e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Authors - Courtenay Bryce (Books)

  1-20 of 102 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Jessica
2. Fishing for Stars
3. The Persimmon Tree
4. Solomon's Song. Bryce Courtenay
5. Tommo and Hawk
6. Sylvia
7. Smoky Joe's Cafe
8. April Fool's Day
9. The Power of One: A Novel
10. Tandia
11. Matthew Flinder's Cat
12. Four Fires
13. The Family Frying Pan
14. The Potato Factory
15. The Story of Danny Dunn
16. Brother Fish
17. WhiteThorn
18. The Power of One: Young Readers'
19. The Power of One
20. The Power of One: A Novel [Paperback]

1. Jessica
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: 676 Pages (2006)
-- used & new: US$11.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143004611
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Jessica
An amazing story of courage and challenges, set in the Australian outback, that spans several decades.
Easy to read and understand, and the reader is drawn into the story from the start. You won't be able to put it down!

2-0 out of 5 stars A miserable, depressing book
The blurb of Jessica claims it is, "a testimony to the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity." That simply is not the case. Jessica lives the most awful life ever, and then she dies. The characters who succeed are those who commit crimes and deceive others.

Jessica is the most miserable, tortured book I've ever read. There is no humanity here - just a lot of revolting characters getting away with revolting things - literally even getting away with murder.

It is such a hard book to review, because the writing impressed me in some ways, and yet it was just one depressing event after another, with no balance, no light, and no hope. Not a single laugh or a smile from any of the characters. It was a story that started with Jessica living in a horrible situation, and finished with her dying in an even worse one. It drove me crazy many times over. I've been meaning to read this book since I saw the television miniseries in 2004. Now I remember what maddened me about the miniseries!!

Jessica is set in outback Australia around the time of World War One. The nation of Australia was only a few years old, and still very colonial (yes, we're an embarrassingly young country from a European point of view!), very much a very divided and brand new nation of Aborigines, British settlers and `immigrants'. The bush was still daunting, and farmers were still trying to apply European farming techniques to alien land that could not respond to it. The characters of this story are very much the `hardened Aussie battlers' of folklore - rough and tough and struggling to survive.
Jessica, the main character, is apparently based on a real woman. She is not a society woman or an aspiring society woman as she is expected to be, and as such does not fit in with the women nor the men. It seems everybody has a reason to dislike her - from the young men her age who she is better than at farm work, to her sister and mother who have aspirations of escaping near-poverty through `successful' marriage.
Bryce Courtenay is a brilliant writer, and the level of research that would have been needed to produce this book is simply astounding. The dialogue and the culture are so unique to the rural Australia of that time and Courtenay managed to create such a believable world for his characters to operate in.

There was so much drama here. People lived terrible, miserable lives, and there were so many tragedies. I felt the balance could have been better - about two thirds of the way through I put the book down and went and read something a little less depressing for a few hours (and I'm usually not one to complain about depressing books!!). Though Jessica does become engaged to be married at one point, there is not a single mention of the love between the couple, and yet Courtenay is happy to write about things such as childbirth and murder in great detail. I think he missed some opportunities to present a better story by always going for the cruelty in his characters. I by no means wanted a fairytale, but if a book is this dreadfully depressing - no matter the subject matter - then it is not doing its job.
I would like to know how much of this story is fact, as at times the book read as Cinderella on steroids. The evil mother and sister were comically over the top. There was no good in Jessica's life to go with all the bad, and I wonder if that was truth or just Courtenay torturing his characters too much. It also seemed incredibly convenient that many of the bad things that happened were only so because of a Big Misunderstanding or because characters were keeping secrets for no particular reason.

Courtenay can create with a few words an atmosphere of a time and place, can get a message across before you even realise what's happening. And yet his writing technique is astoundingly annoying. He shifts tense every few sentences - past to present; flashbacks to the `present' day. The first few chapters follow Jessica through an expedition to shoot snakes, and yet we had so many stories from the past told to us that by the time we got back to Jessica in the present day I had completely forgotten what was happening.

There were two main things I liked in this book. Firstly, it's incredibly readable. Secondly, as I said earlier on, the authenticity of the time setting was astounding - the way of speaking and the understanding of turn of the century rural Australian culture and society. It was just so great.

However I have never before been so unhappy when reading and it seemed clear to me Courtenay thrives on the misery of his characters - he actually seemed to struggle with writing anything positive. A book can be written about anything and still present us with some hope, with some faith in humanity. This book was completely devoid of humanity, and that disgusted me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet tale
Jessica warmed my heart and held me captive to the very end.Well-written, it shows how typical sibling rivalry grows into hatred and jealousy, with really no one there to 'save' this young girl from the family who is supposed to love her.The integrity of the main character throughout grows and develops, as she grows into a woman who loses much as time passes, but grows in spirit and determination to right wrongs and become a heroine in her own right and to many in her midst.I would highly recommend this book and this author in particular.His writing style is easy to follow yet very articulate and eloquent.

5-0 out of 5 stars A real treasure
Few people are fortunate enough to be familiar with Bryce Courtenay outside of "The Power of One,"about struggles in apartheid South Africa.This book is a gripping tale about life in the Australian outback.It will make you want to see this part of the land down under for yourself if you have not, and bring back vivid memories of your visit, if you have.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hooked Again
As usual Bryce Courtenay wrote a book about something I didn't think I'd be interested in and by the end I was blubbering like a baby.He's a powerful writer, he's my favorite author, and he doesn't disappoint with Jessica! ... Read more

2. Fishing for Stars
by Bryce Courtenay
Hardcover: 601 Pages (2009-11-12)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$27.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1552788067
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Nicholas Duncan is a semi-retired shipping magnate who resides in idyllic Beautiful Bay in Indonesia, where he is known as the old patriarch of the islands. He is grieving the loss of his beautiful Eurasian wife, Anna, and is suffering for the first time from disturbing flashbacks to WWII, the scene of their first meeting and early love. His other wartime lover is the striking Marg Hamilton, a powerful and influential political player in Australia who has remained close to Nick. Marg suspects Nick is suffering the onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and organises for a specialist to meet with him in Sydney. But when they meet, Tony Freedman stirs long-buried emotions in Nick and the two men don?t hit it off. Nick leaves in an explosion of anger and finds himself in hospital after being hit by a car. Tony visits and encourages Nick to write as a form of therapy ? to write about Anna.So he sets about writing about the woman who has inspired him since his late teens, and in doing so draws us into the compelling tale of the life he has lived post war-hero days building a shipping empire, navigating international corruption, supporting his wife's third-world education crusade and loving the women who inspire him. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Fishing for Stars
I did not read the Persimmon tree...I thought this was a good story, BUT whoever edited it should have chopped at LEAST 100 pages....I found it wordy and repetitive.I could remember the histories of Marg and Anna....did not need to be told them every 20 pages.

3-0 out of 5 stars Poor, even for a sequel
I was very disappointed in this book.It's readable if you've read the persimmon tree, but it only just.Typical sequel.

3-0 out of 5 stars A struggling sequel
This sequel to The Persimmon Tree is unfortunately, something of a disappointment. The worst thing for me was the love triangle of Nick, Anna and Marg that never really comes alive, or gets anywhere close to being believable. The section where Nick and Anna go to Japan is the most interesting, as Courtenay appears to have some knowledge of Japan's underworld, but even here the plot staggers about like Godzilla in Tokyo.

