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Whitethorn [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Bryce Courtenay

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Kurzbeschreibung

2. August 2007
From Bryce Courtenay comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people frantically opposed to the English. The world is also on the brink of war and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany. Tom's English name proves sufficient for him to be ostracised, marking him as an outsider. And so begin some of life's tougher lessons for the small lonely boy. Like the whitethorn, one of Africa's most enduring plants, Tom learns how to survive in the harsh climate of racial hatred. Then a terrible event sends him on a journey to ensure that justice is done. On the way, his most unexpected discovery is love.

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Synopsis

From Bryce Courtenay comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people frantically opposed to the English. The world is also on the brink of war and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany. Tom's English name proves sufficient for him to be ostracized, marking him as an outsider. And so begin some of life's tougher lessons for the small lonely boy. Like the whitethorn, one of Africa's most enduring plants, Tom learns how to survive in the harsh climate of racial hatred. Then a terrible event sends him on a journey to ensure that justice is done. On the way, his most unexpected discovery is love.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Bryce Courtenay was born in South Africa and has lived in Sydney for the major part of his life. He is the bestselling author of The Power of One, April Fool's Day, The Potato Factory, Tommo & Hawk, Jessica, Solomon's Song, Smoky Joe's Cafe, and Four Fires

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5 Sterne
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1 Sterne
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  39 Rezensionen
38 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Great storytelling - but haven't I read this before? 7. Januar 2006
Von C. Rolfe-Vyson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Let me start by saying this is a great coming of age story about a young boy Tom Fitzsaxby growing up during the 40's and 50's in South Africa. The writing style is written as if Tom is more of an observer of his life than a participant in it. This gives the book an unusual tone that is well both told and absorbing.

By why the three stars then?

Point One;

Well 'haven't I read this before?'. Why yes. In the 'Power of One' also by Bryce Courtenay.

The similarities; Young boy of English descent growing up in South Africa - raised in an orphanage/ boarding school - persecuted by Afrikaner children - loner - scenes of urination (!) - makes friends with understanding adults who mentor him - brilliant student rises above it all - boxing - works in Rhodesian mines (I nearly gave up then and there) - meets school boy tormentor - some sort of resolution - goes to English University - becomes a lawyer (okay that's in Tandia the follow up to Power of One) - fights for the rights of blacks.

Point Two;

Initially there seems to be no narrative drive, that is to say it is unclear exactly where the story is going. It meanders along telling stories about our protagonist's youth but it's unclear where all this is leading. It becomes apparent in the last third though. Secondly, the book seems to 'hurry' towards a conclusion. I have come across this before in other books by Mr Courtenay. Where after a prolonged build up, the resolution comes all too quickly considering the narrative tone preceding this point.

These criticisms shouldn't take away from the fact that this is a well written book that is an enjoyable read. It immerses you in South African life of that period and the people and attitudes of the time.

So 4/5 if you haven't read 'Power of One'
17 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Very familiar 16. Februar 2006
Von Max Power - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I agree with the previous reviewer, Whitethorn is an entertaining and engaging read but all so very reminiscent of PK and the Power of One. I suspect Courtney is drawing on his own background but the poor English boy in boarding school/orphanage, persecuted by the Afrikaaners, boxing, latent homosexuality, nazi-sympathising, befriending a wise black-man, black-man savagely abused, commitment to social justice and eventually the legal profession is something we've already been over. I haven't even read the Power of One but am familiar with the story from the film.

The story of young Tom seems to lose its way a bit towards the end. Certainly the Rhodesian interlude was of marginal relevance and the Kenyan pointless but for further misery. The redemption at the end was expected but disappointingly easily resolved. The blanks (ie Oxford) in the tale left the reader wondering but the gems that were to be found glittered brightly.

Last comment - I think better editing wouldn't have hurt this book. I don't usually like comments like that - I believe it is for authors to craft their tales - not editors. However, given my comments above it is clear that some parts added little to the narrative and some could have been better developed.
13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliant portrait of the subtleties of racism 15. Januar 2008
Von Gordon Eldridge - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Tom Fitzsaxby is an orphan whose English surname ensures that he will be a total outcast in the rural Afrikaner orphanage he grows up in. The story follows Tom through the years of WWII and the post-war years until he is in his thirties. During this time he is dogged by the legacy of the racism that was rampant in the community of his childhood. The early stages of the book are written using the narrative voice of the young Tom. The naivety inherent in this child's perspective allows Courtenay to explore and comment on aspects of racism without ever becoming preachy or trite.

The story is peopled with a variety of fascinating characters of differing racial and social backgrounds, allowing us a glimpse into the subtly different ways that racism manifests itself. At times the plot is a trifle contrived and Tom seems to be the recipient of just a few too many lucky breaks, but the overall storyline is gripping as well as containing many interesting historical details. Overall the novel is an insightful window onto the nature of racial conflict in southern Africa.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Power of One revisited 21. Mai 2007
Von N. Evans - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed the Power of One and Tandia. Whitehorn is a real disappointment because it is the same characters, material and storyline rehashed with, at times, ludicrous similarity. Like one of the other reviewers, I almost gave up when Tom went to "discover himself" in the copper mines of Northern Rhodesia. If you've not read the Power of One, you may enjoy this book. If you have read the Power of One, I suspect, like me, you'll feel cheated. The strong feeling you get is of a good and successful author who is running out of ideas but is under pressure from his publisher to produce.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Deja Vu? 23. Juli 2008
Von Judymarin - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I have to preface this by saying I LOVE Bryce Courtenay's body of work. I have read 90% of his books and even picked up some of them while I was in Australia - devastated that I missed his book signing by one day. I have written to him and received a reply. Power of One is my favorite book of all time.

That said, I was thrilled to find another big book available from Mr. Courtenay. I bought it as a summer read to make my travels even more interesting.

I was so caught by the similarities in the beginning. To add to the first list of similiarites - PK had a chicken - Tom has a dog (both well trained amazingly). There are still chickens in the story.

Bad nicknames (Pisskop for Peekay) and get away mongrel dog for Tom. Miss Philips is the professor.

I am not quite done with the book and checked this out to see what everyone else thought of such a similar book coming from such an extraordinary author that surely this was not something he needed to fall back on??

To hear there are Rhodesian mines in this book, etc., is disappointing.

This does not take away from my love of Power of One or of Mr. Courtenay's writing. But what was the publisher and author thinking?

Again if you haven't read Power of One you will love this book. But those of us in love with the characters in Power of One will resent their dilution by such similar characters.

As I mentioned, I am not finished yet so I wonder - is there a big huge woman in this book? There usually is in all of his books - not just the Power of One series.

Regretfully signed,
Judy Hervall
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