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Fishing for Stars. Bryce Courtenay (The Persimmon Tree #2)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  1,151 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Nick Duncan is a semi-retired, wealthy shipping magnate who lives in idyllic Beautiful Bay, Vanuatu, where he is known as the old patriarch of the islands. He is grieving the loss of his beguiling Eurasian true love, Anna, and is suffering for the first time from disturbing flashbacks to the Second World War. So he puts pen to paper and tells the compelling tale of the lif ...more
Hardcover, 601 pages
Published November 12th 2009 by Viking (first published January 1st 2008)
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Nancyspain
I have very mixed feelings about the book. I should have rated it when I was three quarters of the way through it and I would have then given it four stars! I loved the characters of Anna and Nick and was fascinated by both their histories, together and separately, and loved the detailed descriptions of the different customs of Japan. I got very immersed in that section of the book. The third main character Marg, however, did not work for me. Despite the writer's descriptions of her character sh ...more
The Cats Mother
I struggled with this - I wanted to finish it for completeness, having read and liked but not loved The Persimmon Tree, but found Nick's self-justification of his lifelong obsession with having sex with Anna to be rather nauseating, and she was basically an evil bitch who got away with it because she was beautiful. Marg was both more interesting and more likeable, but we don't get the end of her story, and the whole book is really quite disjointed, and overly long. I did find the history parts i ...more
Michelle
Jan 30, 2010 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I will probably never read another Bryce Courtenay book again after reading Fishing for Stars - an exercise in boredom, predictability and blatant disregard for the reader's intelligence. Fishing for Stars appeared to be a recipe/formula of sex, ego, arrogance and predictability that one could find in any second-rate novel written by any novice writing a formula-based collection of words to create a perception of depth and originality. Power of One, Jessica, two exceptional books by Bryce Courte ...more
Laura
Sep 16, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book worked well through parts one and two, but it all fell apart in part three for me. The jump from Japan to other seemingly unrelated specifics on business and politics in Australia and elsewhere really bored me. It dragged on in minute details that seemed not to advance the plot. An overall disappointment for me.

Personally I'm starting to feel like Courtenay writes rather similar characters overhand over. I've read The Power of One, Tandia, Jessica, Brother Fish and Fishing for
...more
Katrina
Aug 18, 2009 Katrina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I would Recommend Other Courtenay Books before This One
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cindy
Mar 15, 2011 Cindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bryce Courtenay's "Power of One" is on many a reader's top ten list, so when I saw this, I just picked it up, thinking it would be ok at least. Umm... no.

This is apparently a sequel to "The Persimmon Tree," which I have not read, but is generally well received. I feel like I have to read that book now. I've already vested 700 pages of my life in these two characters, Anna and Nick (I consider Marg inconsequential) and I don't want it to be wasted.

Thelma2222
Eh. A man's view of the women in his life where he seldom hits the mark & of course everyone is fabulously rich living in the South Pacific.
The plot line itself jumps around & his ramblings become increasingly intolerable as the book goes on, yet it wasn't SO horrible that I couldn't finish The book. However I did have to skip thru many of the long winded rhetoric.
Not a keeper.
Mipps
May 10, 2010 Mipps rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of Bryce Courtney books, but this one left me cold. I didn't finish it...so boring.
Don
Dec 05, 2016 Don rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: q-2009_goal-33
'Fishing For Stars' was not as enjoyable as previous Bryce Courtenay reads. However, I have yet to read a story written in the first person, which I like. Give me a third person narrative any day! Having not long finished reading the 'The Persimon Tree' I found references to this book long winded and tiresome. The highlights of this book were those sections set during my lifetime, which re-told much of the political times of my life. However, even this was spoiled by references to future accompl ...more
Shana
Mar 16, 2013 Shana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lyn Richards
Nick Duncan is retired and very wealthy, but what exactly is the journey that he's been on that has brought him to this point. Like all good stories there is a love interest Anna, who has her own complex life story. Anna is the love of Nick's life and is all things to all people. She is smart, astute and can see a business opportunity is absolutely everything. Nick also has the first love of his life Marg who married another man and is now widowed. These three central people have complex histori ...more
Janice
Jun 05, 2011 Janice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Librariasaurus
Solid 3 stars for the sequel. I didn't love anything much about it, but it's a Bryce Courtenay novel so it's quality writing and storytelling.

