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Four Fires

Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
Length: 29 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (141 ratings)

Regular price: £29.59

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Summary

The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

©2013 Christine Courtenay; 2010 Bryce Courtenay (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"Humphrey Bower, speaking as Mole, delivers every possible nuance and emotion of his character’s story, and shows a startling aptitude for other dialects as well. Close family friends and enemies include surviving Polish Jews, an East Indian healer, an Irish Catholic priest, Japanese prison camp soldiers, and many others. All of them, young and old, male and female, spring to vivid life in Bower’s versatile voice. Narrative passages and dialogue elicit tears and laughter by turns, without a minute of boredom in the 30-hour production." ( AudioFile magazine)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • Cornwall, United Kingdom
  • 30-10-11

brothers and mothers

The narration of this book enhances it no end - and the characters within it are all believable. Its the story of a family who are desperately trying to keep everything together, about love and loyalty within it, and about achieving ambition when your immediate society doesn't really give you the chance. Its not the best book by this author, but there are characters like Nancy the mother and matriarch - who although not the epitome of motherhood, you still end up hoping and wishing for. There are some laborious bits, but for anyone who likes a family saga then its great.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another triumph

Once again Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower enthralled me to such an extent that I just could not put this book down (so to speak). So much attention to detail. I went through the whole gamut of emotions for this unfortunate family. The Master storyteller does it again .......

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant story, brilliant narration

What did you like most about Four Fires?

The story of a family in a small rural town, living through war, prejudice, struggles, success - Courtenays ability to bring characters to life is outstanding. In the end, I felt like a part of the family! The story moves at perfect pace throughout, even though it spans decades. It also helps that Humphrey Bower's narrations is completely engaging.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Four Fires?

Difficult to say, but the first few chapters - where all the characters are introduced - stuck with me right to the end, and that doesn't happen very often.

Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favourite?

All of them - he makes them all individuals, and it is difficult to pick one. Mole as the storyteller is brilliant, but his performance as Mrs Rika Ray made me smile!

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

Definitely - but I also wanted it to never end!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb characters

If you could sum up Four Fires in three words, what would they be?

Triumphant, heartbreaking and real

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mole, being so incisive but being totally unaware of it makes him an engaging character, I want to meet him!!

Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favourite?

I really enjoyed Moray (and Sophie) Suckfizzle, so much more than words being read....

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Tommo was recounting his ordeal was harrowing, but also the hardship and endurance of the family when the kids were younger.

Any additional comments?

I'll definitely get more by Bryce, I love characters with multi dimensional personalities and the folks in this book tick all the boxes....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Four Fires by Bryce Courtenay

A brilliant listen. This book is gripping from start to finish. Informative, detailed, heartwarming, funny, sometimes horrifying, you get to know the principal characters so well that you could be part of the family. It covers so many events and experiences in gripping detail. This is not a book you are likely to nod off to

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Co. Donegal, Ireland
  • 06-01-15

Wonderful book

I enjoyed everything about this book from start to finish. You can't help falling in love with the characters in the story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bower brings this Courtenay epic to life.

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

Not having read the print version, nevertheless I can only estimate that Humphrey Bower's performance brings an authentic realism that my imagination would be unable to create by itself.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tommy, so broken, the poor sod.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The penultimate chapter, where the book is reframed as a retrospective memoir of the protagonist, was a very nice touch.

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

Yes of course, although that's impossible, it's about 30 hours.

Any additional comments?

Following the life and coming of age of a poor Irish-Australian family... I never could have expected it to be so captivating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

a book that takes you into the lives of a family that dragged itself up and all sibblings went their own way

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

Exceptional!

As usual, Bruce Courtney has written a brilliant story but what makes it exceptional is Humphrey Bower 's narration. Courtney and Bower are unbeatable!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I am never disappointed with Bryce Coutenay books

Great listen did not want it to end caused many reared and much laughter just wonderful