The weakest part is the completely unbelievable development of Anna as the world's richest heroin addict. I mean come on, here is this gorgeous female, a Japanese trained dominatrix with vaginismus (if that isn't enough to make you gag) who cannot give up her heroin habit but who has enough smarts and energy to create a billion dollar business empire. Simply not believable.

I really enjoyed The Persimmon Tree but "Fishing" turned out to be just that - a fishing trip without any fish. ... Read more

3. The Persimmon Tree
by Bryce Courtenay
Hardcover: 711 Pages (2008-10)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$27.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1552787435
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Bryce Courtenays latest novel , The Persimmon Tree, is a big sweeping saga, set among the Pacific Islands and in the Indian Ocean.In the style of Jame Clavell and Jame Michener, it tells the very personal and often romantic stories of men and women caught up in much larger events - in this case starting with the Japanese invasion of Java and the Dutch exodus of the region.The story spans from 1942 and the fall of Singapore and the American landings at Guadalcanal to the ongoing fight against the Japanese for supremacy in the region, and follows the fortunes of a colourful cast of characters. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars he did it again
Another wonderful book . No trouble reading this one. Hard to put down . Wonderful story .

5-0 out of 5 stars "A killer and a lover"

When you read a novel by best-selling Australian author Bryce Courtenay, you're signing on for a big, big book with a panoramic approach to its subject, which is generally historical in nature. Most of Courtenay'sbooksare set in Australia, though some, including his first novel The Power of One (the best-selling Australian book by any living author) are set in his native country, South Africa.

The Persimmon Tree follows the Courtenay pattern of a highly self-sufficient main character facing great adversity. Nick Duncan is a 17-year-old Australian butterfly collector, taking an ill-advised butterfly-hunting vacation in Java in early 1942. The Japanese troops are tearing through the Pacific Islands, unchecked by the British; as they bear down on the Dutch East Indies, the indigenous Javanese are eager to throw their lot in with their own race after 350 years of economic and eventually political dominion by the Netherlands, and the well-fed, indolent Dutch troops are not poised to offer any real resistance.So it's a bad time for a white man to linger in Batavia.

Nick is befriended by a Dutch merchant who wants his yacht sailed out of Java for safety. Nick meets and falls in love with the merchant's beautiful, violet-eyed daughter, Anna, who is half Javanese, and they pledge their love with a commitment that transcends youth and innocence. Nick sets out across the Indian Ocean for Western Australia and on the way witnesses a Japanese atrocity that haunts him throughout the story; he also picks up a wounded American sailor from Chicago. The two men form a deep connection on the voyage.

The middle half of the book tells the story of Anna's war, stranded in Java. Her own horrors are a microcosm of civilian wartime suffering in occupied lands. Can she survive her trials--and more to the point, what will be the damage to her spirit?

Returning to Nick's story, Courtenay places his brave boy on Guadalcanal as an attaché to the U.S. Marines during the bloody period from July to November, 1942. If Nick, now just 18, is a little too brave, strong, sensible and lucky to be real--and maybe, like Forrest Gump, too conveniently turning up at the nexus of things--I find it easy to forgive."The Persimmon Tree" is an epic story of wartime, evoking the Pacific plight at a time when the British were unable to persevere and the "Yanks" took on defense of the region. But as is usual with Bryce Courtenay, its underlying theme is self-reliance.Though I admire this trait, I long for at least a nod to something more holistic, to what author Douglas Adams called "the fundamental inter-connectedness of all things."This quibble reflects my own world view and it never stops me from obsessively reading these huge books until my eyes and arms are aching.

My only other complaint has nothing to do with the book itself: though Bryce Courtenay is famed and respected in Australia, his books are not well-enough distributed in the U.S. I don't think a single one is available for Kindle--come on, the hardcover version of "The Persimmon Tree" has a shipping weight of 2.3 pounds, who wants to hold that up for hours?I was lucky enough to find it from Audible, and the narrator, Humphrey Gower, has a voice well suited to the Australian vernacular running through the book. To those who don't care for audio, however, the astonishing 28 hour production might seem like "hard yakka."I enjoyed every hour, every minute, and was glad to avoid the wear and tear of reading such a huge and wonderful book. If you love epics that showcase the human spirit with great honesty, then you should find this book and read it.

Linda Bulger, 2010

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Story, Start to Finish
As a previous reviewer wrote, I too had become somewhat disenchanted with Bryce Courtenay over the past few years. I thoroughly enjoyed The Power of One and Jessica (the first two Courtenay novels I'd read), but was increasingly disappointed as I made my way though Tandia, Matthew Flinders' Cat and Sylvia. As you probably know, Bryce Courtenay books are not quick reads. They are thick (in many cases, upwards of 800+ pages), the font is small-- and if you're going to read them, you are making a huge time commitment. So when I saw The Persimmmon Tree in the library, I was hesitant to delve into it. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised.

The story begins during 1942 when Nicholas Duncan meets the beautiful Anna van Heerden in the Dutch occupied East Indies. Six weeks after they meet, they are forced to seperate as the Japanese invading forces press closer to the islands each day. Nick sails to Australia, and joins the Allied WWII forces, while Anna (who is half Dutch) struggles to survive in the East Indies under the Japanese occupation.

I loved Anna's story. I loved her tenacity, resilience and resorcefulness. Like many of Courtenay's characters, Anna does not emerge from the war unscathed. Her story was intense and intricate, even (in some places) appalling. However, her character remains determined, generous and strong.

Although I found Nick's story to be less compelling, I nonetheless enjoyed reading about his adventures (and misadventures).

As I approached page 800/840, I started to become uneasy with how Courtney would end the book. Courtney has several novels that end in an abrupt (and in my opinion), unsatisfactory manner. Thankfully (as you can probably tell from my five-star rating) I was content with the conclusion that Courtney chose for the Persimmon Tree. Perhaps next time I won't be so hesitant to pick up another of his novels!

I hope others enjoy this story as much as I did!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read!
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. A plot that thunders along from page one, filled with wonderful characters (I fell in love with the girl with the violet eyes) and fascinating detail. The description of the boat journey to Australia, the Japanese invasion, the Americans and the Australians during WW2 ... wow!

I read it like one possessed, found it hard to put down, despite the fact that it is so thick you need to hold it in both hands and support it on something or your arms start to tremble.

My only complaint is that the paperback version was obviously not proof-read before publication because it is absolutely loaded with typos and formatting errors. It is so bad it looks like a self-published book. Come on, this book deserves better. Courtenay, if I was you, I would complain. The paperback publisher has made a hash of your beautiful work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Courtenay's Persimmon Tree Audio
After having read the wonderful Potato Factory trilogy by this Australian author, I'm thrilled to find another lengthy epic that is very enthralling
from its opening. Bryce Courtenay's books are hard to find in the U.S. and
especially audio.Thanks, Amazon for coming through once again. ... Read more

4. Solomon's Song. Bryce Courtenay
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: 679 Pages (2006-12)
-- used & new: US$10.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143004581
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When Mary Abacus dies, she leaves her business empire in the hands of the warring Solomon family. Hawk Solomon is determined to bring together both sides of the tribe - but it is the new generation who must fight to change the future. Solomons are pitted against Solomons as the families are locked in a bitter struggle that crosses battlefields and continents to reach a powerful conclusion. "Solomon's Song" is a novel of courage and betrayal in which Bryce Courtenay tells the story of Australia's journey to nationhood. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Author--its really 3.5 stars
First, anything by this author is great.My concern with him is he is divorced from a happy ending so I feel emotionally battered after reading his books. Its an experience and there has been growth but its isnt a feel good experience.

