Potato Factory, the first book in the series, was excellent, so I was looking forward to the second and third books. But Tommo and Hawke became tedious in the long dialogues between the twins. He used the dialogue to explain the political situation in New Zealand, but it really dragged. And the story was less believable than Potato Factory, including the dialogues. After reading the reviews on Solomon's song, it appears the author strayed further from his excellent first book, and not in a good way. I am giving up on Tommo and Hawk and will just remember the author did write one excellent book. The narrator was excellent, and I will look for some more of his work.
Retired to South Lake Tahoe, CA. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.
So this is Book Two and I love Courtenay and very much enjoy Mr. Bower, so I listened, realizing this is Courtenay's masterpiece, the work of two decades, and based on Australian history. I chose to keep listening. I found the sex tastefully done and -- uh, normal and sweet, whether the first time for this person or the first time with this person! I relished the discussions of ethical behavior, Hawk's always reaching for a higher path in his behavior. Bower got Hawk's voice especially well. I also loved Mary, watching her settle into her job while giving herself a routine of wearing gloves and communing with the beautiful green parrots, setting a fine example as a businesswoman running and growing her own company.
Hawk's enjoyment of his friendship with Maggie Pie is delicious, as he comes to realize that she finds him as fascinating and wonderful as he finds her, whore or no.
I had all kinds of problems with the revenge killing, torture, dismemberment, etc. As the third wife of a Vietnam veteran, I listened to such material out of love, and the images are indelible. I was the first woman who cared to listen, and the sharing helped bring healing. I feel sure that the way some of these characters died must have been based on fact because Courtenay would never do all that to his favorite characters! This book has many parts that just have to be gotten through . . . unthinkably filthy and awful!
The Maori experience is like a bonus book, rich and eventful. For me this was just a first nibble at an enormous subject. Now I understand the little green plastic thingy my mother brought back from her travel, offering only fuzzy explanations of its significance! And I'd thought it was some kind of fashion statement generated by an airline!
Okay, all the prissy-pants in Texas, you've been warned! You can let Courtenay drag you through a rich and agonizing knot-hole of historical experience, or you can avoid the negative and never know what you missed!
Tommo and Hawk is quite detailed and slow in parts but the story is beautifully written and compelling.A fantastic series !
I am so happy that I decided to listen to this story. I love books that use historical facts as a base and then provide a gripping story for the readers/listeners. I am on book two and will definitely finish the series. But the greatest part of all is that Humphrey Bower does complete justice to the characters. When a narrator tries to play different parts and does a horrible job, I don't care if the book is on every Best Seller list, it can ruin it for the listener. Mr. Bower does a remarkable job with every character and is one of the reasons I will continue with the trilogy. Well Done!!
The background and the development of the characters and storyline.
With his great accent, he makes you feel like you are a part of the story. If I was reading the book, it would still be awesome because the story itself is, but the extra pizzazz that is added by Mr. Bower's story telling would be lost.
The alternating perspectives of the brothers. Humphry Bower as always was incredible. Normally, with alternative first-person perspectives like this, I prefer there to be two narrators, but Humphry is so gifted that he can pull it all off.
When Hawk meets Maggie... it made me smile.
I was a little wary reading the reviews that described the graphic passages, including moaning. I expected something different... while those passages do exist, there are only 2 of them of any length, and they are fast-forwardable. To be honest, I found the Potato Factory had more graphic scenes and innuendo (though minus the moaning).
I am glad I toughed this one out... I grew to love Tommo and Hawk both, even though in real life if I ran into them in a pub I doubt I would've looked passed their roles of gentle giant and con man. Hawk's conscience and fighting for the underdog made me prefer him, but Tommo provided comic relief and compassion for his addiction.
Greatly looking forward to reading Solomon's Song; though reviewers are not praising it that highly... I guess one has to read it for oneself!
I didn't enjoy T & H nearly as much as I did the Potato Factory. Too much gratuitous violence for my taste (were the whale ship lashings really necessary?) and a number of characters from volume 1 of the series either drop out of sight for no reason or else get recycled. Found myself irritated and somewhat offended that with few exceptions, the women in this series are all prostitutes, either current or former. Maybe that was the reality of this time and place, I don't know. Even so, there was no need to pepper the dialogue with comments like "she is only a whore," "all women are whores" etc. Ugh.
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
This is book 2 in the Australian Trilogy. The characters are equally well drawn in both books 1 and 2; and the stories are both quite compelling. However, book 2 has an aura of darkness that isn't as pervasive in the first book.
I greatly appreciate Courtenay's ability to present themes of brutality and horror without sensationalizing the scenes. You quickly get the picture of what is happening, but the scenes aren't dragged on with unnecessary exploitation. That alone would make me a Coutenay fan -- however he has many other gifts as an author ... besides the fascinating characters, he also gives the reader an action packed story with just the right amount of contemplation. It's a rare gift when an author can get those two in the right balance.
Other reviewers seemed to be bothered by the sex scenes. To start with, there were only a few of "those" scenes, and to be perfectly honest I found them more boring than upsetting. Overall, this is a masterful story of family loyalty, fierce determination and survival. My comment re "rather dark" is based on the underlying sadness in the development of the story. However, I whole-heartedly recommend it.
Now, on to book 3 in this wonderful trilogy.
I loved The Potato Factory and The Power of One, both by Courtenay
none, since murder and mayhem do not appeal to me
This is a man's book. If you love the filth and violence of whale boats, graphic violence, highly descriptive sex, and endless repetition, then you've found your book. If you have delicate sensitivities, steer your ship to safer harbors.
It was really good. Gripping! I didn't want to stop listening
All I can compare it to is the first book in the series. It might be better.
As always, an outstanding performance.
Cant wait to hear the third in the series.