I still don't like Marg, Anna is a money hungry power monger and I really grew to dislike her in this instalment. She was however, probably the most interesting character of the cast.

I liked most all the parts of the story set in Japan but I found on the whole that this novel was highly misogynist, both in the writing and in the attitudes of its characte
...more
Don Darkes
Sep 04, 2012 Don Darkes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to hate my First Bryce Courtenay book. I am a writer myself and jealous of his success. I seldom read fiction and when I do I am easily bored.I read it because I had nothing else and was hard up. Now I shall have to google a recipe for humble pie. Despite myself I could not put it down. I am already looking at my wife's collection of Courtenay's and wondering which one shall be my next. Persimmon Tree I think, no maybe Fortune Cookie....

So, unlike the educated and well informed critics-
...more
Janice
This sequel to The Persimmon Tree is set on the island nation of Vanuatu where Nick Duncan resided after WWII.

There some parts that were a bit dry while others were very engaging. The rivalty between the two women in Nick's life had me quite angry in parts. I was angry with both women as well as with Nick. I was also a little annoyed at the author.

I was incredulous that he would make these women so strong and so weak at the same time, and Nick so unable to cope with them. They almost emasculated
...more
Meg
Apr 28, 2012 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It was a great mix of fact and fiction.

The main character Nicholas, son of a preacher who escaped the Japanese invasion of Java spends his life loving two women, both strong and determined but with opposing views on life. Each woman has a full and successful life with Nicholas as the constant, and although he has a successful career in his own right, the book is more about their careers.

I learnt a lot about the plight of the Tasmanian wilderness society and and their
...more
Kathleen Hagen
This is the sequel to “The Persimmon Tree” in which we again see Nick Duncan, older now, recounting his married life with Anna, including a trip back to Japan to put to rest her ghosts, her business enterprises, and the return to Marg Hamilton, the only other woman he has truly loved. He manages to work out an arrangement to be with both very strong and polar opposite women. The characters are equally strong in this book. Courtenay write such wonderful epic Australian novels, and Humphrey Bower ...more
Tania
Jan 21, 2009 Tania rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
quotes#597835 from my notebook

Anna once explained to me that winning wasn't always about reaching the top of the mountain; sometimes whoever clung longest to the cliff-face without falling was the ultimate winner. "Business seldom has a formal start and definite finish but is more like a constant cliff climb," she'd said. "After you've won, you keep climbing."
"Righto, we'll wait. But as far as I'm concerned, stuff 'em. Plenty more ships in the sea." p145

