©1999 Bruce Courtenay; (P)2000 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"Narrator Humphrey Bower doesn't miss a nuance. His villains have a sharp, nasal nastiness, and his love scenes tickle the hairs at the nape of the neck. Bower's performance is spot-on." (Audiofile)
Bryce Courtenay is my favorite author and Humphrey Bowers is a terrific reader. The Potato Factory was the first book in this trilogy and probably the best. However, "Toma and Hawk" and "Solomon's Song" were very enjoyable as well. I don't think the reader would enjoy Solomon's Song as much without having read the previous two books. The beauty of Courtenay's books is that when you finish one, you immedicately want to followup on another of his books.
The discussion Hawk has with his granddaughter about the perils of power and its ability to corrupt---even in the case of her precious trade union. Nuggets of life's wisdom are studded through Courtenay's writings.
I have listened to over 10 Humphrey Bowers readings and he is always excellent. He IS the voice of Courtnay's characters. His ability to portray Australian, South African, Maori, and British accents is unmatched.
Hawk displays the internal strength character that I think we all wish we could possess.
Start with "The Potato Factory" and you will be hooked--wishing for even more after "Solomon's Song" is complete.
AUDIO DOSE NOT PREVENT ME FROM DOING OTHER CHORES. WISH THE STORY CONTINUED INTO THE NEXT GENERATION
THE STORY OF THE IMMIGRATION OF TASMAINIA AND THE NATIVE PEOPLE
THE POTATO FACTORY IS PERFICT
I didn't expect to like these three books as much as I did - I really enjoyed them and the sense of justice and social values that were woven through the characters. Courtenay is creative in how he brings the characters together and I found myself wondering "how would anyone dream up that story!?".
The only reason I gave the story 4/5 is that in all three books the endings are always rather brutal and sudden. I haven't read others of Courtenay's books so perhaps that his style. I found that I was fully immersed in the story and the it was almost like the author got tired or didn't know what to do next and so just ended the book.
Overall enjoyable and I recommend all three in the Australian Trilogy.
First, narration was excellent as always. However, having listened to the other books in this trilogy, I felt this book ran out of steam. Predominately it was about Gallipoli and introduced a whole host of new characters. You lose contact with Hawk and the rest of the family and what is going on back in Australia. It felt like an entirely different story by the end. It wasn't bad though and the descriptions of WW1 are realistic and brutal.
Bower's ability to give each character their own voice. It was like having someone sitting next to me reading a story, only better.
I loved learning about Australia's history. I did not know anything about their involvement in WWI.
The scenes where Grandfather Hawk gives his perspective on people, happenings, and the world. I love to listen to what he has to say. His voice is the voice of wisdom and it really resonates with me.
Is this Solomon the Solomon of Biblical Wisdom (as well as Solomon family??) If so, then this title takes on an interesting double meaning, and I would not want to change it.
I listened to this book in my car while I am driving. As the story comes towards the end, I have to bring it into the house so I can hear how it is going to end. The characters and their voices get into my head and my heart and I need to know what is going to happen to them.
I did not intent to listen to all three books, but I cared about the characters so much I wanted to know what happened to them.
This trilogy reminded me of how much I had enjoyed "The Power of One". I still have the hard cover book, but I have downloaded the audio so this time I can listen to Bower tell me the story, and enjoy it in a different medium.
First and Third books were best of the series
It was fine
It made me cry, but it wasn't defeating.
An excellent series, too bad he has died.
I thoroughly enjoyed these three books, and was sorry for the trilogy to come to an end. Bryce Courtenay is one my favourite authors of all time, and I have read many of his books. This trilogy was probably my favourite story.
I enjoyed the first 2 books and when started to listen to the final book in the trilogy, I thought for a moment that I had downloaded the wrong book. It seemed completely out of character with the previous 2. I was disappointed in the end as well. It seemed to leave a "cliffhanger". But as its a trilogy, there would not be another book. I felt as if the story was detached from the original book and left me feeling unsatisfied with the resolution of the story arcs. The narration was wonderful as before.
Each of the three books in the Australian Trilogy has provided a wonderful balance of history and fiction culminating with Solomon's Song. Many have spoken about the ending and I, like them, wish it could have ended differently. That being said I longed for a sequel, but that cannot happen. So we are left open and wondering what will happen to those remaining and their futures. And we are given the freedom to finish the story for ourselves.
The impact of Gallipoli and Courtenay's emphasis on all of the details, including those most gruesome, sometimes made it difficult to listen. Yet, there was a reality that I, who will never experience a combat theater first hand, was given an opportunity to understand on a very deep and personal level. At the conclusion, I wept - not just for the characters, but for the futility of war and for the families whose sons and daughters face the same absurdity on a daily basis. We fight for our countries, but in doing so we are fighting someone's son or daughter and there is an inevitable loss that cannot be explained. Courtenay portrayed this in Solomon's Song and it is applicable to each war in which we engage.
After I listen to the rest of his books, I will go back and re-listen to all three once again. I miss the characters - Ikey, Mary, Tommo, Hawk, Maggie Pie, Ben, and Victoria. They became my friends. And I am continually amazed by the artistic agility portrayed by Humphrey Bowers. He is truly amazing as he brings each character, in their own voice, to life.
This series was going along great, sometimes dark, sometimes positive. Then the last hour or 2 of this audio book it stopped making any sense. It felt contrived, rushed, and and out of character. It was as if the author got tired of writing and just made something up to hit the deadline. It was a very disappointing conclusion to the series.
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