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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 (444 )
5 star
 (205)
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.3 (199 )
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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 (198 )
5 star
 (151)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH PITTSBURGH, PA United States 08-11-06
    CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH PITTSBURGH, PA United States 08-11-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
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    429
    26
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    "Extraordinary Story"

    I consider this book "a sleeper." A book I decided to purchase on a whim, and what a story! The main characters might be considered 'losers' in society but are true heroes. A derelict lawyer, a discarded child, and a fabled cat that binds the lawyer and child together in a horrific yet uplifting tale. Even at the darkest moments of the book, one pulls for them to win. I laughed and cried during this listen. And what a marvelous narration! I loved every word.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Walker Texas in the winter, NY in the summer 02-05-07
    Kathryn Walker Texas in the winter, NY in the summer 02-05-07 Member Since 2004

    katiedid

    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    "Unusual"

    A novel about an alcoholic and a boy is one I would usually pass without a second glance. Fortunately, I was already a Bryce Courtenay fan. This touching novel is not to be missed. Humphrey Bower does his usual outstand job presenting each character in his/own voice. Five stars!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 06-11-09
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 06-11-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    397
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    "Bryce Courtenay & Humphrey Bower do it again!"

    I loved MF's Cat and its wonderful characters - Billy, Ryan and of course Trim, the cat. Never have I laughed and cried so much in one book. Powerful. A special thanks to the author and to the incredible Humphrey Bower. This is my 7th Courtenay novel and I can't say enough about the author and the narrator.
    BC takes on two most difficult and delicate social issues - alcoholism and pediaphila. He does it with great sensitivity as well as ruthless reality. This is a 'must read'.

    COME ON AUDIBLE.COM, BRING ON "THE PERSIMMON TREE"!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise WINTON, CA, USA 07-14-06
    Louise WINTON, CA, USA 07-14-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Go Ahead Spoil Yourself"

    Pleeease take the plunge and comit a wonderful experience. Superb story with the extremely talented Humphrey Bower. I am going to be sad when this story comes to an end. But hey, I'll just get another Bryce Courtenay novel narrated by Humphrey. Okay, now I'm not sad any more. AAAAnd according to Bryce's web site he is working on a new book. And this one had better make it to Audible.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Wray Lions Bay 03-18-06
    Andrew Wray Lions Bay 03-18-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "A whole new perspective"

    What a moving read. Humphrey Bower is a brilliant narrator who plays each voice and accent superbly but what an amazing writer Bryce Courtenay is. How many of us have looked at drunks, addicts and derelicts and wondered how they could ever get there? Mr Courtenay will help you understand the incredibly tough existence that a drunk, a drug addict, a derelict or child prostitute lives through and will bring you to tears on a regular basis.

    This is a book that I would absolutely recommend to anyone.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan San Diego, CA, United States 03-03-08
    Alan San Diego, CA, United States 03-03-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I like the cat"

    This book has two stories in one, both are good but both also some have slow moments. They drag for awhile and then come back to life. I enjoyed the characters and the narration. I was a derelict for several years after I left high school and an alcoholic while in my junior and senior high school years. My experience helped me relate to the characters and the Salvation Army (my favorite charity). I also enjoyed the vocabulary. I give this book three stars for being an average, good book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corinne Washington, DC, United States 03-25-07
    Corinne Washington, DC, United States 03-25-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poetry and humanity"

    In MATTHEW FINDER'S CAT, Bryce Courtnay helped me understand someone I knew (or thought I did and now realize I never did). As TANDIA brought home the reality of apartheid and APRIL FOOLS DAY the reality of AIDS on a person and those who knew or know him or her, MATTHEW FLINDER'S CAT is a sensitive and powerful story of alcoholiam. But it's more; the story is about youth, old age, friendship, bias, love, family and relationships.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie High Point, NC, USA 01-23-08
    Bonnie High Point, NC, USA 01-23-08 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Matthew Flinder's Cat"

    What a delightful surprise. The daily pattern of a street alcoholic is all that keeps Billy (former Barrister) together. His morning coffee, reciting poetry for mynah birds he is eliminating on the steps of the court house, the conservatory in the afternoon, and finally drink in the evening. Then Billy, meets a young lad of 11 who changes his life and makes him want to give up this life of alcohol, and help the child, too.

    It does involve much of the seamier side of life, and is set in Australian, but the tale is so good. It involves Prim the cat, Billy's good friends, Mr. Williams, and other vivid caracters.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KathR 10-14-09
    KathR 10-14-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
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    889
    5
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    Overall
    "Top listening!"

    Rich characterisation, rich language, light hearted but serious and altogether, a good story. Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower have produced a wonderful piece of entertainment. It's been a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. Could not put this one down.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CynNC Sandhills NC USA 08-14-08
    CynNC Sandhills NC USA 08-14-08 Member Since 2007

    "Pug Lover"

    HELPFUL VOTES
    109
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    Overall
    "Another Winner"

    Bryce Courtaney is a Master, have yet to read/listen to one of his that I have not LOVED and Humphrey Bower's voice is incredible. I can't imagine anyone not truly enjoying this one!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 34 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
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  • Mr.
    Cirby, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "As alway Bryce Courtney delivers."

    Bruce Courtney always delivers. Mathew Flinders Cat is no different.

    He captures the characters and their emotions and you end up knowing them, feeling their pain, sorrows and joy.

    A captivating story of a man who has fallen a long way, but is rescued by his friendship with a young boy with problems, and his ingrained sense of justice and compassion. You become part of the journey and involved in the story and wanting a 'happy' positive outcome.

    Bryce Courtney never disappoints in any of his stories and this is no exception.

    A good listen with the reader bringing the story to life. You will not be disappointed.

    A definite five stars. Can't wait to get more Bryce Courtney books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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