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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 (2393 )
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4.6 (1885 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Lancaster 02-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gives a new meaning to 5 Star Performance"

    Humphrey Bower was incredible, I've never heard another narrator who could give such life and emotion to characters. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wavylane Oak Creek, CO, United States 02-13-13
    Wavylane Oak Creek, CO, United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic!!!"

    One of the best books I have listened to in quite a while. This is a wonderful story of the enduring strength of the human spirit. I found myself anxiously waiting for the next time I could listen.

    It is a love story as well as a historical war story. This author puts a very human face on the war in the South Pacific and you get a peek at the clash of cultures that went on during WWII.

    I loved the characters and finished the book wishing for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donah Tacoma, WA, United States 02-12-13
    Donah Tacoma, WA, United States 02-12-13
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    "Great story extremely well read."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Persimmon Tree to be better than the print version?

    The Australian accent and the reader's ability to speak the pidgeon language added to my enjoyment of the book. Mr Bower gave the characters personality that the the written word cannot give. I rate this high and wish I could give Humphrey Bower 6 stars!!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was two stories in one. The couple meet as youth, then come of age separately, in completely different and extermely difficult circumstances, then meeting again. Then there was the need to work through Anna's serious consequences when they did meet. This added to the beauty of the story. I was sooo glad they met again, and, the ending was very well done.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    His accent and ability to read emotion into the characters. I didn't understand much of the pidgeon language, glad there was an interpretation! I've never heard the language before but it had an authentic sound to my ear.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    If the love is real and the heart is strong and clever, nothing can quench or overrule.


    Any additional comments?

    I will listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ME In Tx HOUSTON, TEXAS, United States 02-11-13
    ME In Tx HOUSTON, TEXAS, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2017
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    "RIP Bryce Courtney"
    What made the experience of listening to The Persimmon Tree the most enjoyable?

    Humphrey Bower brings such life to each character, you forget it is being read by one person! As usual, Bryce Courtney has written a memorable book that I look forward to
    reading again! (After I finish ALL his books)


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

    EVERYTHING!


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

    The beach scene!!


    Any additional comments?

    I am so sad Bryce Courtney died recently ~ I do so look forward to reading his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee 02-11-13
    Lee 02-11-13 Member Since 2009
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    "MAUST READ: Story telling at its best."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The Persimmon Tree is based on an historial timeline that makes it all more interesting. It was enteratining to listen as one thing after another happens to these people who eventually intersect. Each character has a suprising depth. Nick and Anns'a decisions and circumstances diverge in ways that the reader would never have predicted at the beginning of the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Anna. She was brave, resourcesful, loving, sacraficing, loyal and truly cared about the people in her life. She commanded respect through her competency and generosity. She does not turn her back on anyone in her life even though she has every right to do so.


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

    The different accents and dialects. The characters originate from all over the world. Everything was seemless and I never confused characters because they were very distinct. Each character's emotions were relayed exactly how the author meant them to be.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A story of youth, adventure and sacrafice.


    Any additional comments?

    I found myself a bit miffed about Nick and his need to bed every female who showed interest in him while Anna hung on by a thread while living under the Japanese, being forced into submission, lost loved ones, and eventually ends up addicted to opium.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva 02-06-13
    Eva 02-06-13
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    "Not enough stars for the performance!"
    What did you love best about The Persimmon Tree?

    This was an edge-of-the-seat story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The historical information made it so believable.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    This narrator deserves a 10-star rating. I've never heard anyone able to capture so many dialects so accurately. How the heck does he transition between characters so seamlessly?


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

    A real page turner!


    Any additional comments?

    Unfortunately, the sexual exploits of the male character were too predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 02-04-13
    Josh 02-04-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glad I stuck with it..."

    I had a hard time getting into this one, but I'm glad I didn't give up.
    One of the 2 main characters just seemed too earnest in the beginning, and I found him annoying. The growth of the other main character, Anna, is wonderful especially as life changes dramatically under Japanese occupation. By the end, I was hoping for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce PALM HARBOR, FL, United States 02-02-13
    Joyce PALM HARBOR, FL, United States 02-02-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Never fails to meet my expectations"

    As an author Bryce is one of the more amazing people who can reach into the emotions and make you feel. Back this up with the history of the time and place and his story is more fact than fiction every time. The reader surrenders and becomes entwined in the world he creates. Humphrey Bower is the best reader I have ever listened to and always does the story justice. I would read anything he narrates. I have now listened to at least 7 Courtenay books and haven't found one I didn't love. I just finished "The Family Frying Pan"
    What a wonder he is as an author. 'The Persimmon Tree" was another I would consider a favorite. I was listening well into the early morning hours. The characters will steel your heart as they struggle for normality during the Japanese occupation. There ability to adapt and conquer is an example of human courage and survival. Love overcomes time and trials.
    Humor in the face of despair is a trademark of the Bryce stories that I love the most. I would easily recommend any of his book. Totally got hooked on him with the trilogy of the "Potato Factory" That was my first experience and he has been the best reading experience of a life time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica 02-01-13
    Monica 02-01-13
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    "Slow moving and very corny."
    What disappointed you about The Persimmon Tree?

    No narrator could have saved this story.


    What was most disappointing about Bryce Courtenay’s story?

    It was almost painfully cheesy at times. The second half of the book seemed to wander around with no distinct plot. I was completely ambivalent about the fate of any of the characters since they were so one dimensional.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The description of other areas of the world. Some of the insight about Japanese culture was also interesting at times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book and Movie Lover Austin 01-31-13
    Book and Movie Lover Austin 01-31-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thrilling, romantic, historical all at once"

    The Persimmon Tree (the first book in the Nick Duncan series) was my second listen by Bryce Courtenay (Jack of Diamonds was my first) and I am so happy there are many more Bryce Courtenay books remaining for me to enjoy. The narration of this book is spectacular, the story is completely engrossing. This is a solid 5 star book. Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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