Bryce Courtenay - A Most Excellent Author

Discussion in 'Book Club' started by OzzieMoz, 23 June 2011 Social URL.

  1. OzzieMoz

    OzzieMoz Keep on Truckin'

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    I've just been sitting here having a quiet ponder about authors I have come across in recent times. Books here in Australia are phenomenally expensive so for a while I took to really researching books before I would commit to buying them, then I gave up on that and started getting them sent over from the UK. Book Depository, free delivery worldwide - I love them :rotflmao:

    Anyway, I have stayed with my habit now of looking at personal recommendations and reviews etc whilst still occasionally chancing my arm at random buys just because the name of the book or something in the blurb appeals to me.

    Slowly but surely, I will get to the point sooner or later...... probably later rather than sooner! :p One such author that was recommended to me was Bryce Courtenay a South African/Australian writer. He writes epic novels that are just superb, he has a lovely engaging writing style even though he deals with some troubling topics in some of his books.

    Power of One and it's sequel Tandia were just great reads, set in South Africa and dealing with issues of apartheid and the racism that goes along with that but focussing on hope and persistence that good will win through. I thoroughly enjoyed them both. Because of the inspirational theme of Power of One it was also released in a Younger Readers edition with presumably some of the harsher scenes removed/toned down. Be careful to get the adult version as whilst there is some really quite unpleasant stuff in it at times, it is not gratuitous and is really helpful when imagining what times were like in South Africa at that time. The book is set around the war years and shortly thereafter.

    He also wrote a book called April Fool which is a very moving book about the life of one of his sons who was born a haemophiliac and as a result of treatments for that contracted AIDS. I normally steer well clear of those sorts of books but I was really stuck for something to read and found a copy for free, and it was a superb book. A tragic story in many respects but written in a non-tragic way. It was very thought provoking.

    He has also written a trilogy known as the Australian Trilogy (The Potato Factory, Tommo & Hawk and Solomon's Song) which follow the story of a couple of people who were transported in convict ships to Australia and their lives thereafter. The main character is Ikey Solomon who is a real historical figure and the story is based on his life, he was apparently also the inspiration for the character Fagin in Oliver Twist. The books are a really good entertaining read.

    I've read a couple of his other books, The Persimmon Tree and Four Fires and have a little pile of others to read which a friend here kindly sent me.

    Bryce Courtenay is a very good story teller and whilst sometimes they deal with a harsh world, they are still very enjoyable.

    His writing had never impinged on my consciousness when I was in England, so I thought I would start a thread, in case anyone is looking for a new writer to try.
     
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  3. Littlemisstrouble

    Littlemisstrouble Full Member

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    That's really useful as a review thank you! I read just about anything n it's good to hear about what other folk recommend. Have u read girl with the dragon tattoo? Awesome read if u like that sort of genre and a trilogy too ( or should that be three...) also Jo nesbo is brilliant in a crime thriller stylie.
     
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