I really like this narrator which is why I chose this book. I thought the book was decent but I wasnt a big fan of the stories the old man told about the cat. They were way too long and it didnt have anything to do with the story.
I am going to be so sad when I've read the last Bryce Courtenay book. All of his stories, as this one is, are so inspirational and thought provoking and oh, so interesting.
This story centers around a derelict who befriends a young boy, who makes a profound difference in the older man's life and vice versa. Humphrey Bower is superb, as usual, and I always forget that it is him narrating and not the "real" character, which is the mark of a great narrator!
I am not personally an addict(well, food/sugar I am guilty of!) but there were moments in the book where I was quite moved and realized things in my own life that were relative to the story. Now that's a bonus; a great read with a little therapy mixed in!
The only reason I gave the story 4 stars is that the ending left me wanting a bit more; it seemed to come to a bit of a halt for me. But that may just be that I can't get enough of Bryce Courtenay's and Humphrey Bower's story telling.
No - but I shall seek him out. Hats off to you Mr. Bower!
The story was tightly woven and, quite frankly, stretched my credulity at the coincidences in it a bit much. However, the author made me love the main characters so much I set that aside. In fact, all of the characterisations were rich - even those of minor characters - and the reader was absolutely superb.I loved that it was set in Sydney, a city I've visited many times, and introduced a side of it with which I am thankfully not familiar.
The subject matter is adult and could be very distressing for people dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse as well as very tender-hearted animal lovers. I think there should be a warning of this as it could trigger very deep hurts.
An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.
Well that's the lot unless BC left one behind to publish from the grave but I am so glad I left this one to last. I enjoyed all his books to varying degrees but this one hit home and took me to places I had not thought of. Provocative, read brilliantly as you might expect by HB and poignant to say the least. Yes, I would have liked a bigger ending, yes it might be a little predictable but worth every invested second of your listening time.
Matthew Flinders' Cat is an incredible story. As other reviewers have said, Bryce Courtenay handles the painful subjects of alcoholism and pedofelia with complexity and sensitivity.
Billy is a former lawyer, a drunk living on the streets of Sydney, when he meets Ryan, a young streetwise boy with problems of his own.
Without giving away any plot details, their paths converge in wonderful unexpected ways, relying both on coincidence and the story of Trim, a ship's cat who sailed with Matthew Flinders, a famous seaman/cartographer.
As other reviewers have stated, this book tackles some thorny subjects, but always with hope and healing. An easy read, this is not, but Bryce Courtenay and Humphry Bower are such a winning combination that you can't help but keep listening!
Yes because of good narration and the many twist and turns of a Bryce Courtenay novel.
His ability to catch rats only as the need arose.
When Billy and Ryan are finally reunited
Ryan singing in the church and then disappearing.
Always good to have the 'baddies' caught and put out of business.
Courtenay seemed to capture with authenticity certain Sydney sub-cultures, and the characters were depicted with empathy.
The "cat" passages dragged and were way too long.
Bryce Courtenay should have been an Irishman... he can certainly tell a good yarn. I cared for his characters, but found the devise of the cat a bit unnecessary. It intruded, in my opinion, into the real story of an alcoholic and a sad, unsupported child.
Native Californian. Knit awesome socks and mittens while listening.
This strange and flawed book is actually part history and part modern fiction. Listening to it is like listening to "Rock Around the Clock" against "Adeste Fidelis." Disorienting, absurd. I certainly did not mind the profanity. But I found the style of very good writing to be inconsistent. Great chunks are more like a magazine article than a great Work of Literature! Mr. Courtenay is gone now, so his feelings won't be hurt. I realize he had to do a lot of research to write this book. And some of the book reads like his notes. I was nowhere nearly as glad to get the cat story as Ryan was. And the cat story ends badly. I certainly did not expect to go through detox and twelve-step discussions. Those parts are good but quite protracted; whereas the details of the happy ending are rushed and shortened. Not good. Not fair. I did not see that marriage coming. We deserved several more delicious hours of that paydirt!
The discussion of co-dependency told me that Bryce didn't really get that part. Melody Beattie wrote "Codependent No More" in 1986. The one book has helped scores of Americans, including me. Codependency is almost a physical pain. You can't sit still. You have to make phone calls, write letters, go talk to someone, go check up on someone who is not doing what you think he/she should be doing. You forget to bathe, eat, do laundry, go to bed while you're being codependent. They're doing it to you and you have to tell them! You simply can't walk away or detach. It is miserable! You go to Al Anon meetings and think you will never be free and happy again. You wonder if you were ever normal. Bryce could have pointed out that people who love an alcoholic are torn up in this manner. Then Billy and his mates could begin to appreciate how deeply they were hurting and had hurt the people in their lives. Little kids who are codependent are affected for their entire lives.
Bower's rendition of the song Strange Fruit is very beautiful. He is excellent as usual. Nice meow, too!
I have read or listened to almost all of Bryce Courtenay's stories. This one was my least favourite. I found the characters uninteresting and the plot rather drawn out. In fact, it is the first of his novels that did not compel me to listen/read to the end.