Simultaneous release of the latest novel from Australia's best-selling author. Likened by the author to Frank Hardy's Australian classic, Power Without Glory, with pubs, gambling and political corruption taking centre stage.
The Dance of Danny Dunn is an Australian family saga centering on a working-class family of publicans who make their first mark in Balmain in the 1930s. In that decade, two opportunities existed for boys of Balmain, a working-class Sydney suburb: to be selected into Fort Street Boys School or to excel as a sportsman. At just 16 years, Danny Dunn has everything going for him: brains, looks, sporting aptitude - and luck with the ladies. His parents run The Hero of Mafeking ('Maffos'), the favourite local watering hole, and the whole of Balmain is proud of Danny's sporting prowess. His mother, though, steers Danny towards a university education; but with just six months of his degree to go, he signs up for the AIF, driven by a desire to serve his country and plain wanderlust.
Danny serves in South-east Asia, spends three and a half years as a POW, and returns a broken man, embittered and facially disfigured. He has told no one of his return, and as he sails towards the Balmain ferry terminal, he knows his life in beloved Balmain will have nothing to do with the life he led before the war. He is scared and overwhelmed by the need to sort himself out, to find out who the hell he is....
©2009 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2009 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Bryce Courtenay is indeed a great story teller! I am a fan and I do enjoy his books because of the interesting and varied characters and the cultural settings. Having grown up in Sydney I found this one interesting as the story was woven into familiar settings and events. The names of Olympic swimming stars such as Dawn Frazer, politicians and the local politics made it all the more interesting. As usual there were some strong female characters but they were believable! These novels a great escapism with enough oomph to hold ones interest without being too heavy. A good read or listen.
I love Bryce Courtenay, but unfortunately this one didn't do it for me at all. It started off promising, but the story quickly became dry, about Danny Dunn, who can seemingly do no wrong and everyone seems to love (I can't say the same) even after the destruction of war has its effect on him, and his over- achieving and tediously successful family. By the end of the novel, I felt no attachment to any of the characters, so when the inevitable Bryce tearjerker ending came, I felt nothing, whereas Bryce's novels, more often than not, end in tears for me. I finished the book hoping for it to improve, however I was disappointed (perhaps my expectations after The Australian Trilogy were set too high). I must say, however, that Humphrey Bower's narration was brilliant. Sorry Bryce
Yes. I find the narrator Humphrey Bower to have a very interesting voice who matches the voices of the individual characters in the book.
Danny Dunn as he had achieved so much in his life.
All characters were portrayed perfectly
Great story with believable characters
It would make a fantastic story
Amazing story that lets you see into the history of Australia plus see the feelings of those living in that time.
I loved this book and will rave about it to my friends.
Danny Dunn is an inspirational character
Helen is a lady I wish I knew.
"Oh Danny Boy!"
As an Irish Australian with family in Balmain I found this book compelling. Typical Bryce Courtenay with detail so intricate you can almost smell the scene.
Bryce brings to us another collection of characters with whom we laugh, cry and ride their individual emotional roller-coasters. listen out for the hilarious description of the Egyptians by Half Dunne (Danny's father) as he enthralls the pub patrons with his interpretation of how mummies are prepared (I had tears rolling down my cheeks and almost had to pull the car over)
Top Marks Mr Courtenay.
I never enter a posting without acknowledging the Narrator - Humphrey Bower is the best in the business - If you require an easy listening style combined with a gambit of character voices that doesn't require you to exhaust your imagination then look no farther than Humphrey Bower, he is such a talented individual...so much so that I search for books using the narrator as the keyword.
"Wow. *Sniff-Sniff* Oh...wow."
I've just finished listening to the book and for the first time ever I felt the need to write a comment. On the technical side: this is a very well-written and extremely well-performed book and I highly recommend it to anyone who's grown up listening to the stories of South Pacific WWII survivors. On the personal side: It gave me a greater appreciation and understanding of what my grandfather went through during and especially after the war. Many of the embedded stories struck close to home and the magnificent way in which Humphrey Bower performed the telling...well...oh wow. I have to admit that it's been a long time since any book has moved me so deeply.