This was the last book of a trilogy.The first two books were devastastingly good. This was not as good as the first two. The beginning of this book expounds on the conclusion of the last book beautifully. Book 3 goes into detail on what happened to the characters at the end of book 2.

It wrapped up the the ending of the 2nd book of the trilogy which was extremely thrilling.After the beginning of book 3, the thrilling parts ended.Its not bad, just not as gripping or the pacing of the other novels.Still this is a great author, but of the trilogy, this is the weakest of the 3 books.

Definitely read the book just to find out what on the full extent of what happened after book 2. ... Read more

5. Tommo and Hawk
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: 682 Pages (2007-09-27)
-- used & new: US$9.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143004573
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Tommo and Hawk
Loved the series.Long, but interesting.Gives some history on Australia in a broad sence.

5-0 out of 5 stars tommo and hawk
Great read.Picked right up where The Potato Factory left off.Looking forward to reading Solomons Song!

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
When I received my used book in the mail, Tommo and Hawk, I wanted to start reading it right away BUT there was a large note written inside the front cover from the previous owner -'Do not read this book until you have completed The Potato Factory'!!I am SO glad that I listened and waited for a week until my copy of the Potato Factory arrived - Bryce Courtenay is now one of my very favorite authors - he has a wonderful way of capturing and keeping the readers attention - I couldn't put the book down til the last page - my reading light stayed on many nights til 3 am when I had told myself 'just one more page' !!Now I'm ready for Solomon's Song!

4-0 out of 5 stars TOMMO AND HAWK

5-0 out of 5 stars A New Favorite from a Favorite Author
Bryce Courtenay has been on my list of favorite authors since I read "The Power of One."He does not disappoint in "Tommo and Hawk."

The story of twin boys in Australia, this book enthralls with rich characters and a setting that draws the reader into the early days of European settlement of Australia and New Zealand. The story is filled with historical information, but it is the character development of the twins, their mother, and Maggie Pye that impels the reader through "just one more chapter."

Though not as optomistic in tone or outcome as "The Power of One," "Tommo and Hawk" is even more fascinating.The twins, opposites in every respect except their love for each other, survive misadventures and struggle through until an inevitable, but sorrow-filled ending.

Captivating reading -- five stars! ... Read more

6. Sylvia
by Bryce Courtenay
Mass Market Paperback: Pages (2008)
-- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001U1DJ4W
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Sylvia is a story of the Children's Crusade in the year 1212. It is perhaps the strangest true event to have taken place in European history recreated here from scattered medieval Latin and Arabic texts as the story of Sylvia; a remarkable, talented, and eccentric young woman who prevails over poverty, brutality and bigotry. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Hoistorical narrative around children's crusade
Bryce Courtenay, Sylvia
(Melbourne: Penguin, 2006)

Reviewed by Darren Cronshaw

Sylvia narrates the background and events of the Children's Crusade of 1212. Bryce Courtenay describes this as `perhaps the strangest true event to have taken place in European history' as thousands of children trekked towards Jerusalem inspired by mystical visions. He draws on the few scattered Latin and Arabic texts about the crusade, and gives insights into religion and society of medieval times.

Courtenay's imaginative recreation revolves around Sylvia Honeyeater, born around 1196, and her quest for identity, learning, friendship and compassion. At times she is exposed to wanton cruelty, church corruption, questionable doctrine, self-righteous clergy and political bishops. But she also meets loyal friends, godly churchmen and wise mentors. At times tragic and dark in its themes, the book is a delightful read of a young girl finding her womanhood and a sense of vocation. While others seem too quick to see miracles in her musical abilities and her way with animals, she delights in how God does seem to use her - in compassion to street children, in challenging superstition with reasoned logic and in confronting abuses of power.

I particularly appreciated watching Sylvia develop in her persistent love of learning. She learns from a wondering musician, a Jewish businesswoman and her multilingual husband, prostitute friends and religious scholars. Rather than accepting rote-learning and dogma she learns `argument is the pathway to truth and in discussion lies the seeds of the resolution to most human problems' (p.188). Talking to Jews, for example, led her to question the anti-semitic assumptions of her childhood, and she questions other sacredly-held assumptions of her time including the basis for `miracles', crusades and the absolution of sins.

Typical of Bryce Courtenay's down-to-earth writing, Sylvia does not gloss over the darkness of medieval times but neither does it deny the presence of courage and God at work in mysterious ways. Thus Sylvia offers both insightful background to the tragedy of the children's crusade and inspiring characterisation of an intriguing and intelligent young woman of faith.

Darren Cronshaw is a Baptist pastor who enjoys good books, great movies, long walks and quality Asian food. He reviewed Sylvia originally in Zadok Perspectives No.94 (Autumn, 2007), p.25.

1-0 out of 5 stars not in league with Bryce Courtenay's other titles/audible review
I have listened to every one of BC's books available on Audible and have always been charmed by his sense of character, adventure, and history. He also paints vivid scenery throughout all his stories. Imagine my excitement when I perused here and found he had another novel! This book, I felt, lacked all of the afore mentioned qualities. Here we have a tale of religious zealotry which dwelt far to heavily on philosophy. Also, I was not impressed with his incorporation of historical and mythical? figures such as the pied piper (Gregory McGuire does a better job in Wicked), although I'm not against the idea, he just didn't pull it off. I also didn't like the narrator, she was okay until she spoke in the first person and then she had a really (I'm not kidding) high pitched and reedy tone. Icckk! She also pronounced all of her Vs as Ws since the story took place in Germany, which I found exceedingly irritating. I missed Humphry Bower, perhaps the best audible narrator I've ever heard. The reason I'm writing this review is that I find BC to be the very best author I have found on Audible , especially for long books, and this just didn't measure up. So for fans, I'd pass...

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay
I've read about a half dozen of Bryce Courtenay's novels so far, and I find them very hit and miss. I was a bit disappointed with Sylvia.

Sylvia is an orphaned peasant in 13th century Germany who finds herself blessed with an extraordinary singing voice, an aptitude for learning and mimicking, and a birthmark shaped like a fish. While I generally enjoyed the plot, I found the narrative to be excessively wordy which made it tedious to read. I also found that (like many Courtney novels) "Sylvia" ended rather abruptly.

If you are looking for a read with an interesting character who faces unique circumstances, "Sylvia" will probably satisfy you. But don't expect to be blown away.

5-0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Star review
I love historical fiction, and I absolutely adored this tale by Mr. Courtenay

Sylvia is a passionate story of a down trodden girl who, through trials and travels, learn who she is and what she is truly capable of.

This tale can be - at times - confronting and sad, but it is also a tale of triumph and belief.

Sylvia is a story anyone who enjoys historical fiction will enjoy - of that I have no doubt.

3-0 out of 5 stars Average
Set in 1212, Sylvia tells the story of the Children's Crusade. I am instantly attracted to (most) books set in the medieval period, especially if they have a female as the main protagonist. So I eagerly opened the pages to this book.

Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. Not that my expectations were that high, as I have read a few of Bryce Courtenay's books and apart from Jessica which I really connected with, I found the others verbose or just plain didn't grab me. This was one of the books that I felt didn't grab me. The main Character, Sylvia, felt like an empty shell. I want to read about characters that make me feel emotions, that I can feel what they are going through, feel their pain and their joy. I did not feel this for Sylvia.

The book wasn't so bad, I mean, I did get to the end. But it is nothing special. My favourite character, Reihnheart, based on the old story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, was a delight to read about. He was definitely my favourite character, however was not in the story nearly enough and departed half way through. :'(

Overall, it is banally average. ... Read more

7. Smoky Joe's Cafe
by Bryce Courtenay
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2002-07)

Isbn: 0727858750
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
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. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Vietnam and all...
I thought this was a truly unique story. and do not understand the one/two star reviews. I truly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be readily available; this is discouraging. I am very familiar with events,chronology of the vietnam war etc; ..yet the Australian participation was much more than i thought.I thought the aussies were more of a special forces type small unit; i did not know they sent draftees into very intense combat. All this and more i learned in this book..If you are interested in the vietnam war and are looking for a real good aussie story get this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars smokey's joes cafe

received in good order and condition

adds to my collection of byrce courtney books

thank you very much


4-0 out of 5 stars an awakening
I'm glad I read this book.Wish I had read it 20 years ago, I might have understood more the problems some of the vets were having.

4-0 out of 5 stars Smoky Joe's Cafe
This was a great story about a Australian Vietnam vet and his family and friends.

5-0 out of 5 stars A touching read
As all fiction is based on fact this is a great story. We all know now and even then that agent orange killed more that foliage and the enemy. Its heavy toll came later sadly to many and generations yet to come. This is a great read from the Aussie point of view but as close to the American situation as it could be. Going back in time I would hope all that treated any vet badly can now see what they did and seek forgivness of all of them. This book told the facts and I would suggest everyone of any age read it and understand factual history. ... Read more

8. April Fool's Day
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: 648 Pages (1998-08-06)
list price: US$16.50 -- used & new: US$30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140272933
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The author of THE POWER OF ONE celebrates the life of his son Damon, a haemophiliac, who died from medically acquired AIDS at the age of 24. He also condemns the medical approach taken towards AIDS and describes how he and his family coped with Damon's haemophilia and early death. Originally published in 1995 by Heinemann. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

5-0 out of 5 stars Courtenay always hits a home run
Courtenay, author of The Power of One and Tanya, as well as Matthew Flinders' Cat and many other works of fiction (or possibly thinly disguised memoir?) hits the ball out of the park with this tribute to a son, Bryce. The blurb on the back cover of my paperback says it best: "A testimony to the power of love...also about understanding: how when we confront our worst, we can become our best. This life-affirming book will change the way you think." I couldn't have said it better.B.C. deserves a lot more exposure in the U.S. than he ever gets; check out his other books on his beautiful website and on Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars A challenge
APRIL FOOL'S DAY was the hardest book Bryce Courtenay ever wrote, and it's also one of the hardest books I ever read.I started it (the first time) on a Friday evening and did nothing but read (and occasionally try to sleep) until I had finished it -- I couldn't imagine stepping out of the middle of the story into my own life.I've read this book, given it away, bought it again, several times: it's not a book you can forget.

Courtenay's son Damon was born in Australia with severe haemophilia.Along with the moving story of an afflicted but strong-spirited boy, Courtenay paints a bitter and angry picture of the Australian medical community at that time, steeped in paternalism and political expediency.

Several times a week Damon would bleed into his joints, and his father would take him to the hospital for infusion of Factor VIII to induce clotting.In other countries families were allowed to stock Factor VIII and infuse at home, minimizing both disruption to the family and permanent damage to joints.This was not permitted in Australia, to the extreme detriment of haemophiliacs and their families.

Worse than this, the screening and fractionation of donated blood in Australia did not at that time meet safety standards known and required in other countries.Damon contracted AIDS from the contaminated Australian blood supply and died of that disease on April Fool's Day in 1991.

The book is saturated with the author's bitterness, and the reader can't fail to walk his angry path with him.You WANT it to have been different, you WANT to find a justification or at least an exculpationfor the medical mismanagement of Damon and the entire cohort of haemophiliacs in that time and place.

You'll find a celebration of Damon's spirit and his family's faithful support.You'll find love that fights tooth and nail for Damon.But you won't find forgiveness or exoneration, and if you're like me you'll think you should, and keep reading the book again looking for it -- in yourself if not in the author.

Courtenay's work (THE POWER OF ONE, TANDIA, WHITETHORN, etc) appears not to be well known in the United States, although he's highly regarded in his birth county (South Africa) and adopted country (Australia).APRIL FOOL'S DAY should be more widely known. It's a challenging read with a personal message the reader has to translate and tease apart. Read it for that challenge.

5-0 out of 5 stars boo hooooo
I gotta say one thing; WELL DONE BRYCE!!!! first, i didn't cry; i'm not real sentimental, but i was very touched and i think that damon was a man of steel; going through 24 years of pain and suffering. i wanted to cry when damon's friends came over. well done, courtenays.

5-0 out of 5 stars A heartbreaking story full of love and life!
This book affected me so deeply and has stayed with me since I first read it years ago.Having lost a loved one to AIDS I could relate to Bryce Courtenay's pain and I could feel the anger and passion he felt writing this book.Through Bryce's amazing talent for telling a story I felt I really knew Damon and his family.When I got to the last page I let out a deep sigh and cried for Damon, for my own loved one and for everyone affected by AIDS.I thank Bryce for having the courage to write this important book and for sharing Damon's life with us all.

I've read several of Bryce Courtenay's books and every one is a gem.I'm only disappointed that his books are not published in The United States and not readily available in our local bookstores.

I highly recommend this book to everyone and I know you'll be hooked on Bryce forever afterward.

5-0 out of 5 stars You will cry while reading this book, for it's all truth.
I am a fan of Bryce Courtenay, and have read all his books. This one tells the true story of his last son, Damon, who was born with haemophilia and went through a very hard life, still one full of love and joy. I found myself crying for what happened to Damon, from the purple head episode in hospital to the AIDS he caught during a blood transfusion. And I do completely agree with what Damon said, whatever your problem is, HEALTH is a gift, the most precious one we possess, together with LOVE. The book is about love against the odds, the prejudice, the injustice of a health and political system in Australia in the 1980s; it is full of details and vivid images, and I can imagine how hard it was for the author to write about his own experience, and the suffering in trying to explain in a clear way what exactly happened to him and his family those days. Everyone who has been through a quite serious illness will love this book, as I did. Thanks, Bryce. ... Read more

9. The Power of One: A Novel
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: 544 Pages (1996-09-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034541005X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In this magical novel, an irresistible boy tells the story of his survival and coming of age against the background of South Africa during and just after World War II. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (408)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but a bit pompous
This book has a lot of good detail and is an interesting story with some good lessons intertwined, especially about believing in yourself and on the negative aspects of racism. The first part of the book was delightful. Then it seemed so predictable and quite frankly a bit pompous. The man character seemed to have things go a little too smoothly and have a bit of too much good luck.A nice tale, but unrealistic as to how children behave and interact, even in the circumstances of this character.
I got bored and felt like I was reading a version of Forest Gump, albeit with a smarter kid and in a different country.

