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The Ballad of Les Darcy

Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Sports, Other
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Editorial Reviews

A biography of one of Australia's most intriguing characters, written by one of the nation's most popular authors. Les Darcy was a legendary Australian boxer called to fight during WWI, though he felt duty-bound to stay home and continue working to help his family out of poverty. Caught up in the politics around conscription, he ended up leaving the country, but became an Australian folk hero. Author Peter Fitzsimons provides a poignant take on Darcy's short but fascinating life, while performer Humphrey Bower narrates in a steady, welcoming style.

Publisher's Summary

"Put Les Darcy in a uniform and the men of Australia will march to hell behind him."

That was the message Australia's great "Blacksmith Boxer" was getting, as debate about conscription raged in the middle of World War I. The problem was that Les Darcy didn't want to march at the fore of such a procession, nor to such a destination. He wanted to continue what he had been doing to extraordinary acclaim before the war began - taking on the best boxers the world could throw at him, and lifting his entire family out of poverty as he did so. Torn between the duty he felt he owed his family, and the duty many felt he owed his country, Les made his choice ... and faced the consequences.

And so unfolds a ballad of love, war, betrayal, mystery, patriotism and heroism; a ballad of a champion whose story still has the power to move the stoniest heart.

©2008 Peter Fitzsimons (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great story

A great story. Well worth the credit despite being less than 6 hours long. I normally listen to books to fill in time, but once I started to listen to this, I made the time to hear it through. Only second to The True Story Of The Ned Kelly Gang (available from audible in some regions). Who would have thought an old lock would be capable of this!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer2
  • 10-13-19

Ok

Boxing is not an interest of mine, but I enjoyed the book for the history around it and the reactions from people of that time.
Another piece of Australiana that Fitzsimons is so good at.

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  • fishcakesgirl
  • 03-01-19

A book you can’t forget.

This was one of the best books I’ve ever listened to. It’s one of those that you miss when it’s over. I feel so proud to be an Australian when I’m immersed in this history. It also lets me feel connected to my grandfather and picture the era in which he lived. Loved this book. Can’t speak highly enough of the journey Peter Fitz took me on.

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  • Matt
  • 02-16-17

Outstanding

Great story about a man of principals treated poorly by the power brokers of the day. Goes to show that the colour of your skin does not always mean you are treated well.
I wish I had been able to read this when I was younger.

Thank you

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  • Kevin
  • 01-14-17

Great piece of Australian history

I really enjoyed this unknown part of Australian history. A must if you want to discover a very interesting Australian.