Regular price: $31.47

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.

Jack of Diamonds is the story of a young, talented man, fighting to achieve his ambitions, and having to use his considerable talents to find his way in a perilous world.

©2012 Bryce Courtenay; 2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    543
  • 4 Stars
    350
  • 3 Stars
    125
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    22

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    643
  • 4 Stars
    215
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    475
  • 4 Stars
    293
  • 3 Stars
    126
  • 2 Stars
    33
  • 1 Stars
    21
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Elad
  • D.N. Hevel Eilot, Israel
  • 12-26-12

Bryce Courtenay will be missed...

I'm writing this before I've actually finished the book, but halfway through it's clear that thi is yet another masterpiece, apparently the last, from this marvelous author. Humphrey Bower, as usual, narrates superbly,changing his voice and his accent to suit the character who's speaking. As the father of a 17-year-old jazz musician, this book resonates deeply with me, but I can't imagine anyone not loving it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tim
  • Poulsbo, WA, United States
  • 12-19-12

an epic personal journey

If you could sum up Jack of Diamonds in three words, what would they be?

overcoming great odds

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I found that it was enjoyable with rarely a boring segment, but it was one I could put down and come back to later

Any additional comments?

This story, following a young boy from the depth of the economic depression of the 30's, virtually through his adult life was inspirational and read almost like a biography. It was, in a way, written in an old fashioned style of the 30's or 40's but modern in language and content. Its scope covered ground from Canada to Las Vegas, New York, England and Africa.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Outstanding story and perforance

What did you like best about this story?

What a well written story. It flowed very well. I am so happy to have discovered this author.

What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

I have never heard such an accomplished reader. How many accents can he do? Really entertaining!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

What a store teller ..... Bryce does it again!

As with all of his novels, I have been thoroughly entertained by Bryce Courtenay listening to Jack of Diamonds. I am sorry that have only a couple of his novels left to read/listen to. This novel was in a different setting mostly in Canada and Las Vegas, and a little towards the end in a mining setting in Africa. It was set among the jazz world, high roller gamblers and Mafia connections with an interesting thread about the culture and times of pre and post world war 2. I love Courtenay's novels .... he has been a wonderful story teller and will be greatly missed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Jack of Diamonds

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better story

What was most disappointing about Bryce Courtenay’s story?

Not as interesting as his other books which had more of a historical theme and truth to them.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Not at all

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • John
  • Couva, Trinidad and Tobago
  • 11-14-13

Only ⅓ finished but loving it

I'm sure going to miss Bryce Courtenay yarns … and Humphrey Bower brings them to life

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jeffrey S
  • PLEASANT HILL, CA, United States
  • 08-01-13

An overlong series of separate incredible episodes

Would you try another book from Bryce Courtenay and/or Humphrey Bower?

The reader was excellent. As for the book, I'm reluctant to be critical of a well-liked author who knew he dying of cancer, but I always felt that he didn't know where the story was going--so he just kept on going and going. First we have the "Jack learns to play the piano and escape blue collar Toronto story." Then we have the "Jack goes out west, becomes a poker player, and loses his virginity to a sweet hooker story before escaping from gangsters story." Then there is the "escaping from WWII by getting an early minor wound" story. Then the escaping gangsters in Las Vegas story. Then the escaping thugs in Africa story. Then the escaping his daughter's creditors in London story, which also results in saving Jack's talking parrot. One melodrama after the next. It all comes across like something written to be published in monthly installments in an old-fashioned magazine serial.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kim
  • Slidell, LA, United States
  • 03-09-13

Can't believe I got through this book.

An awful and pompous use of words. I can't believe this got published! I had to persevere to finish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jessica
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 01-14-13

Courtenay not up to par on his latest novel.

What was most disappointing about Bryce Courtenay’s story?

It was slow and took a long time to really invest in the characters. He seemed to spend a lot of time on details that weren't significant to the overall plot.

What three words best describe Humphrey Bower’s voice?

Love him so much that I've found other audio books he's narrated, by other authors. He's a true master at narration, accents, characters (of both genders—without sounding condescending). But the story wasn't good so it was hard to get into his characters with this one. He seems to speak much slower when preforming with an American (or in this case Canadian) accent. It almost doesn't even sound like him.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoy Bryce Courtney's books—particularly Jessica, Power of One and Tandia. But it seems he's repeating/borrowing several concepts from his previous novels, i.e. <br/>card player—similar to Tomo in The Australian Trilogy<br/>copper miner/racial tensions—Peekay in Power of One<br/><br/>Obviously authors write what they know, but with 20+ books, I think he needs to expand what he writes about a little more. I still have some other books of his to listen to, which I will, but this was not his best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Bek
  • Mt barker, Australia
  • 12-03-12

Awesome but a lot like whitethorn

What made the experience of listening to Jack of Diamonds the most enjoyable?

I love all BC books there a great way to get though the day

Who was your favorite character and why?

Dj was awesome :)

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

He is great with them all

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No it was a little slow in pasts

Any additional comments?

Loved it but was a lot like whitethorn in parts

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • K. P. Clark
  • 06-24-15

Engaging story, superb story telling

Would you listen to Jack of Diamonds again? Why?

Yes. Well developed characters and interesting phases of life

What other book might you compare Jack of Diamonds to, and why?

Most of the Jeffrey Archer novels.

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

Jack. Humphrey Bower was new to me and his ability to cover accents and genders is quite fantastic.

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

Nothing strong but it did keep me interested.

Any additional comments?

Introduced me to a new author. I'd definitely read more from this author. Good solid entertainment with well developed characters.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • sarahmoose2000
  • 05-08-14

Diamonds and Spades

This was a great book, covering the life of Jack Spayde; an abused child who learns piano in the hope of escaping his brutal father and miserable domestic life.

We follow him through childhood and learning the basics of classical music before falling in love with blues and jazz. The writing reminded me of John Irving in that you are totally immersed in the story and believe you know the actors. Like Owen Meany, Spayde goes to war before hitting early Las Vegas and then South Africa. I can't say too much without giving away plot spoilers, but needless to say it's the best book I've listened to this year.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mr R.
  • 06-20-15

Self indulgent and rather dull

What would have made Jack of Diamonds better?

Not wasting a credit on it !

Would you ever listen to anything by Bryce Courtenay again?

not likely if this is whats in store

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Humphrey Bower?

Anyone frankly - what was the accent he was trying for anyway?????!!!!!!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Jack of Diamonds?

How long have you got ?!

Any additional comments?

Save yourself the trouble don't get this audio book

0 of 1 people found this review helpful