3-0 out of 5 stars the power of one
A beautiful and descriptive narrative of the life of an English boy. His human spirit is compelling, passionate and tough as he survives the rigors of boarding school with Africaans-the Dutch; the seemingly sworn enemies of the British.
Peekay overcomes this and goes on to boxing championships, not easy for his moderate frame. He learns everything he can from every one who crosses his path. Anything for his ultimate success in South Africa. Full of positive forces incredably un-related to race. I enjoyed the book and film, but, wished there was a bit more light shed on apartheid.
By Elizabeth Laine, author of, "A Butterfly Landed an Eagle".

3-0 out of 5 stars When Buying From Amazon Check the Postage Charges Carefully
I recently purchased a $7.00 book from Amazon.When I received my invoice I could not believe that it came to nearly $40.When I e-mailed them to find out how this could be I receved a very terse reply stating that it was on the page I ordered from, however I was unable to find it.I will be very wary of ordering from them in the future.


4-0 out of 5 stars South Africa
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!It's one of those stories that you just don't want to end.A real good read.Buy it, you won't be dissappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maggie
Absolutely one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read! I love Bryce Courtenay's style of writing. He is by far one of the greatest writers ever. Look out Stephen King!! I thought the Australian Trilogy was wonderful but The Power of One was right up there with the others. Please, Mr Courtenay, do not stop writing as I enjoy your books tremendously! ... Read more

10. Tandia
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: 920 Pages (1998-08-31)
list price: US$16.50 -- used & new: US$12.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140272925
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Tandia is a child of all Africa: half Indian, half African, beautiful and intelligent, she is only sixteen when she is first brutalised by the police. Her fear of the white man leads her to join the black resistance movement. With her in the fight for justice is the one white man Tandia can trust, the welterweight champion of the world, Peekay. Now he must fight their common enemy in order to save both their lives. A compelling story of good and evil from Australia's most popular storyteller, Bryce Courtenay. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (71)

3-0 out of 5 stars Tandia
An eye-opener to apartheid in South Africa. Thank God that regime has ended, but, not before Africans suffered such brutality as did Tandia. I read it as a sequel to, "The power of One".
In that context, does Tandia have a good chance with Peekay? Is their relationship possible? Is it realistic? Does it survive all the obstacles like children, living in (which) community?
After reading this book I was left with more questions than answers and a definite depression for her loss of innocence in the most brutal and tragic of ways. She was treated as less than human. No emotional healing can come from any relationship, survive though she did.
By Elizabeth Laine, author of, "A Butterfly landed an Eagle".

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful book
Like just about every other (US)reader, I picked up the Power of One, and loved it.Funny thing, it took me 3 attempts to really get into it, but then I was HOOKED!I read it like a dog on a hamhock.I couldn't put it down, I put off doing the laundry, and even called in sick to work one day!After I finished it, and my fiancee was worried about my seemingly insane crying jags during the book, I knew I had to have more from Bryce Courtenay.I searched Amazon for a new book, and Tandia came up as an option.I read the blub and it was a sequel!!!I was so happy, I immediately ordered it, along with 3 other B Courtenay books (the Austrailia series.)Long story short, it is a work of art.An amazing book that again prompted crying jags.Pit's in my stomach and piled up laundry!At about the 1/3 mark, my copy disappeared.I had read it into the night the night before, then they next day after I went to work, it was gone!!!!!!I searched and searched!I tried for days to find it.I knew it had to be around somewhere!Eventually I decided to read the Potato Factory...I couldn't get into it, because I was still immersed in Peekay, Hymie, Tandia, and Mama Tequila.Would you believe I ordered it (again!) from Amazon?I was so glad!!!I rarely read books twice, and have never bought a book twice, but it was so worth it!Anyway, the book actually did turn up months later... In 10th grade at our local high school, they watched the movie for the Power of One.My son's friend visited, saw the author and the write up on the back of the book and asked my son if he could borrow it!!!!!!!!He finished it, and loaned it to two other teenage boys that had seen the movie.Then returned my much worn copy.Our library system only had the Power of One, so I donated my extra copy to the library, so other kids can access it.

I understand that this review has more to do with my experience with this book, than with the story itself.The book is amazing and so well put together, it would be impossible for me to write a synopsis of value that isn't already posted here.My intent is simply to share the compelling nature of this story.For what it's worth, I've since read the Austrailian series, Potato Factory, Tommo and Hawk, and Solomons Song, and each of them is as magnificent!After I'd put Tandia to rest, I was able to wrap my mind around Ikey and his family :)

2-0 out of 5 stars disappointed
half way through the book and I think I'm going to just drop it.Bought it because I loved Power of one.But I am bored... not grabbing me and too much description of uninteresting things, at least uninteresting to me.

4-0 out of 5 stars How Could I NOT Like It?
I am unable to give a thorough review as I have not read this novel yet. However, it is said to be a sequel to The Power of One: A Novel, which is my favorite novel ever. The author, Bryce Courtenay, writes beatifully. His pages are filled with pictures that he has painted with his words. I hope to be able to start Tandia (Sequel to the Power of One) (New Edition) soon. If I am all wrong and it is not as great as I expect it to be, I will come back and emend this review.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tandia
Tandia is an absolutely wonderful book. It's a must read if you loved, The Power of One. ... Read more

11. Matthew Flinder's Cat
by Bryce Courtenay
 Paperback: Pages (2006)
-- used & new: US$36.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0044N5108
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars The roles of Trim the cat
This is a difficult novel to define. The three main characters are the street dwelling alcoholic, Billy O'Shannessy, Ryan Sanfrancesco the 11 year old streetwise boy whose future is at risk, and Trim (Matthew Flinders's cat). Trim was, apparently, the first cat to circumnavigate Australia (1801 to 1803) when he accompanied Matthew Flinders.

Potentially, there are at least three stories in this book.The one I focussed on, and enjoyed the most, was the role of Trim, as developed in Billy's imagination and then researched, in saving Billy and Ryan.

The stories of Billy and Ryan did not engage me as much as Trim, yet I enjoyed the way Mr Courtenay wove the separate stories together. There are no real heroes in this story, and yet there is hope.And a kind of irony in that Trim the cat, who was part of the voyages that helped define Australia still has a contemporary role.

Recommended.An interesting, if quirky, novel.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

3-0 out of 5 stars An Aussie and a Cat lover
I love cats and was born but not raised in Australia. I enjoyed this book for all of it's Australian setting, characters and lingo. I found some of the subject matter a bit troubling but am naive to the seedier side of real-life for so many. It was a great mix of past and present, swashbuckling and the settling of Australia and modern day sleazy city life and struggle. I liked it enough that I now search out all books Bryce Courtenay has written and pick and choose the ones with best reviews. I am really, really enjoying "Four Fires".

