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Publisher's Summary

The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

©2010 Bryce Courtenay; 2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Humphrey Bower, speaking as Mole, delivers every possible nuance and emotion of his character’s story, and shows a startling aptitude for other dialects as well. Close family friends and enemies include surviving Polish Jews, an East Indian healer, an Irish Catholic priest, Japanese prison camp soldiers, and many others. All of them, young and old, male and female, spring to vivid life in Bower’s versatile voice. Narrative passages and dialogue elicit tears and laughter by turns, without a minute of boredom in the 30-hour production." (AudioFile magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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    26
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 11-24-12

Wonderful story

Where does Four Fires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Toward the top... It was a deep, lighthearted book, if there is such a thing; the narrator was phenomenal

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked all the Mallony clan... they all had dreams and, with very degrees of success, went after them.

Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

I have to pick just one? Seriously, though, Humphry Bower is so talented that I doubt I could pick just one character to be a favorite; I felt like I got the know them all

Any additional comments?

With the exception of two quite uncessary coincidences at the very end of the book, I really enjoyed this book. It was a great introduction to Bryce Courtenay. I'm glad I started off with this book, because while it dealt with difficult themes and topics, it was generally light-hearted. His other works? Not so much

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  • Anna
  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States
  • 11-19-12

Excellent!

"The Power of One" and this book, "Four Fires" are in the same league. I really enjoyed the storyline, the character developement, the drama, & the humor that Bryce Courtney brought to this book! It was excellent.

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  • Anne
  • Abbotsford, Australia
  • 11-13-12

Excellent allround

Where does Four Fires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Up there with the Life of Pi

What did you like best about this story?

Written from the son s voice a great tale /tales of tragedy and triumph , and all in one family

The mood was not heavy despite the storyline
The narration was so wonderful

What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

Made the story resonate both lyrically and creatively , wonderful voice

If you could take any character from Four Fires out to dinner, who would it be and why?

The mum , she would have a few great tales of her colourful life

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Aussie immersion

This was a wonderfully engaging and emotionally involving book. The account of the conditions for POW's in Borneo was heartbreaking and historically very accurate. After the book ended I felt a bit bereft without the Maloney family. Some minor quibbles with the plot - it seemed as if everyone in the family was a bit too brilliant to be believed. I don't want to give the ending away, but it was marred by a glaring violation of professional boundries that would in reality be grounds for a loss of one's license to practice medicine. Humphrey Bower reads this wonderfully - not too much or too little expression, and his command of the subtle differences in Australian accents adds to the reading.

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  • Debra
  • Aireys Inlet, Australia
  • 10-12-12

You've done it again Bryce

Where does Four Fires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Up there with the best of them I've listen to this 3 times and read the book love it

What was one of the most memorable moments of Four Fires?

Several but that would be giving away the story and it's better to be surprised rather than in the know

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

No , at first I didn't like the Aussie accent and I am a Aussie then the Jewish and Irish accent were believable so I guess it depends on how Aussie you want your character to be

Who was the most memorable character of Four Fires and why?

Gotta love Nancy

Any additional comments?

This book returned a lot of memories for me Flinders Lane, the dunny man, Fires and there awful outcomes, and yet how they also bring life back, How many soliders who fought in all wars are never truly appreciated and often forgotten. How small communities can by working together can achieve so much. The fact I read it four times tells you it's worth it.!

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Love everything Bryce Courtenay does!

As with all of the other Courtenay books I've read, this one was also phenomenal. The storyline was very engaging, characters likable, and there is always a wonderful moral to his stories. This one had me engaged until the very end. What a wonderful writer Bryce Courtenay is, weaving a full, rich, colorful book every time!

Humphrey Bower is a super narrator for these books, love his accents.

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Fantastic Family Epic

What a great saga! Loved the history and the Australiana. I'm a Kiwi but we share much so there was so much that I remembered and related to.
The emotion in the book was also huge, brought me to tears at times and in fits of laughter other times!
The reader also did a great job, managing young and old, male and female with ease.
A must read!

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  • Performance
  • Story

A fantastic story enhanced by the performance!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would and have done already.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mole Maloney for sure! The story was told through his eyes.

Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

Mrs Rika Ray. She was fantastic. Bower did a great job of all the characters.

If you could take any character from Four Fires out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Tommy Maloney-be great to talk to him about his experiences!

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  • Performance
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Four Fires

Would you listen to Four Fires again? Why?

No, I never listen to books twice. Too many books out there!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Four Fires?

Father and son "going bush" when the father told of his life before kids (the war, etc) and we found out why is is the way he is.

What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

His tone of voice and Australian accent

Any additional comments?

Now listening to another Bryce Courtenay, Jessica. Love it too.

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  • Rebecca
  • Canton, GA, United States
  • 09-08-12

Very well written & performed. One I will remember

Would you consider the audio edition of Four Fires to be better than the print version?

I don't know.

Who was your favorite character and why?

None in particular, I enjoyed the narrator who was the character "Mole".

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

Loved his narrative, rarely does a performance made story come to life as Humphrey did. Accents did not sound pitifully fake as many narrators do. Even the women's voices were appealing. I would listen to more of his narrations.

If you could take any character from Four Fires out to dinner, who would it be and why?

The mother, I liked her attitude.