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Set across three continents, Jack of Diamonds is a spellbinding story of chance, music, corruption and love – and Bryce Courtenay's last novel.

During the Great Depression there was little hope for a boy born into the slums of Cabbagetown, Toronto. But Jack Spayd is offered a ticket out in the form of a Hohner harmonica, won by his brutal drunken father in a late-night card game. Jack makes music as a way of escaping his surroundings, and his talent leads him to a jazz club and, eventually, to the jazz piano.

Jack is a virtuoso and hits the road, enchanting audiences in Canada, wartime Europe and Las Vegas, where he is caught up in the world of elite poker and falls under the spell of his boss, the enigmatic Bridgett Fuller. Vegas is a hard town ruled by the Mafia, but Jack prospers, until his luck turns bad and he falls foul of the Mob. Forced to run for his life from Vegas, he must also leave the woman he adores. His adventuring takes him to the far reaches of Africa, to a rare and valuable bird that may seal his fate – and to the love of a very different woman.

Set across three continents, Jack of Diamonds is a spellbinding story of chance, music, corruption and love – and Bryce Courtenay's last novel.

'Jack of Diamonds is classic Courtenay.' The Age

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143571049

    January 2, 2014

    Penguin

    720 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780670076079

    November 12, 2012

    Viking

    720 pages

    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742534183

    November 12, 2012

    Penguin eBooks

    592 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Awards and Recognition

  • Australian Book Industry Awards
    2013
    Shortlisted
    General Fiction Book of the Year

Also by Bryce Courtenay

The Power of One: Popular Penguins
The Power of One: Australian Children's Classics
Australian Trilogy bind-up
April Fool's Day: Popular Penguins
Fortune Cookie
The Story Of Danny Dunn
Fishing For Stars
The Persimmon Tree
Sylvia
A Recipe for Dreaming
April Fool's Day
Four Fires
Jessica
Matthew Flinders' Cat
Smoky Joe's Cafe
The Family Frying Pan
Tommo & Hawk
Potato Factory
Tommo And Hawk
The Power Of One
Whitethorn
Brother Fish
Solomon's Song
The Power of One: Young Readers' Ed

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Dragonfly In Amber
Swing Time
The Bear and The Nightingale
Tiger Men
The Alphabet Sisters
Ready Player One
Breath
The Light Between Oceans
A Long Way from Home
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
The Woolgrower's Companion
The Secret Vineyard