5-0 out of 5 stars What's In This Guy's Briefcase? Let's Rob Him And Find Out!
Reading this book requires an immense "Suspension Of Disbelief" on the part of the reader which I could not quite accomplish. In this book the reader is intoduced to Billy, an ex lawyer turned Homeless Street Alcoholic. Billy sleeps on a park bench with a briefcase handcuffed to his arm!!!One gets the impression that Billy and his briefcase would be separated from each other in about 5 minutes on the mean Homeless Streets of Sydney, Australia and he would be lucky to keep his hand in the process. Instead of being totally absorbed in his quest to find the next available drink ( just like any typical street drunk would do) Billy meets a young boy by the name of Ryan who he takes a liking to. Billy entertains Ryan with fanciful invented tales just like any good lawyer .Ryan has troubles of his own and Billy goes to great lengths to help him. Any resemblance to any real street drunk in this book is purely coincidental. I give this book 5 stars because Mr. Courtenay has written a few good books although this is not one of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read.
What a beautifully written and compelling book. Reading this was a genuine 'I can't put it down' experience.
Courtney tells the tale of an ex-lawyer turned to alcoholism after a family tragedy, living on the streets of Sydney, Australia. His struggle with his demons, and with his compassionate soul is portrayed in an immensively readable and, for me, emotional manner. Several times while reading this book I grabbed members of my poor family and forced them to share the latest 'moment' with me......highly recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars Soap opera current affairs
This is the first Bryce Courtenay I've ever read, and having heard much about him and his popularity, I have to say I was staggered by how poor it was.The research involved is thorough, points for that, but as far as telling a story, alas!!

This is the sort of thing I would expect from a prepubescent at a creative writing short course.There is no conciseness -- where one or two well phrased sentences would convey an idea well, we get half a page of banter which is largely a repeat of earlier exposition, as if the author feels he has to remind us of the thesis of his writing.

The characters are to some extents well developed, but not enough for this reader to care one way or another about them.The author seems to want to give everyone in the book a laconic australian (lowercase deliberate) flavour, and his treatment of some of the characters, eg Con the Greek cafe owner, was xenophobic and patronising.

The inner story of Matthew Flinders cat was also a bemusing choice of story craft.Maybe this reviewer's missing a point, but I saw little in the way of any parallels between the main plot and this inner plot, except for some superficial connections to the main character's recovery from alcoholism.Here too we see a rather comic book telling of the history, having the cat rendered as an irritating anthropomorphic caricature which insults the true nature of felines.

In a nutshell, it was like watching a combination of a tabloid current affairs show and a soap opera, only in book form.It will be the last Courtenay book I read without hearing of a spectacular improvement in style from him. ... Read more

12. Four Fires
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: 800 Pages (2003-11-27)
list price: US$16.50 -- used & new: US$12.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0141011440
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The story of a small-town, fifth-generation, Irish-Australian Catholic family struggling to reach the first rung of the social ladder. Their lives are forged by the "the four fires" - passion, religion, warfare and fire itself. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars A great story, lots of good information about Australia too
Author of the wonderful Power of One, Four Fires is about a family in a small town who consider themselves (as does the town) the bottom of their social world and yet as the novel develops turn out actually to be the best in every sense:adventurous, courageous, indomitable, imaginative and most of all -- unfettered and unbound by narrow social convention.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fabulous story of a family's triumph.
I'm writing this in the midst of California wild fire season (and, seriously, I only have to walk outside to smell the smoke) to recommend the most AMAZING novel I've read in months.

I can't say enough about how wonderful this book is. It's the story of a family in Australia who are at the very bottom of the social ladder (they are garbage collectors, and the dad is usually in jail) struggling to find a place in the world. The narrator is the youngest son (Mole Maloney), who, like his father and grandfather, becomes one of the most gifted bush firefighters in his region. He accompanies a slew of wonderful family members and close friends as he tells the story of his familly's adventures through the years between WWII and the Viet Nam war.

Each member of the Maloney family is a fabulous, admirable character. By the end of the book you just want to erect a monument to all of them. It's wonderfully moving, and quintessentially Australian. I can't rave about it enough.I cried multiple times when reading this book. It's just fantastic.

Bryce Courtenay's other novels are equally great, if you haven't read them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Overrated, Overwritten and Overhyped!!!
This book is a narration by Mole, an Irish Catholic kid whose mother is of such loose moral character that she has had 4 different children from 4 different men. BUT she does go to Church on Sunday which I guess is Mr. Courtenay's way of telling the reader that she is not a slut after all. Mole's father (or his stepfather I think) is what Australians refer to as a "Bludger Piss Artist' which means he doesn't work and spends most of his time in Prison or drinking.However every time there is a bush fire Tommy becomesthe local Fire Fighting Hero and then EVERYBODY wants to buy him a drink at the Pub so he does have his 15 minutes of fame. Mole's sister has inherited her Mother's loose moral character and wants to go to University when she is pregnant. Maybe she wanted to study hard and discover JUST WHO the father of her unborn child was. This is a very disappointing effort from a writer who has produced better works than this which is why I give this book 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Courtenay does it again!
Bryce Courtenay is such a great writer! I love the Australian history and the power of love Bryce often writes about.I wish he could write faster!

5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book with inspiring characters
This has become one of my favourite books.It is more than just the story of a poor family.It shows us the prejudices that live inside even the most honourable of people. It shows that strength of character and doing what is right can be the biggest challenge of all.These characters face incredible obstacles and get help from where they least expect it and turned away by people who should help them.It allows you a glimpse of the complex inner workings of a society as experienced by the characters.Ranks right up there with Bryce Courtneay's "Power of One".Excellent read!I couldn't put it down and I was sad when it was over. ... Read more

13. The Family Frying Pan
by Bryce Courtenay
Hardcover: 291 Pages (2002-05)
list price: US$35.00
Isbn: 0855616997
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Mrs Moses is a small woman with a big heart and enormous courage. The only survivor of a Cossack raid on her village, she takes with her a big cast-iron frying pan, so heavy that she can only sling it over her back. Yet this is no ordinary frying panit's The Family Frying Pan, blessed with a Russian soul. From this frying pan Mrs Moses manages to feed the various refugees who are travelling with her across Russia to freedom. In return, each of the group must tell a story around the campfire at nightstories of compassion and bravery, of human frailty and, above all, of hope. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bloody Brilliant!
Whoa! This book has it all! It has its sad moments, sad enough to make you cry. The characters's hope is heart warming. An the outcome is absolutely inspiring!

The story in a nutshell is about a group of Russians who have escaped and fled there invaded village to find a new place to live their lives in peace. Everyday this group of refugees, who have all different backgrounds and personalities, have to walk across Russia in the snow. The main character (can't remember her name) leads the group and everynight she takes out her large iron frying and the group all put what scraps and pieces of food in the pan and cook just enough food to stay alive. While eating, each night a person will tell a story. Some are tragic, sad, inspiring, mysterious and all are unique. The ending of this Novel is truly inspiring!

The Family Frying Pan is a novel different from Bryce's other ones. And isn't his usual type of story. When I first saw it I though it was a cookbook. Anyway it's probably my favourite book and is really, i mean REALLY worth reading! So go pick it up! Hope you all like it! It would make a great movie, Hopefully one day it is! Great work there Bryce Courtney!