He was always careful to bend this young a
...more
Lisa
Mar 21, 2009 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not Bruce Courtenay's best novel. I didn't realise this book was a sequel to The Persimmon Tree but Bryce gives you enough information to catch up on the earlier novel. The book is about a man who amazingly manages to spend most of his adult life switching between two women that he equally loves. It is a strange concept and draws in loads of issues that concern me, like environmental conversation. This should have been a book to read in winter as it is set and focused on such nice warm climates!
Jennifer
An intriguing story about a man and the two incredibly strong, and incredibly different, women in his life. The two women really spring to life on the pages, but the narrator, Nick, remains somewhat one-dimensional. I did learn a lot about Japanese culture, which was fascinating. However, with the exception of April Fool's Day, none of Courtenay's books have ever matched The Power of One, for me. He seems to have trouble with endings, and I felt that this book was about 100 pages longer than it ...more
Annie Oosterwyk
This was not my favorite book by the author. I found the first third to be a repeat of old material. It became more interesting after that, but I think sequels should assume readers will be more responsible and diligent.
I also found Courtenay's obsessive focus on his characters sex-life off-putting. It read more like an old man's whinging and his constant descriptions of the women in his life in terms of body parts and clothing got old.
Bowers continues to be a wonderful narrator, so I'll probab
...more
Laura
Meh. Not as good as The Persimmon Tree. I never liked Marg's character or saw why Nick liked her, or loved her, aside from sex. I listened to the last section of the book that focused on her story with 2-3x speed. I was disappointed that Anna turned out to be such an ugly person, and I also don't know why Nick put up with all that. I got tired of hearing about Nick's sex life all the time and how fantastically sexy the two women were. The best part was with the Yakuza in Japan and the overall qu ...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
I can't listen to this story any more and I not even half way through it. Nick and Anna are in Japan and Anna has just been rescued after being kidnapped. I find I really do not like Anna and I don't understand Nick's obsessions with her. She seems selfish, keeps too many secrets and is a drug addict who does not want to give up. I don't really like Nick much better probably because of his obsession with Anna and she has a major hang up. This is my first Bryce Courtenay book and I don't know if ...more
Polina
Apr 06, 2009 Polina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: available
Sequel to Persimmon Tree but has not "can't put it down" appeal of it. Read more like a memoir and even through I live in Vanuatu and was interested in reading it's history and development, as far as Courney's books go this one is one of the worst I read yet. Characters and plot are not engaging although the details various historical and cultural references are of interest and expanded my knowledge somewhat.
Sarah
Apr 18, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one really, unless you are really bored and desperate
I am half way through and not that interested. I have read some of the reviews here to see if I should persevere and the answer is no.
I haven't liked Nick, I didn't like Anna, and can't form an opinion on Marg as have hardly heard from her.

How can Anna who is so strong and canny - a great business woman be so lame?

I can't even be bothered to think enough about this book enough to write a review.

What twaddle.
Toni Hambilton
This book continues on from The Persimmon Tree, a book I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm struggling with this book. I'm afraid I'm find Bryce Courtney rather boring, though I'll give it a fair go and continue reading. I'm afraid I've read another one in the mean-time though, but I'll get back to Fishing for Stars, because I've read all his books and by the end feel quite satisfied, though they don't have the rush that many other authors have.
Bron
I listened to this as an audiobook, and the reader did a wonderful job, his accents for the different characters were greatA fantastic story about the lifetime of Nick Duncan, and the love of his life Anna. It outlines their hardships and successes and takes place in a variety of countries. I was interested in how he entwined the story of the lakes in Tasmania into the story, a great reminder of something that was happening when I was a child that I had forgotten about!
Rita Chapman
Feb 03, 2017 Rita Chapman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fishing for Stars is the follow-on from The Persimmon Tree but cleverly provides enough background, without being boring, to work very well as a stand-alone book. The story of Nick's love for two women, Anna and Marg, so different from each other but both strong and successful, is woven in true Courtenay fashion. Not his greatest book but a good read nevertheless.
Jenna Garrett
Not a fan. I enjoyed Power of One (many years ago) but Courtenay didn't do it for me this time. I disliked the characters (especially Nick, the shallow and misogynistic protagonist) and the narrative was full of nauseating cliches (if he talked one more time about the "one-eyed snake" or the way his lover's legs looked in stilettos I would have barfed). May not have finished it but it was my only audiobook on a long road trip so I stuck it out. Not recommended.
Mathilde Backhouse
I have loved many of bryce Courtney's audible books read by Humphrey Bower. Who does a great narration in Aussie as well as loads of other accents. However this book is disappointing. I loved the characters of Nick and Anna in the Persimmon Tree but this story does not build on that. The Japanese setting is fun & interesting but the last chapters describing Marg & her green battle in Tasmania felt contrived and too long.
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63
I was born illegitimately in 1933 in South Africa and spent my early childhood years in a small town deep in the heart of the Lebombo mountains.

It was a somewhat isolated community and I grew up among farm folk and the African people. At the age of five I was sent to a boarding school which might be better described as a combination orphanage and reform school, where I learned to box - though less
...more
More about Bryce Courtenay...

Other Books in the Series

The Persimmon Tree (2 books)
  • The Persimmon Tree (The Persimmon Tree, #1)

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