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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

disappointing

Humphrey Bower is a wonderful narrator and I usually enjoy the storytelling of Bryce Courtenay. This story was very formulaic with cartoonish characters. There were some interesting moments but not the best of his books.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michael
  • Ballina, Australia
  • 07-13-12

This Wonderful Book Came To Life

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

A novel which kick starts you into an adventure that never loses plausibility? Can't stop.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters are believable by the lost standards of heroism and honor seemingly forgotten by today's generation?

Which scene was your favorite?

The final meeting with his father, ending that phase of his search

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

When he met the Japanese Broadcast officer he was sent to hunt down, and discovered that they were both human beings in the middle of war.

Any additional comments?

I have read every Bryce Courtney novel written, and have thoroughly enjoyed his incredibly detailed narrative style, which is so beautifully brought to life in this Audio book by Humphrey Bower.
I Buy the Audio Books for exactly this reason? To bring a novel that I have enjoyed to life!

PLEASE do the sequel, "Fishing For Stars" in an unabridged version?

Abridged versions cannot ever do justice to the depth of his novels.

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  • Story

Offbeat, Austraila, Indoneisa, WWII, Wonderful

What made the experience of listening to The Persimmon Tree the most enjoyable?

Very different and compelling story. Real life at its finest and worst at a difficult time. This book kept my interest throughtout and tore at my heart and finally mended it with a slight scar. Narrator was excellent.

What did you like best about this story?

The honestly

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

The reality of first hand experience. I felt as if I was there.

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

There were too many parts of the story that touched me to mention just one moment.

Any additional comments?

You you have a need for drama, love, compassion, adventure, history, you will make this book one of your favorites. It was truth in humanity. The good and the bad.

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What an enjoyable audible!

I really enjoyed the story but wonder if that is partially due to Mr. Bower's performance! What a narrator???.a five star plus performance. The story is a very interesting side to WWII that you don't often hear or know much about. Enjoyed the history as well as the interesting characters of the story. Have to research what else Humphrey Bower has narrated.

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Brilliant!!

If you could sum up The Persimmon Tree in three words, what would they be?

Bryce Courtenay's storyline and Humphrey Bower's narration of this book was incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed this and found the length gave me time to get emotionally involved with the characters. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves Australian history and Courtenay's writing. Simply brilliant!!

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  • Performance
  • Story

Beautiful story, incredible perfomance

Would you listen to The Persimmon Tree again? Why?

I would listen to Humphrey Bower read the phone book. Just a wonderful voice in all parts.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Anna is the most complex of the characters for me. I love strong female characters with the will and stamina and grit to survive.

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

This was my first but definitely not my last.

If you could take any character from The Persimmon Tree out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Nick I think because the Australian openness and charm would be delightful.

Any additional comments?

Loved it all.

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  • Kathryn
  • MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States
  • 05-20-12

Historical fiction never so interesting!

I love Bryce Courtenay! I haver read a few others and each one is better than the last. Not only does the story entertain, but the historical facts and interesting settings make me feel like I have gone somewhere and learned something new.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Beginning well but then dives

What disappointed you about The Persimmon Tree?

The writing is okay except the sex scenes are so boyish and dull.
The characters become increasingly ridiculous and the ending is so unbelievable as to be pathetic.
Too much to slog through for a plot that could have been good.

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You Never Go Wrong With This Duo

Courtenay and Bower make for an amazing audio book combination and it was proven to me again with this book. I played it on a road trip and it was the first book where both my partner and myself did not want to turn the book off or take breaks from it. We even listened while eating meals. If you are looking for a great audio book experience you can not go wrong with this one!

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  • Story
  • Eileen
  • United States
  • 04-30-12

Epic story - maybe too epic

Where does The Persimmon Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I'm a new Audible member, so it is my favorite so far.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Nick Duncan, the protagonist, was very well developed, and I liked lack of braggery.

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

First time listener of Humphrey Bower. Will look for him again. I think he did a great job on Persimmon Tree

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

Not especially, but there were many passages that piqued my interest to continue reading about the part of the world where all this took place.

Any additional comments?

I didn't know ebony was the heart of the persimmon tree, did you?