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Smoky Joe's Cafe

Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

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 11 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. Wendy's infant daughter is dying and needs a bone-marrow transplant. Hell hath no fury, as she sets out to mould this bunch of ex-jungle fighters into a unit that will fight for justice, by fair means or foul.

©2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pyt Ltd

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  • Kathleen
  • 01-10-12

Australian Vietnam vet with Agent Orange

book is set, I believe in the 1980’s. The vet is suffering from Agent Orange exposure, but it is before either the U.S. or Australia are admitting that Agent Orange is the cause of so much damage. So in this book, a group of Vietnam vets who served together decide to grow hashish and sell it in has honey to earn enough to help vets who have been harmed and who aren’t getting help from the government. It’s totally illegal, but they have this enterprise for a year, raise a lot of money and help a lot of people. It’s a very interesting book with the vet and his wife coming back together after having almost been separated by the events of the war because he can’t talk about them. Also, some interesting contrasts between experiences of Australian Vietnam vets and American Vietnam vets.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Marcus
  • 19-12-09

Unworthy

This book is totally unworthy of Bryce - of whom I am a great fan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nikkola
  • 01-05-07

Excellent

Bryce has lived up to all expectations. Loved this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-07-19

Wonderful as always

I laughed and I cried, sadness over the mess left from the Vietnam Nam war, the generations left to deal with the disease and hate in its aftermath. I was a teen when it was going on, saw the news, knew people affected by the poison unleashed, Agent Orange. I had no idea of the Australian involvement until this book.
The story here is so so sad yet uplifting. The characters were fictional but life in the day to day life wasn’t. As usual Bryce Courtenay told of it so beautifully and Humphrey gave voice so splendidly that these characters mattered to you. I loved the solution they came up with to help others, brilliant!
Thank you Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower for bringing this amazing story to life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharey
  • 06-11-17

Too Short!

I'd barely gotten into this and it was over! That's the fastest time gone by. I was disappointed Courtenay cut this book off so quickly because I loved where this story was headed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 22-11-16

Great Book as always!!!

This is one is one of the shortest Bryce Courtney's books but definitely never disappointing. Bryce always writes to enlighten his public. If one has never serviced in war and lived after the experience, Bryce is an author to make the experience real for others. He always has a message in his writing and is always up lifting. He will be missed. Thank you Bryce!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sunny
  • 12-07-15

Short but still good

Can get enough of this author, I set out to listen to all of them.
This was one of theist I had left, it is good, but too short to be as good as his others.
Still worth a listen!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Reich
  • 11-01-10

Weakest of the Bryce Courtenay I've Read

It's an entertaining story but very contrived and borders on trite. This is pap compared to the maser work of Tandia.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jordan
  • 27-11-05

A GUT WRENCHER

THIS IS A WELL TOLD, HEARTWARMING STORY. I'M TEMPTED TO READ OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR WHEN I HAVE TIME

1 of 2 people found this review helpful