Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jack of Diamonds by Bryce Courtenay

How much trouble can one man get into?  Jack Spayd, the central character in Bryce Courtenay’s book Jack of Diamonds can probably answer that.  A staff member, and loyal fan, gives us a description of the book on the SCRLreads page.

Jack Spayd began life in the slums of Cabbagetown (Toronto) during the depression.  His father was a mean drunk who beat his mother regularly.  His mother manages to provide the bare necessities through her job as a night-time cleaning lady.  One night his father wins a Hohner harmonica in a card game and gives it to Jack.  During his many nights alone, Jack discovers a talent for music.  Through good luck and various mentors his musical talent is developed until he becomes an excellent piano and harmonica musician.  He also becomes very adept at cards and loves to gamble.  These two skills take him around the world and he usually finds trouble wherever he lands; in Moose Jaw, Las Vegas, or in the copper mines of the Belgian Congo.

This is the last book written by the author before he died from cancer in 2012.  He had many fans all over the world and will be missed.

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