Whitethorn

Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
Length: 24 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (796 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Power of One comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people fanatically opposed to the English. The world is also on the brink of war, and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six-year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany. Tom's English name proves sufficient for him to be ostracised, marking him as an outsider. And so begin some of life's tougher lessons for the small, lonely boy. Like the whitethorn, one of Africa's most enduring plants, Tom learns how to survive in the harsh climate of racial hatred. Then a terrible event sends him on a journey to ensure that justice is done. On the way, his most unexpected discovery is love.
©2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty. Ltd

What listeners say about Whitethorn

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Recycled 'Power of One'

What made the experience of listening to Whitethorn the most enjoyable?

I've enjoyed several of Courtenay's books with Humphrey Bower narrating. While Bryce Courtenay is a great story teller, Humphrey Bower's talent puts the story over the top.

Would you recommend Whitethorn to your friends? Why or why not?

If you've read 'Power of One' this is almost an exact recycle of that story. Stick with 'Power of One' and you won't be disappointed.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

another masterpiece with a slight issue

Having listened to all available books by Bryce, this is the first time I have had a slight issue. Before that the good stuff....As usual Mr Bower is superb in the delivery of this novel and the novel itself is another masterpiece.

I did find however that there was a little to much of Peekay in this book, and in fact great tracts of it could have been in Power of One.

This still will not stop me from checking every month for the next BC/HB journey to download.

9 people found this helpful

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Typical Bryce Courtney/Humphrey Bower ....awesome

Where does Whitethorn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Though a great book, this is not my favorite Bryce Courtenay book. If you haven't read/listened to The Power of One (my personal favorite), The Potato Factory, Tandia and others, you should treat yourself. As with all his books, you will laugh, cry and experience many emotions. His stories are influenced by his personal experiences growing up during difficult times in South Africa and his life in Australia. I was sad to hear of his death November 22. He will be greatly missed!
Humphrey Bower is by far my favorite narrator. He has an uncanny ability to change his voice and make the characters come alive! Such a talent is rare, you will not be disappointed. It's easy to understand why Bryce Courtenay chose him to read his books...what a great duo! Another book that he narrated beautifully (not Bryce Courtenay's) is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, if you like Bryce Courtenay, you should like this one, too.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Whitethorn

At the beginning of this book I nearly stoped listening because of the harsh circumstances, but just in time things looked brighter. From then on the book becomes a wonderful experience and the whole plot is fascinating right to the end.
The reader is absolutely ingenious and makes the whole book so much more enjoyable to listen to than you could ever imagine if you were merely reading it.

13 people found this helpful

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My Favorite Bryce Courtenay, with a warning

I came very close to completely quiting this book early on, as I have had to do with several other of Bryce's books. There is an act of older male child on younger male child sexual abuse as seen though the younger child's uncomprehending eyes. This is the only act that you "see" but a 2 minute fast forward would remove the worst of it. The incident is essential to plot, but knowing it happened is enough. The book is definately adult themed even without the above episode, but language is remarkably clean. The message is positive and hopeful, the history of South Africa and its challenges are beutifully covered. Tom, the orphan, you follow from 7 - 30 or so, is a delightful innocent soul, and the friends he makes along the way become your friends too. You will meet people from all walks of life, of all levels of morality, but right and goodness are the hero's here. If you liked Power of One, you will like this... as they are very similar.

5 people found this helpful

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Epic, Awesome

How could it have taken me so long to find other Bryce Courtenay books besides The Power of One? Whitethorn was a huge pleasure, made more so by the skill and talent of Humphrey Bower, who adds so much to this book with his reading. Do yourself a huge favor and listen to this book.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

From the moment I started listening I could not stop. The story and plot were very engrossing and Humphrey Bower did a fantastic job of bringing all the characters to life. As previous reviewers have said there is a section of the story right at the beginning of the novel which is quite graphic but once past that point the story is delightful. Very similar to "The Power of One" in many ways so if you enjoyed that, then this is a must read.

