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Summary

When the Great War ends, Joshua Connor, a grieving farmer and sometime water diviner from the Mallee in Victoria, sets out to fulfil his wife's dying wish – to travel to Gallipoli to recover the bodies of his three sons and bury them in consecrated ground.

Crescent collides with cross, and hope with reason as he discovers that his eldest son, Art, may still be alive. When Connor makes a desperate dash into the perilous heart of Anatolia one question haunts him: if Art is alive, why hasn't he come home?

This is not a war novel, not even an anti-war novel. Instead it focuses on the battles that go on inside the hearts and minds of a small group of Australians and Turks as they struggle to bury their dead and rebuild their lives after the First World War. The story is based on first-hand resources, diaries and official records.

©2014 Andrew Anastasios (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"Veteran Australian actor Jack Thompson narrates his first audiobook with dazzling success.... Thompson's subtle performance expresses the fierce passions of the characters with powerful resonance. The audiobook simply sweeps you up and tangles you in an extraordinary story.... Powerful to the end, this is a listening saga that stays with you." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

spellbinding beautiful.

I saw.the.film in Fethiye Turkey I was.so pleased to listen to this book, it filled the gaps in this lovely historically accurate book.. I was able.to visualise the missing scenes from the film smiling now....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ideal holiday listen

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

I'd recommend this in a heartbeat because it''s a fast-moving narrative, beautifully spoken.

What did you like best about this story?

Jack Thompson, the reader is terrific. He creates terrific characters and really brings the story alive.

Have you listened to any of Jack Thompson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I couldn't listen to this in one go but it's tempting to do so if you can.

Any additional comments?

I have yet to see the film but I'd like to see if it's a patch on this. Brilliant.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

You could feel that you were there...

Overall a great story well crafted and well read. Some of the scenes of the Gallipoli campaign were almost too vivid and it certainly, very effectively highlighted the horrors of World War One. However, do not be put of by this, this book provides good characters and it sensitively explores the impacts of loss of family from war. I have two reservations firstly it was possibly a little unrealistic, in the main character - Connor's, ability to locate his sons and secondly the ending was a bit too convenient. I felt that the authors could have made more of the subplot of the hotel owner and her son.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gripping

Quite possibly the best audio book I've listened to so far! Can't praise it enough.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable - Excellent Narrator

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I enjoyed listening to the first 2/3 of the book, and didn't want to stop listening, so that was definitely time well-spent.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The final 1/3 wandered into the realm of 'tell' instead of 'show' which might work in a screenplay but is boring in a novel. More care needed to be taken towards the end of the book to make it more focused on the literary rather than just a rendering of a film. The plot twists took precedence over everything else and became, if not quite predictable, certainly formulaic, which was a real shame because the first 2/3 of the book held such promise.

What does Jack Thompson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Jack Thompson has an incredible voice! His ability to bring the written word to life is excellent. I could listen to him all day. I wonder if I would have given up if it hadn't been for his narration.

Was The Water Diviner worth the listening time?

Overall, yes, although the final couple of hours really did drag, e.g. plot twists for the sake of plot twists.

Any additional comments?

I can't wait to listen to Jack Thompson's narration of another book. He is superb.

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Excellent story

Loved the book and the characters in it! Found it gripping to the end .
Carrie.

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  • Benjamin
  • 16-02-16

Emotional Odyssey

The whole thing was a journey of experience. Just when you think you know the tone, a chapter changes the way you feel, which isn't a bad thing. Without a doubt, the confession towards the end was the most heartwrenching part of the whole experience but is quickly overshadowed by the books final resolution. This is truly a fantastic tale of loss and renewal. Loved it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Goooofy Girl
  • 11-02-16

Beautiful

This is a beautifully written story about the commonalities in our differences. Men and women, Muslims and Christians, soldiers and civilians...loss, love, tenderness, and hatred follow no such divisionss.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-05-15

An engrossing story

A very good listen that taught me some history!
There were some graphic injury descriptions. The characters were thoroughly enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gen
  • 07-05-15

Good but long

I loved the story but I thought some of the dialog was filler and only lengthen the story rather than enhance. I still enjoyed and recommend it to my friends

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Doug
  • 28-05-17

As dry as the outback

Any additional comments?

i guess I was expecting better from this book after all the high reviews, but it just didn't resonate with me. The story was as long and dry as the Australian outback. An overall depressing tale with a few uplifting scenes thrown in. If you somehow don't know that war is bad, this book will convince you.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martha
  • 14-03-17

Excellent

The narration was very well done. As a Canadian listening to this Australian story with the clear but true Australian accent made this good story an excellent one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Irene Banks
  • 20-08-16

A thoroughly enjoyable experience

very well written, wonderful geographic details, excellent narrator I will listen to it again, soon

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. A. Lynch
  • 28-05-16

slow start building to great heights

Had trouble getting started but it was worth the effort. Painfully beautiful story of the horror of war followed by a love born from loss.

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  • Laura
  • 13-09-15

End notes were fascinating. Now want to listen again.

Intriguing relationships. Across ages and races. Loved it. Listen to how the book was written in the end comments. Fascinating