"BC once more amazing"
Since discovering BC a couple of months ago I have yet to be even slightly dissapointed... driving my roadtrain around western australia is so much better with one of his books playing, and the narrator is arguably one of the best in the business...
"Another winner from Bryce Courtney"
Oh what a delight. A fantastic story. Again down to earth characters and a wonderful way to pass the time. I travel a lot in South Africa, so my journeys are normally quite long. Bryce Courtney has been a major help to me. Makes the trip a whole lot quicker. Thanks again for a wonderful story.
"A colourful story of an average man"
I enjoyed this story as much because the underdog made good in spite of the hurdles put in front of him and later fought for the underdog as a lawyer. If I have a criticism it was that Courtney sometimes used todays terminology in a story set in the World War 2 era. It didn't quite gell yet it was still a good story.
This is a great last novel for Bryce Courtney, an epic story of Australiana from the early 20th century. I really loved this book, I found the narrator to be very entertaining and extremely good..
"Balmain Boys can Cry"
Bryce Courtney captures the spirit of the Australian battler from the drought ravaged Riverina country to the industrial heartland of working class Sydney. Pub culture was an important feature of twentieth century Australia and it is artfully interwoven into this intriguing tale.
A great listen.
I grew up in Sydney and experienced Balmain as it was emerging in the 60's as a very trendy, expensive suburb, inaccessible to most working class people. Danny Dunn grew up there when it was very , very different (the opposite in fact), so historically it was fascinating listening to this tragic story.
Toward the end though, Danny just had too many things go right, too many things go wrong to allow his story to remain solidly real. I love Bryce Courtenay's writing, his detailed emotive, personable characters, but this story was just a little over the top for me. (Plastic surgery in the 1940's must have been very crude)
"Not one of his best"
NO! Too long and eventually bored me to tears.
I've read most of Bryce Courtenay's books and enjoyed most, but not all of them.
I think Humphrey Bower is one of the BEST narrators to be found at Audible.
Up to a point. Too often Courtenay rambles on way too long. This book would have been complete and wonderful at about 2/3rds.
"Best left for a later read"
if you're looking for your first Bryce Courtenay, save this for later. While this is not Mr. Courteney ' s best, it's still good. But it would be better if you started with The Power of One or the Matthew Flinder ' Cat.
This isn't the best work by Bryce Courtenay. It starts well, but gets a bit dull and predictable in places. There a really good portrayals of people with earnest ambition, for themselves or to please others, but it goes a little flat toward to the end. Its still entertaining but nowhere near the likes of Brother Fish or the Power of One. The narrator is fab as always, and his characterisations make you want to carry on listening, but if you are looking at this author for the first time, its not the best.
brilliant. yet another gripping book. bryce you are a wonderful writer but i cry bucketsx
"Humorous and sad."
A often funny and sad tale of the effects of war. Well read by Humphrey Bower.
Couldn't wait to have the time to listen! As a soldier I was astounded to find the enlightenment of PTSD brought to bear, in such a way that really tells how a millitary life can change not only the soldier, but also the family.
Mr Courtenay, thanks for the amazing story.
fantastic, excellent storytelling. Unfortunately as is far too common with this author-heartbreaking end. why must you make us cry Bryce Courtenay.
Although it was long, I got right into the story.
Any long epic!
When Danny returns
It made me choke and I had to hold back the tears as I listen to my audio books at my work place! Very emotional in parts..
Loved it and will definately be listening to more from the author in the future!
Very near the top, I was left thinking about this days after
All Bryce Courtney's stories have main characters who are largely driven by their integrity and sense of justice, with this book you got a real sense of post traumatic stress disorder and how in impacts so many lives...sometimes the things people live through are to hard to forgive, and yet only forgiveness can set you free. I kept wondering what if he'd made another choice....can one ever take back that pivotal moment in time?
He does it again. He takes you from your comfortable sofa and makes you think and learn about hard and difficult things while absorbing you in the narrative . Thank you Bryce Courtenay.
"Best writer ever!"
Bryce Courtenay! One of the best writers ever! The story of Danny Dunn is one of the best books ever. You just dont want to stop listening. A MUST as all his books I have so far listened to. You don't wonder off one min. The narrator is well chosen, with the Australian accent. Very very good.
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