4-0 out of 5 stars Truth More Fascinating than Fiction
The true life stories of a small group of Russian refugees...stories of murder, fame, tragedy.Stories told to the author years later by the former "leader" of this band of refugees.Amazing.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best
I have been a big fan of Bryce Courtenay's books ever since a friend lent me The Power of One 11 years ago which is to this day still one of my favorite books. I was disappointed in this one. It is more of a collection of short stories tied together very loosely by their being told while dinner was cooking. Most of the stories are rather unbelievable and lacking the usual powerful imagery that Courtenay does so well. I recently read Four Fires and if you are looking for a new Courtenay book to spend some time with, I would personally point you in that direction. ... Read more

14. The Potato Factory
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: 852 Pages (1998-08-31)
list price: US$16.50 -- used & new: US$12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140273654
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars All three Austrialin Trilogy books
Before I read The Potato Factory, I had not heard of Bryce Courtenay. After reading all three of the Triology books, I am now his number one fan. He has a way of writing that makes you think you are there witnessing everything. I love his style. He is truly an excellent author.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Potato Factory
Read all three books.Very long books, but very much enjoyed.Great "crummy, stay in the house" books to read. Keeps you glued to the books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
The Potato factory was by far the best of the three books in the series. These are works of fiction, however it makes me feel very lucky not to have been born or raised in England during the 18 & 19th century.The lack of concern for people less fortunate and the opression of the wealthy. Perhaps it has always been this way, but Bryce Courtenay has painted a beautiful picture of hardships in the settling of the frontier of Australia.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love Bryce's books - and this is his BEST
I do NOT understand why Bryce Courtenay is still so unknown in the U.S., as he is a genius!This story is typical Courtenay - struggles after struggles with the most richly developed characters, and a feeling at the end that there is goodness in the world.

Potato Factory has a wonderful main character whom you love to hate.The plot has twists and turns, the characters are multi-dimensional, and you won't want to turn the last page (but, alas! there is a sequel).I'd highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
Excellent read. I really liked this book. Starts out in England, 1820s, ends in "Tasmania." Great characterization. Highly recommended. ... Read more

15. The Story of Danny Dunn
by Bryce Courtenay
Hardcover: 500 Pages (2009)

Isbn: 0670073342
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Some life lessons to be learnt...
I purchased the audio version of this book on [...] and enjoyed it every day to and from work.Most days I couldn't wait to get 'stuck' in traffic to continue listening to the story.I found the story as well as the characters very enjoyable.If you are someone that gets emotionally drawn into a book, you might find yourself drained after this book and sad that it's over.This is one of those perfect books for the long winter nights, but be prepared to lose some sleep in the process... ... Read more

16. Brother Fish
by Bryce Courtenay
Mass Market Paperback: 1078 Pages (2006)

Isbn: 1552785920
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bryce Courtenay does it again
I've read "The Power of One" and then "Tandia". Both books were amazing, but then I stopped for a while read a few other books and now am just about done with "Brother Fish" and Bryce Courtenay has done it again, this book was amazing. At first I thought, 1000 pages?!?! But honestly I wish it was 2000, couldn't put it down. I am on a mission now to read all his books.

5-0 out of 5 stars brother fish
simply pure bryce courtenay. great character developmenment and inspirational. great book for anyone who feels sorry for themselves and doesn't appreciate how good they have it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brother Fish
Brother Fish

I am becoming quite a big Bryce Courtenay fan.I read "The Power of One" several years ago and as many of his other books as I can get my hands on since then.I have just completed "Brother Fish" and am again amazed by Courtenay's ability to create such real characters, fascinating plots, and to take me to so many interesting places. His characters are people that I would like to meet and at the same time I feel that I know.While I am not generally a war story reader I was drawn into the narrative by Courtenay's story telling ability.I could hardly put the book down.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Little Too Fishy For Me...
This is a hard book to review. Parts of it enthralled me, but at the same time, one cannot be unaware of its huge deficiencies.It's a doorstop of a book, and rightfully so. There are at least three separate stories in there, maybe four. Or five. Anyway, first of all, we have Jacko's tale. An unprepossessing lad from a dot of an island off the Tasmanian coast, his family is made up of average joes, and Jacko's mom terms them "not worth a pinch of the proverbial," and she is not referring to salt.Jacko enlists in the army during the Korean conflict and is taken prisoner.He survives horrendous conditions, returns home, and becomes a successful seafood entrepreneur.Okay, that's book one.Book two is about James Pentecost Oldcorn, a Black American GI who is meets up with Jacko when both are prisoners of war. Jimmie Oldcorn is not human. He is larger than life, heroic and selfless beyond sainthood, and probably the most patronizingly written Black character in a novel since Uncle Remus. He repeatedly saves Jacko's life, organizes the POWs, saves their lives, confronts their Chinese and Korean captors, improves POW morale, andbecomes Jacko's lifelong best friend and business partner.The Jimmy Oldcorn part of the book is so overwrought and the character such a cheap cartoon, it was almost painful to read.Jimmie's dialect is utterly ridiculous. He is an intelligent, resourceful, brave man, but he jabbers away in nonsense syllables.I have a feeling that Bryce Courtenay had no idea how a Black New Yorker would sound, and his thought process was as follows: "I'll throw in some basic New York accent(where Jimmie was born and raised), leaven with some Uncle Tom's Cabin and Song of the South to reinforce that he's Black." Unfortunately, the dialect is neither New York, Southern, or anything else any real person every spoke. And the way Courtenay depicts Jimmie made me want to toss the book out the door.Jimmie is a whiz with the ladies.Women of the island (who never met a man of color before and apparently were immune to Australia's prevalent racism and "White Australia" policy and equally immune to Australia's appalling attitudes toward their own Aboriginals) lined up to have sex with him and bear his children out of wedlock. Why, heck, Ol' Jimmie was such a nice guy, men were eager to marry up with women who bore his children...it was a badge of honor.Yeah, right. The same people who designated their own indiginous people as "fauna" -- native animal life, were going to open their arms and, well, whatever, to a Black American.Uh huh. I said it was a patronising depiction earlier...I was wrong. It is beyond patronising.The "racism" crops up when Jimmie confronts the "White Australia" immigration policy, but that's solved and Jimmie gets to go back to talking gibberish and behaving heroically.And then there is Book 3, the story of Countess Nicole Lenoir Jourdan, aka Lily No Gin, aka Shanghai Lil.No, I'm not making that up. WOuld that I were.Again, a fascinating story becomes so overblown, it loses all touch with reality.All three stories are intricately connected. Jimmie Oldcorn is, indeed, a hero, if only he had been written as a real person, not a cartoon black, complete with a dialect that is so thick it's comical (although Jimmie speaks the King's English impeccably -- with American, English and Australian accents and intonations when he so chooses).The Countess is merely Deus ex Machina, dropping in to save the day until the last 3rd of the book, when we learn of her improbably--yet fascinating--life story.Anyway, if you want a good read, this is certainly the book. Just try not using all your brain cells when you read it...if you have all your faculties in full gear, the book will drive you nuts.I have not read "Power of One" or any other of Courtenays seemingly endless stream of books.I just ordered "The Potato Factory" trilogy and hope it's as good as the best parts of "Brother Fish" but without the hyperbole and nonsense.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read!
I loved this book.My favorite book of all time is "The Power Of One", and Brother Fish comes a very very close second!Byrce Courtenay has incredible flashes of brilliance in his writing.Can't wait for the next book! ... Read more

17. WhiteThorn
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: Pages (2008)
-- used & new: US$10.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000TAHTIW
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Whitethorn
I haven't had the opportunity to read this book yet, but I've read many other books by Bryce Courtenay and have thoroughly enjoyed every one. One of my favorite books of all times is his "The Power of One". Amazon.com is the only place I could get his books(other than "The Power of One"). Apparently, because he's in Australia, his books aren't widely known here in the U.S. I would like thank you for recently putting his books on Kindle. "WhiteThorn" sounds very similar to "The Power of One" so I'm positive I shall love reading it. Based on all his other books, I'm going to give this one 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent service
Purchased Bryce Courtenay'sWhitethorn.His books are hard to find in the US.Usually have to get them from Canada or Uk.Sevice was excellent and book was as listed.DWDiboll TX

5-0 out of 5 stars Whitethorn by Bryce Courtenay
A Novel of Africa

ByBryce Courtenay

Reviewed by Roger Seeman, Pretoria, South Africa.

