I would recommend this book with caution to friends. It is graphic without being particularly deep, and fairly dark. I had a hard time relating to most of the characters, with the exception of Mary... but Bryce Courtenay's sense of setting is compelling, and Humphry Bower is always a great narrator.
The most interesting aspect of the story was Mary's life on the Destiny 2. The least interesting probably the story of the whales and whaling ships...
Mary Abacus. She clawed her way up from nothing, learned to be shrewd, and found a family of sorts with Tommo and Hawk and Ikey.
There is not much I can add here. I am going to continue the series in the hopes that "Tommo and Hawk" will be more hopeful and less dark. The Potato Factory is a good read, with a few unnecessarily long passages and an abrupt ending... worth re-reading to pick up some of the foreshadowing I missed before.
Loved the history. Loved the narrator. A little bit violent in a sad, sad way. But the end? It was almost as if after 600 pages (give or take) the author was done, tired and ended it with "And so they lived happily ever after". Not that I don't love a happy ending but I found the very, very end a bit weird. In a good way.
This was a great book!!! Up there in my top 5 all time. Keeps you entertained and not wanting to put it down. The Narration was also superb.
I had no idea what to expect when starting this book, but upon finishing it this afternoon I must say this has been an adventure like no other. It feels like a trip back in time to view lives presented in such a realistic and dramatic way, I was left feeling like an exhausted time traveler! There was shocking information that I take to be truth, because of the lessons of history taught to me in school, but so realistic I felt an immediate kinship with the poor people both in England and Van Diemans land. I will have to listen to this again to be sure, like looking at a painting, to appreciate things I did not see the first time.
This work is truly a gift to all of us.
With almost 800 books in my library, I am an experienced listener. I appreciate a well written good story. I am pretty critical of trash.
I especially enjoyed the well researched history. I found it to be somewhat long, but don't think there is much that could be eliminated. Although much of the story had harsh aspects they were never exploited. I feel like I was treated to an entertaining history lesson. I would recommend this listen, and will find the sequels. The narration is good. There were many characters, and accents which were well differentiated. I also appreciated the pace of the narration. I find that to often be problematical. Not here.
Yes, I think I'd discover new details with a second reading that I may have missed the first time.
It's hard to compare this series to another. But if you enjoyed this, you will enjoy the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
Humphrey Bower is an amazing narrator. This may be his best performance.
Leave a Little Salt on the Bread.
This was a very entertaining book and performance.
Courtenay wrote a fascinating tale with wonderful characters. The reader does a wonderful job with the different voices. I had some problems getting into the book as the lives of the characters are so cruel and dismal during the first third. Those times were definitely not the "good old days." After that, I enjoyed every minute of the book. In fact, I am listening to the second book in the trilogy now.
My two favorites things to do are cooking and reading. Audio books have now opened my world to books while cooking....driving.....waiting
I was captured right from the start. This is a really great story with vivid characters. I would have enjoyed reading it but the narrator takes this book and makes listening the ultimate audible experience!
Dont miss this one. Even if it is not what you would normally listen to....I promise you will be entertained and swept away. The second in this series is just as good!
In the top five. Not romantized..When I initially began to listen I felt as if I was listening to a modern Dickens Tale. Interestingly, Dickens is later introduced into the story as a minor character. Initially I was concerned that the book was going to be a bit too graphic for my taste but these were brutal times!
Well researched looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.
He brought the book to life!!!I felt the narrator performance was exquisite. He gave the characters a true voice and personality.
Actually, too long to enjoy in one sitting.I listen to audio books a lot when I drive and a true test is when I sit in the garage and listen because the story is so engaging. I did this with this book!
all the characters
his different voices for the characters made them recognizable and ability to speak as in the time of the story, excellent job