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Matthew Flinder's Cat Audiobook

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 (557 )
5 star
 (263)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (305 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.7 (304 )
5 star
 (231)
4 star
 (56)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Nancy Gorham, ME, United States 12-11-15
    Nancy Gorham, ME, United States 12-11-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Great character study."
    Any additional comments?

    Bryce Courtenay is one of my new favorite writers. This is the fifth of his books I have read and thoroughly enjoyed. It provides an in-depth look at the life of Billie, an educated man turned homeless alcoholic. Instead of trying to avoid this character as I would on the street, I was drawn into his life and felt myself wanting to spend more time with him, to understand his addiction and wish him into recovery. His relationship with the young boy, Ryan, is at first a little hard to believe, but as the reader learns more about Billie's past, it becomes more understandable. The third main character in the book is Trim, Matthew's Flinder's cat (an historical figure), and Courtenay takes us on many adventures with Trim, as Billie shares these stories with Ryan. I found myself very interested in Trim's adventures in the beginning, but found them to be rather tedious as the story of Billie and Ryan grew and I was more interested in continuing with their story and not being interrupted with tales of Trim. Humphrey Bower is one of my all-time favorite narrators. I sometimes think he could read a shopping list and make it come alive!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boysmom Alberta, Canada 10-07-15
    Boysmom Alberta, Canada 10-07-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Courtenay's best"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Matthew Flinder's Cat to be better than the print version?

    Don't know. Never read the print version.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Reduced the amounts of time spent on the story of Matthew Flanders and Trim.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Humphrey Bower brings every book he narrates to life. I've listened to him lots and have never been disappointed.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A story af alcoholism and child sexual exploitation in Aussyland.


    Any additional comments?

    The story tells the tale of a very special friendship between an alcoholic and a child. I really think it was more about what BC wanted to say about alcoholism/addiction, it's recovery process, and make some points about child sexual exploitation. I really feel like he used this story to get his views across, while not wrong in any way, but took away from the story really just being about the characters. I connected with Billie, but would have more if he hadn't been so into project Mina bird!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Oceanside, CA, United States 07-21-15
    Monica Oceanside, CA, United States 07-21-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Great performance lifts a good story even higher"
    What made the experience of listening to Matthew Flinder's Cat the most enjoyable?

    The remarkable performance of Humphrey Bower zoomed this book into vibrant life. It is, quite simply, the best audiobook performance I've ever heard. There is not a false note in it. Mr Bower makes every voice unique and keeps the narrative constantly interesting. What a wonderful actor!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Again, the performance. I would normally not have been attracted to this story, and bought the book because it seemed to be about a cat (as it is, in large parts) and was on sale. Very happy I did! It was quite compelling. The characters were completely realistic and the story became truly interesting. It's an extremely good portrayal of one man's battle against severe alcoholism.


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

    No, but I most certainly will!


    If you could take any character from Matthew Flinder's Cat out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Trim, the cat, of course. He is an intrepid hero!


    Any additional comments?

    This was really a fortunate purchase for me. Thoroughly enjoyed it, especially because of the brilliant performance, but also because the book is darned good too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Munden Youngsville, NC, US 06-25-15
    Joyce Munden Youngsville, NC, US 06-25-15 Member Since 2013

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "ANOTHER GREAT BOOK BY BRYCE COURTNEY"

    Another great book by Bryce Courtney.
    He never disappoints me. I have listened to all of his books. Sometimes more than once.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Devereux 03-17-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent"

    Another Brilliant story from Bryce Courtney. An amazing relationship formed on the streets of Sydney between a derelict drunk and a street wise boy. It all started with a tale about a cat! A must read/download. Beautifully narrated by Humphrey Bower.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy 03-03-15
    Judy 03-03-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Wonderful story!"

    This is my 6th book by this author and I will listen to more. Humphrey is an excellent voice telling the story
    Bryce consistently educates and entertains to the highest standard .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlotta Bellinjgham, WA, United States 01-24-15
    Carlotta Bellinjgham, WA, United States 01-24-15 Member Since 2015

    Retired police detective; oenophile; golf and exercise addict; and quilter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brcye Courtenay is always a good read"
    What made the experience of listening to Matthew Flinder's Cat the most enjoyable?

    I love the way he describes real life people, with their foibles and idiosyncricies into the stories.


    0 of 0 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
  •  
    horslovr 02-11-14
    horslovr 02-11-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Another Great Read from Bryce"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 08-09-13
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 08-09-13 Member Since 2009

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Almost the best till last"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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