This is not a book for the squeamish, if you love children. But even the squeamish will be unable to resist turning its 671 pages, such is the compulsion to find out what life holds in store for illegitimate Tom Fitzsaxby, abandoned in an orphanage in South Africa at age four.

Overwhelmed by Afrikaans orphans who have been taught, from pulpit and at daily breakfast lectures, to hate everything English, and to idolize Hitler, English-born Tom is made to feel personally responsible for the deaths of Afrikaaner women and children in British concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War. Defenseless, he is brutalized physically and verbally. But one man, a Zulu labourer in the orphanage, and Tom's father-figure, rescues him from a degrading situation - and is murdered as a result.

But Tom's intelligence is recognized by a kindly Afrikaans student teacher who sets in motion a chain of events that transforms his life. This enables him to escape the orphanage at a relatively early age, achieve academic honours, and to avenge the murder of the Zulu labourer. Tom's adventures take him beyond the borders of South Africa, and lead to him getting caught up in the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya.

Written in the first person, Tom's experiences are told in graphically disturbing, but often heart-warming detail. The language of the book is not always the Queen's English, but it is the only language Tom knows, and it is not without some humour. The frequent use of Afrikaans words and phrases is brilliantly handled by the author so that even non-South African readers cannot fail to understand their meanings. There is also a glossary to aid this understanding, but unfortunately one only discovers this once one has turned the last page.

Whitethorn is strongly autobiographical, the author himself having been born illegitimately (See www.brycecourtenay.com), and who has an intimate knowledge of all he writes about in this book.A splendid read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Master story-teller.
I'm an avid Bryce Courtenay and Wilbur Smith fan.Having visited New Zealand several times, I'm somewhat familiar with the history of that part of the world. Like Courtenay's other novels, this is a must read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Deja Vu?
I have to preface this by saying I LOVE Bryce Courtenay's body of work.I have read 90% of his books and even picked up some of them while I was in Australia - devastated that I missed his book signing by one day.I have written to him and received a reply.Power of One is my favorite book of all time.

That said, I was thrilled to find another big book available from Mr. Courtenay.I bought it as a summer read to make my travels evenmore interesting.

I was so caught by the similarities in the beginning.To add to the first list of similiarites - PK had a chicken - Tom has a dog (both well trained amazingly).There are still chickensin the story.

Bad nicknames (Pisskop for Peekay) and get away mongrel dog for Tom.Miss Philips is the professor.

I am not quite done with the book and checked this out to see what everyone else thought of such a similar book coming from such an extraordinary author that surely this was not something he needed to fallback on??

To hear there are Rhodesian mines in this book, etc., is disappointing.

This does not take away from my love of Power of One or of Mr. Courtenay's writing.But what was the publisher and author thinking?

Again if you haven't read Power of One you will love this book.But those of us in love with the characters in Power of One will resent their dilution by such similar characters.

As I mentioned, I am not finished yet so I wonder - is there a big huge woman in this book?There usually is in all of his books - not just the Power of One series.

Regretfully signed,
Judy Hervall ... Read more

18. The Power of One: Young Readers' Condensed Edit
by Bryce Courtenay
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2007-07-10)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440239133
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In 1939, hatred took root in South Africa, where the seeds of apartheid were newly sown. There a boy called Peekay was born. He spoke the wrong language–English. He was nursed by a woman of the wrong color–black. His childhood was marked by humiliation and abandonment. Yet he vowed to survive–he would become welterweight champion of the world, he would dream heroic dreams.
But his dreams were nothing compared to what awaited him. For he embarked on an epic journey, where he would learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the mystical power that would sustain him even when it appeared that villainy would rule the world: The Power of One.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars CONDENSED version
I did not know I ordered the condensed version!I passed it on to a kid I know.I have read the uncondensed version and loved it, so I wanted to give it to my daughter... but not the condensed version:(

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power of One
THEPOWER OF ONE and THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE-Two totally dissimilar books but each read avidly by middle school kids across the world- It helps if the teacher provides a background of the Boer War, Apartheid and the Blitz but after that-the kids eat up these two.The strength of the two is in the "power of one" but more than that both books have stories and plots and the good guy wins!

5-0 out of 5 stars book club
Arrived on time-I like the product, would order from this company again. I read this in high school and recenlty re-read it. Glad I did.

2-0 out of 5 stars Young Adult Version disappointing
I enjoyed the adult version of this book very much, and thought it would be edifying for young adults.I wanted to offer it to a friend who's a teacher.I thought the author would condense this book by removing some of the description and more adult side stories.Unfortunately, instead of presenting the whole story in a condensed form, the book is only half of the story.Also, it continues to contain profanity, which renders it unacceptable for public schools.I cannot recommend this book.

Like the Kite Runner, this is a great come "full circle" book.Hard to put down.You will not be disappointed. ... Read more

19. The Power of One
by Bryce Courtenay
Paperback: 640 Pages (1998-08-06)
list price: US$18.60 -- used & new: US$11.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140272917
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
No stranger to the injustice of racial hatred, five-year-old Peekay learns the hard way the first secret of survival and self-preservation - the power of one. An encounter with amateur boxer Hoppie Groenewald inspires in Peekay a fiery ambition - to be welterweight champion of the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book that I've ever read, and re-read
I don't think I left the couch for a couple of days when I started reading the Power of One. The descriptions used by Courtenay of the land and the lifestyles of the characters are second to none. I have probably re-read the book 10 times, and each time I smile at the same places and cry at the same places. It doesn't matter that I know what's happening or coming up, because I fell in love with Peekay the first time I read the book, and I can't seem to help myself returning to his life and reading about it all over again. The sounds of the train running on the tracks, the feeling of sorrow ina small boy's heart, and the smell of the boxing gym are just some of the powerful images in the Power of One. This is a must read book for everyone, and a great book to develop the love of reading in a friend. ... Read more

20. The Power of One: A Novel [Paperback]
by Bryce Courtenay (Author)
Unknown Binding: Pages (1996)
-- used & new: US$13.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003KP60HY
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Power of One review
The Power of One is a wonderful book that I have read several times and would recommend it to anyone from teenager to adult.

The reason for the 4 star review is for the cover of the edtion that I received.It was not the one pictured on Amazon website and does not do justice for the book.I had orderd this copy for a friend and was surprised by the cover art work (boy holding an airplane).I wanted to return it but felt it wasn't worth the hassle.

To summarize - I love the book..but not pleased with amazon.

... Read more

  1-20 of 102 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats