Bryce Courtenay is now on my short list of favorite story tellers, alongside Patrick O'Brian, Isabel Allende, and Larry McMurtry. Lots of people can write, but it takes a special talent to weave and tell a spellbinding story. The Potato Factory is a spellbinding story.
No. The plot and characters were not sufficiently well developed to make sense, even though plenty of time was spent on them. The author (and main character) was a narcissistic misogynist shit, whose treatment of women amounts to basically using them to make himself look like a big man.
The plot was implausible, with the ending entirely inconsistent with the story. If someone other than Uris had written it, the outcome might have been better explained, rather than just dumped on the reader. There really wasn't evidence of the doctor's participation in any of the alleged procedures, other than communist propaganda, to justify the outcome, which is likely not the case in real life. I suspect, however, that the author was too close to the story to have been the best person to write this. As it was, it came off reading a bit like a kid's self-justification for what really was his own mistake. "Not my fault, etc."
I wouldn't waste my favorite narrators on this book. John Lee does not seem capable of handling females characters without making them all sound like brainless sluts. I would recommend him only for books with male characters only.
Return it, and remove Leon Uris and John Lee from my wish list.
Neither. Don't like the story, don't like the narrator. The narrator is very disrespectful of some of the characters, and gives them voices and vocal ticks I've never heard, and are very irritating.
Don't write any more books
I gave it one star, because negative stars wasn't an option.
Brilliant books, I've listened to them through at least 4 times. I got the first one, because of the movie, but it and the next 12 were read by Simon Vance. I dislike the other readers, as I'd gotten to "know" the characters in a different voice, and their character seemed to change with Patrick Tull and Tim Pigott Smith, to almost cartoonish. The Vance interpretation is more dignified, whereas the other readers make Stephen too "Irish" which is incongruous with his education, his travel, the fact that he speaks as many languages as he does, and with the fact that at dinners etc., strangers will comment on the Irish in a way that they would not if they knew he was Irish, which they would if he had such a thick accent. As well, he speaks so many languages, and is such a cool, shrewd spy, he should not be made to sound like such a buffoon as Tull makes him sound. He should sound as cool and suave, as Vance makes him sound. As well, Vance is such a master at all the different voices, accents, dialects, even languages, it is effortless to know who is talking, indeed you forget that the story is being read by one man. He even reads the female and child parts convincingly. Even though I have books 13-16 by Tull and Pigott Smith, when they come available by Vance, I will buy them again, and listen to them again. Vance makes Stephen and Jack each cool and sexy in their own way, while the other readers turn them into cartoon characters.
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