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Smoky Joe's Cafe  By  cover art

Smoky Joe's Cafe

By: Bryce Courtenay
Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
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Publisher's summary

Thommo returns from Vietnam to an Australia that regards him as a mercenary guilty of war crimes. He begins to develop all kinds of physical and mental problems, and thinks it must only be him until he finds he is not alone. Ten mates, all who remain of his platoon who fought and died in the Battle of Long Tan, are affected the same way.

Now Thommo and his mates are eleven angry men out for revenge. They rope in an ex-Viet Cong with 'special skills' and his own secret agenda. They're the 'Dirty Dozen', just like the movie. Only it's real life, and they're so screwed up they couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. That is, until a woman of character steps in.

©2013 Bryce Courtenay. By arrangement with Penguin Books Australia Ltd. Christine Courtenay (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pyt Ltd

Critic reviews

"Humphrey Bower is Thommo, stressed-out Aussie Vietnam vet. His pace is frantic, his language raw, his accent spot-on. Thommo and his fellow vets grow marijuana to benefit Thommo's leukemia-stricken daughter and other children damaged by Agent Orange. The project is a huge success. All the characters are memorable, especially Thommo's wife, owner of the titular café, and the brains behind these operations. The final chapter is read in the voice of Thommo's daughter. Not all the jargon will be familiar to Statesiders, but that shouldn't matter." (AudioFile Magazine)