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Matthew Flinder's Cat | [Bryce Courtenay]

Matthew Flinder's Cat

The story of a drunk, a boy, and a cat. Billy O'Shannessy, once a prominent barrister, is now on the street where he sleeps on a bench outside the State Library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim. Ryan is a 10-year-old, a near-street kid heading for the usual trouble. The two form an unlikely bond.
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Publisher's Summary

The story of a drunk, a boy, and a cat. Billy O'Shannessy, once a prominent barrister, is now on the street where he sleeps on a bench outside the State Library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim. Ryan is a 10-year-old, a near-street kid heading for the usual trouble. The two form an unlikely bond. Through telling Ryan the story of Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia as seen through Trim's eyes, Billy is drawn deeply into Ryan's life and into the Sydney underworld.

©2002 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2002 Bolinda Publishing Pty. Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (448 )
5 star
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Overall
4.3 (202 )
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Story
4.7 (202 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Margaret Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada 01-21-13
    Margaret Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada 01-21-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm a Coutenay FAN"

    Enjoyed this book in spite of it's gritty hard to hear content. This book addresses issues of today that we prefer to ignore..addiction, poverty, child abuse in a manner that is real but readable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Flaherty CA United States 01-07-13
    R. Flaherty CA United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2003

    Naval Air Corps - (DC3, C118, P2V Neptune) 1965 - 1970

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Emotional"
    Where does Matthew Flinder's Cat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rank this novel at 85% of over 700 Audible Books I have purchased. However, that is mostly meaningless because, while I am an Average Guy, it's only my personal opinion. I do not think you would be disappointed with the novel because, woven throughout a very good story, there are a few nuggets of knowledge we all can benefit from


    What did you like best about this story?

    A better understanding of the causes of an addictive personality.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Humphrey Bower is a great voice actor who brings to life each and every character in the story. He makes you care, very much, about them. Mr. Bower is right up there with Mr. George Guidall, who, I believe, could read the phone book and make it come alive.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    In the very beginning when Billy is getting hassled by the local cop; I began to care about what was going to happen to him. That is the moment I got hooked and wanted to find out how the rest of the story developed.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Centennial, Wyoming, United States 12-11-12
    Linda Centennial, Wyoming, United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2011

    buffalogirlofwy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful story, as usual, from Mr. Courtenay"
    If you could sum up Matthew Flinder's Cat in three words, what would they be?

    Unique, poignant, happy ending


    What other book might you compare Matthew Flinder's Cat to and why?

    I cannot compare this book to any other book except those by Bryce Courtenay.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Humphrey Bower is my favorite narrator.


    Who was the most memorable character of Matthew Flinder's Cat and why?

    Ryan, the little boy. I identified with him mostly because of my past, and also because I have experienced young kids in my adult life that were exceptional, yet were in a terrible situation. Like Billy, they changed my life, and I was willing to give up things to help them.


    Any additional comments?

    I have never read or heard a Bryce Courtenay book that I didn't like. I plan to read them all. This one, as with all of them, gave me the feeling of going to another continent, to experience a different way of speaking. The intricate sub-stories are easy to follow and all the pieces are knitted together meticulously for the grand ending. Characters are strong. When I completed this book, I felt a bit sad that it was over.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meagan Redding, CA, United States 05-29-12
    Meagan Redding, CA, United States 05-29-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A touching, non-classic story"

    Its surprising how much you can come to love a drunk and find faith in humanity again based on his platonic friendship with a runaway/homeless kid. I always enjoy a good fiction beyond the he loves her, she loves him, or the action hero who saves the day, or blah blah blah. If you're looking for a simple, sweet story, this is a good choice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mergra WILLUNGA, Australia 04-18-11
    mergra WILLUNGA, Australia 04-18-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Moving, heart-warming and beautifully narrated."

    We each come from our own, unique background and I suspect that those who have not walked in the shoes of the less fortunate may identify only slightly with the character/s in this book. However, those who have some understanding of the plight of the addict, the abused, the pervasive nature of corruption and those for whom discrimination is a daily and unrelenting occurrence, this book will speak directly to their hearts, as it did mine. I greatly respect the way Courtenay wove the tapestry of this story and I love the hope he inspires with his words, whilst acknowledging the darkness and difficulties that plague all of us as we attempt to navigate the complexities of our lives. I particularly like the synchronicities he includes, showing how events can seemingly conspire for, and against all of us. Yes, the stories of Trim and Flinders were sometimes long-winded - but isn't that the way life is to us sometimes? The details that we'd rather not know about so that we can cut to the chase and get to the more interesting, inspiring bits? It was the telling of Trim's story that gave Billy hope and allowed him to employ his creative self, both through his drunken wanderings AND his sober perseverance whilst waiting for contact with Ryan. I experienced this book as a brilliant insight into the very heart of so many issues and I loved the narration - excellent work, as usual, by Humphrey Bower. Hats off to author and narrator!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Worcestershire, United Kingdom 10-24-09
    Judith Worcestershire, United Kingdom 10-24-09 Member Since 2004
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    "WONDERFUL"

    My first listen to a book by Bryce Courtenay. A really good listen with characters you will care about from beginning to end. Reader Humphrey Bower is a real treat. His reading enhances any book. Not to be missed.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Smee 10-03-09
    Andrew Smee 10-03-09 Member Since 2008
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    3
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    "Authentic Australia"

    The story of Billy, Ryan, the characters of Sydney's underbelly, and the city itself ring absolutely true to this Australian, and Humphrey Bower does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life, with his authentic Australian voices. The story of Trim and Matthew Flinders, gives depth and an historical counterpoint to this tale of despair, courage and redemption in modern Australia.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary j aboughadareh Reston, VA USA 07-29-08
    mary j aboughadareh Reston, VA USA 07-29-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Still another 5 stars for a Courtnay book"

    I can't seem to tear myself aways from Courtnay. Even so, I didn't think I'd be keen on the subject matter but it was a great story, even the bits about the cat. Bower is the best reader ever!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-01-07
    09-01-07 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Narrator"

    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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grace Hunter Merced, CA, US 07-10-14
    Grace Hunter Merced, CA, US 07-10-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Captivating story of 3 admirable characters!"
    What did you love best about Matthew Flinder's Cat?

    I was impressed by the realistic description of a man in detox; Bower's narration of all the characters, particularly that of an 11 year old boy's voice; and Master Trim's human-like characteristics


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Billy was an articulate and intelligent lawyer that succumbed to alcohol as any other average person, however, he was able to turn his life around when he accepts that he abandoned his young friend and puts the boy's welfare above his own.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are too many to say.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, impossible. I like to repeat sections two or three times over a few days.


    Any additional comments?

    Bryce Courtney is a great, amazing writer! I highly recommend the Potatoe Factory Trilogy, in part for it's historical value, but expecially for the main characters that will bring me back for a second listen. I give Matthew Flinder's Cat an equally excellent review. I plan to read another one of Cortney's books soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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