4 people found this helpful

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I can not praise this book enough

Would you consider the audio edition of Whitethorn to be better than the print version?

I only do AudioBooks these days.

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

They have all been good, but Whitethorn hold a special place in my heart

Who was the most memorable character of Whitethorn and why?

The Doggie

Any additional comments?

This has to be one of my most favourite books... Possibly #1

As someone who was bullied at boarding school, I identified with the main character.

Loners often only find love and feel comfortable with animals or other outcast human beings.

I will listen to this again soon.

If this book does not make you cry, you don't have a soul....

Thank You Bryce Courtney for this wonderful gift

6 people found this helpful

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Sister Novel To "The Power Of One"

Any additional comments?

I feel like this is the book that Courtenay would have like to have written when he completed The Power Of One. It's a more polished story from a more experienced author, but with a little less heart. It's a good read and I definitely recommend it, but you will see a lot of parallels to The Power Of One...too many for my taste.

1 person found this helpful

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What can I say...it's Bryce Courtenay!

Every time I begin to read a Bryce Courtenay story, I am thinking to myself, "How can this one be as good as the last one I read?", and every time I am quite surprised to find that the one I'm reading is just as fantastic as all the others! His stories are all different, but engaging and interesting all the same.
In this story, which is, incidentally read by the INCOMPARABLE Humphrey Bower (so wonderful and easy to listen to and whose voice is perfect for Bryce's stories) there are characters who fall on hard times and through his/her life experiences, find a way to conquer his/her demons. Going along for the ride, learning for ourselves along the way, make this book, as all the others, great listens.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-19

Loved it

Humphrey Bowers is a most brilliant and entertaining reader and always places me in the culture with his accents and inflections. Great book Mr Courtney. Thank you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • linda goodall
  • 05-28-19

Bryce Courtney's brilliant once again

Loved it! The research, fluency of his writing of event and beliveability of the story is what we expect and receive from this brilliant author.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pierre Sydney
  • 03-29-19

Whitehorn

This book is lengthy but gripping right from the start while finishing in an amazing fashion.

I literally couldn't leave this story and was listening intently in my car and just about everywhere else whenever I had a moment!

Highly recommended. Loved it as well as gained so much additional appreciation about the African continent at that time.

The authors extensive research as well as the recounting by Humphrey Bower (and all the different accents) was exemplary.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-19-18

A truly great book!

A wonderful book. One can i marine it would represent actual happenings that occurred at that time in history. Justice was served!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 02-25-18

A triumph of justice against the odds

Another great book from Bryce with some of his familiar and trade mark sayings and rules of morality. I really enjoy Bryce's books, great value for money, interesting, even captivating and brilliantly narrated by Humphrey Bower ...nobody does it better.

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  • Brad
  • 04-08-17

Great

Another cracking story from BC and the most excellent narration by Humphrey Bower. It would be hard to find a better narrator!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Veronica Josephs
  • 03-20-17

Humphrey Bower is excellent at narrating!

I had looked at this book a few times, but decided to give it a miss.
So glad I finally bought it!
I love the research that goes into Bryce's books. He really helps you 'see' into the worlds he creates. This book will go into my Must Listen To Again library.

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  • Renee
  • 11-21-16

Another unputdownable effort!

Bryce Courtenay's stories are always intriguing, believable, and amazingly interesting. Humphrey Bower delivers the audio in his usual wonderful manner. this is an amazing partnership.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TishRyder
  • 06-03-20

Brilliant writing

Slowly slowly in the beginning, what you don't realise is that you are being sucked in to this remarkable story of the life of Tom and you cant put it down. Brilliant and very well rounded! Loved it!!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-11-18

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

love Bowers performance, he brings every character to life. There's a lot of similar themes to power of one but still a really enjoyable story with important messages and a great insight into south Africas culture.