journey to download.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry San Francisco, CA, United States 11-16-12
    Terry San Francisco, CA, United States 11-16-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Epic, Awesome"

    How could it have taken me so long to find other Bryce Courtenay books besides The Power of One? Whitethorn was a huge pleasure, made more so by the skill and talent of Humphrey Bower, who adds so much to this book with his reading. Do yourself a huge favor and listen to this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda SPRINGFIELD, VA, United States 08-19-13
    Melinda SPRINGFIELD, VA, United States 08-19-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Recycled 'Power of One'"
    What made the experience of listening to Whitethorn the most enjoyable?

    I've enjoyed several of Courtenay's books with Humphrey Bower narrating. While Bryce Courtenay is a great story teller, Humphrey Bower's talent puts the story over the top.


    Would you recommend Whitethorn to your friends? Why or why not?

    If you've read 'Power of One' this is almost an exact recycle of that story. Stick with 'Power of One' and you won't be disappointed.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-05-11
    01-05-11
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    "Fantastic"

    From the moment I started listening I could not stop. The story and plot were very engrossing and Humphrey Bower did a fantastic job of bringing all the characters to life. As previous reviewers have said there is a section of the story right at the beginning of the novel which is quite graphic but once past that point the story is delightful. Very similar to "The Power of One" in many ways so if you enjoyed that, then this is a must read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Couva, Trinidad and Tobago 06-15-12
    John Couva, Trinidad and Tobago 06-15-12

    On a Sunday, I ride my motorcycle to Maracas Bay Beach while listen. When I get there up goes the hammock, and I then listen to my audiobook

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I can not praise this book enough"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Whitethorn to be better than the print version?

    I only do AudioBooks these days.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    They have all been good, but Whitethorn hold a special place in my heart


    Who was the most memorable character of Whitethorn and why?

    The Doggie


    Any additional comments?

    This has to be one of my most favourite books... Possibly #1

    As someone who was bullied at boarding school, I identified with the main character.

    Loners often only find love and feel comfortable with animals or other outcast human beings.

    I will listen to this again soon.

    If this book does not make you cry, you don't have a soul....

    Thank You Bryce Courtney for this wonderful gift

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    horslovr 11-12-12
    horslovr 11-12-12 Member Since 2008
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    "What can I say...it's Bryce Courtenay!"

    Every time I begin to read a Bryce Courtenay story, I am thinking to myself, "How can this one be as good as the last one I read?", and every time I am quite surprised to find that the one I'm reading is just as fantastic as all the others! His stories are all different, but engaging and interesting all the same.
    In this story, which is, incidentally read by the INCOMPARABLE Humphrey Bower (so wonderful and easy to listen to and whose voice is perfect for Bryce's stories) there are characters who fall on hard times and through his/her life experiences, find a way to conquer his/her demons. Going along for the ride, learning for ourselves along the way, make this book, as all the others, great listens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warren 07-10-06
    Warren 07-10-06
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    "A Caution"

    Firstly let me just say I did not listen to this audio in it's entirety and this is more just a brief caution than a review. I was thoroughly engrossed in this audio up until I was taken by complete surprise at the graphic description of a lewd act in the early parts of story. From the sounds of it if you can get over that as the reviewer above said it really is a excellent story

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Balwyn North, Australia 06-10-14
    Jon Balwyn North, Australia 06-10-14 Member Since 2011

    Solutionist

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    "Enjoyable as always!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Whitethorn to be better than the print version?

    Probably.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tinker the dog.


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

    Humphrey is a one man (and sometimes woman) cast. Incredibly smooth segues from one character to another.


    If you could rename Whitethorn, what would you call it?

    Survivor!


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps lacking in some of the raw energy of his earlier books, but still a large and moving story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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