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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 )
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Story
4.7 (304 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 02-12-13
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 02-12-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bryce Courtenay - a Great Talent"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Cranbourne, Australia 02-04-13
    Victoria Cranbourne, Australia 02-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Not sure"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, but there were bits I would have skipped in a paper issue. At times it sounded like a documentary rather than a story. I found myself really hoping that Billy would succeed, but then getting tired of the detailed description of the process.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 01-29-13
    Susan 01-29-13

    I'm a landscape architect by profession and an avid listener of audio books ! I particularly love the historical based fiction series, like Courteney, McCammon, and Gabaldon,. I listen in the car, while designing in my studio and most evenings.

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    "Strong Story of Child Pornograpy & Alcholism!"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Not for the faint of heart! Bryce was able to weave together 2 of societies ills, the child pornography trade and alcoholism into a story that made me wince and cry and smile.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    This story really helped me understand the program that AA offers and how it helps those that are addicted.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Humphrey Bower is my favorite narrator. His voice and characterizations are spot on! No one else can evoke such laughter and tears from me.


    Do you have any additional comments?

    A tough subject to read about, as was his book, Jessica, but well worth your time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Panorama, Australia 08-14-12
    Robert Panorama, Australia 08-14-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Great story built on good research."
    Would you listen to Matthew Flinder's Cat again? Why?

    Yes because of good narration and the many twist and turns of a Bryce Courtenay novel.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Matthew Flinder's Cat?

    His ability to catch rats only as the need arose.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Billy and Ryan are finally reunited


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

    Ryan singing in the church and then disappearing.


    Any additional comments?

    Always good to have the 'baddies' caught and put out of business.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Booklover 09-16-11
    Booklover 09-16-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Patchy"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Courtenay seemed to capture with authenticity certain Sydney sub-cultures, and the characters were depicted with empathy.


    What was most disappointing about Bryce Courtenay???s story?

    The "cat" passages dragged and were way too long.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lesley West Kempsey, Australia 12-10-10
    Lesley West Kempsey, Australia 12-10-10 Member Since 2014
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    "Great yarn"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Knutsson Northern California 05-06-14
    K. Knutsson Northern California 05-06-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Not Courtenay's finest!"
    Would you try another book from Bryce Courtenay and/or Humphrey Bower?

    I have already read most of Courtenay's books and really like most of his work.


    What was most disappointing about Bryce Courtenay’s story?

    This one did never really get off the ground.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I wondered why I stayed with it to the end.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerry Flagstaff Hill, Australia 01-27-14
    Kerry Flagstaff Hill, Australia 01-27-14
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    "Beautifully read, engaging -but may be distressing"
    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No - but I shall seek him out. Hats off to you Mr. Bower!


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

    YES!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-13-10
    05-13-10 Member Since 2007
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    "not Courtenay's best"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prsilla 09-30-13
    Prsilla 09-30-13 Member Since 2014

    Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.

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    "WORTHWHILE, BUT NOT COURTNEY'S BEST"

    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!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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