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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
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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May Bryce Courtenay rest in peace

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

Loveable, noble, sad.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jack

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

Brings the characters alive without any corny accents

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

Yes, made me sad due to the death of Bryce Courtenay a week after the release of the book

Any additional comments?

May Bryce Courtnenay rest in peace with his son (April Fools Day) knowing that all Australians will remember him for his great works and his contribution to society

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • Kennesaw, GA, United States
  • 05-22-17

Wonderful

Only my second read from B Courtenay and I'm hopelessly addicted. Well done Mr. Courtenay!! You have another faithful fan.

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Another Out of the park homerun!

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

It is very well written and brilliantly performed,

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jack is a small town boy like me.

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

Joe

If you could rename Jack of Diamonds, what would you call it?

High Notes and Low.

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Sadly, this is a painfully trudging rehash

First... I love this late authors work.

This is my twelfth by this author and one of my least favorites. I read this on the heels of Whitethorn, which I didn't really care for either. These are both written as first person narratives, starting in early childhood. There is a lot of self-aggrandize going on in both books, as well as a lot of rehash. I felt that it was entirely too sentimental, even down right mushy. This is, likely, because of his ill health at the time he was writing it, and it definitely accounts for the rushed ending.

I adore Humphrey Bower, though this is not my favorite from him either. It just seemed a bit off. The pronunciation of some words hit me dead in the face, i.e. ree-al-tour (realtor). He is still one of my absolute favorite narrators. Humphrey Bower at his worst is better others at their best :-)

Bryce and Humphrey at their best, try:
Potato Factory trilogy (book 1)
Tomorrow and Hawk (book 2)
Solomon's Song (book 3)
Four Fires
Mathew Flinders Cat


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Jack of Diamonds

This is Bryce Courtney's last work. It is typical Courtney and is an inspirational story. The reader is exceptional.

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Plot is familiar but still good

Jack of Diamonds has a plot that borrows heavily from other Courtenay books, especially elements of The Power of One and The Persimmon Tree. However, it was still an exceptional listen! Courtenay was an amazing storyteller.

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With love to BC

To the best storyteller ever, I wish I had 500 more of your books to listen to or read. Thank you for enriching my life, expanding my vocabulary, teaching me, moving me, and providing absolute entertainment with every moment of your writing. You will be be sincerely missed.

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Great Story

What a great story of good verses evil. I would have loved to read the sequel to this story. Bryce Courtney was a Master Storyteller!!!!

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  • Laurie
  • Airdrie, AB, Canada
  • 09-02-16

A Canadian story!

I don't often run across a book that is about a Canadian. I think most writers think Canada is boring. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about places Jack went to in this book. Moose Jaw is a very interesting city. Home to Al Capone when he was hiding out. Jack's story is intriguing and kept me listening into the wee hours of the morning. Give this book a listen you won't be disappointed.

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  • Susan
  • Bartonville, TX
  • 08-30-16

Great epic

I loved this epic. Bryce Cortenay is an excellent story teller and Humphrey Bower did an amazing job narrating. The voices and different dialects helped bring these interesting characters to life.