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Solomon's Song: The Australian Trilogy, Book 3 | [Bryce Courtenay]

Solomon's Song: The Australian Trilogy, Book 3

Here is the story of two families, branches of the Solomons, transported to an alien land. Both branches eventually grow rich and powerful. But through three generations, the families never, for one moment, relinquish their hatred for each other. This novel is also the story of Australia, from its beginnings to its coming of age as a nation.
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Publisher's Summary

Here is the story of two families, branches of the Solomons, transported to an alien land. Both branches eventually grow rich and powerful. But through three generations, the families never, for one moment, relinquish their hatred for each other. This novel is also the story of Australia, from its beginnings to its coming of age as a nation.

©1999 Bruce Courtenay; (P)2000 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1470 )
5 star
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Overall
4.2 (954 )
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3 star
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Story
4.7 (959 )
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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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  •  
    Anne Ithaca NY USA 03-14-07
    Anne Ithaca NY USA 03-14-07

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    17
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    "Breathtaking!"

    I waited months to get this audiobook as the 3rd volume in this triology of family, intermingled with unique historic events.

    Awesome story - the characters come to life with this narrator. Bryce is not a predictable writer and there wasn't a moment in all 3 volumes (50 hours!) that wasn't engaging.

    I can't believe the story has ended. I've downloaded all of his titles - can't wait for more.

    Bravo Mr. Courtenay!

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernadine E Duluth, MN, United States 11-13-09
    Bernadine E Duluth, MN, United States 11-13-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    110
    5
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    Overall
    "Seems to get off the track"

    I loved The Potato Factory and Tommo and Hawk. I also liked Solomon's Song but it didn't seem to hang together with the first two books. Courtenay should have written a separate book about the First World War and had the third book continued with the saga started in the first two books. A good share of the third book was Ben and the war,little about the Hawk/Benjamin, Joshua/Ben relationahip and the business.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 02-11-11
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 02-11-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    203
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    251
    133
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    Overall
    "Not what I hoped for."

    I enjoyed the first two books for the blending of history and fiction that provided action and great character development. Solomon's Song being the last book of a trilogy, I expected the same action with a conclusion to the tale that started with Ikie. Instead, I was baffled throughout. Why was the author spending so much time on certain specific topics on the last of a trilogy. The ratio of historical data to fiction was tilted way to far to historical detail and absent the good fictional narratives that made the other books so good. I know if you have gotten this far in the series that you have to buy this book so I guess I am just venting. Most seem to enjoy it so I might be the exception. The narration again is exceptional, a savior for this book.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Price Watcher 04-22-11 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    11
    1
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    "Series ran out steam"

    I really enjoyed The Potato Factory, began losing interest while listening to Tommo and Hawk, and finally could not get the past first third of this book Even the superb reading by Humphrey Bower could not save it. The recycling of plot elements, the improbable behavior on the part of the characters as well as the unrealistic relationships between those characters, the cringe-worthy explicit sex descriptions complete with sound effects, and the predictability of most of the conflicts sent me back to listening to Patrick O'Brian yet again with a sigh of relief.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Colorado Springs, CO, United States 06-20-10
    Andrew Colorado Springs, CO, United States 06-20-10 Member Since 2004

    Long time Audible member (8 years, 500+ books). Avid flyfisherman, hunter, bicycler.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    176
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    552
    46
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    10
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    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I absolutely love reading Bryce Courtenay books - until now. Solomon's Song starts with a promise to wrap up the fascinating, yet stormy relationship between the two Solomon clans, but it simply ends as a historical description of the horrors of war at Gallipoli and WWI in France, with virtually no follow up or resolution to all of the characters except for Ben, who really is a minor character in the family saga. It felt like Courtenay used Solomon's Song as a bully pulpit to preach his anti-war views, while forgetting to tell a story. You really don't need to go past Tommo & Hawk for the story of the Solomon clan.

    34 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krista peterborough, Ontario, Canada 02-18-11
    Krista peterborough, Ontario, Canada 02-18-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    58
    5
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    1
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    "Don't bother"

    I loved Tommo and Hawk and eagerly bought this, the third in the series. I was terribly disappointed by the abrupt change in style. The cliff hanger ending from T and H wasn't addressed right away and this was a recurring theme throughout the first third of the book I managed to slog through: dramatic event, chapter break, advance 20 years. The pacing was frustrating.
    I also think the Courtenay's strengths lie in the first person narrative. In this volume of his trilogy, as with the first, he is using third person. We don't get inside the head of his characters enough to truly care. T and H was told from the brothers' perspectives and was a much more engaging read.
    Rarely do I abandon a book mid-listen, but I did in the case. The only reason I finished Part One (and the reason for two stars) was Humphrey Bower's superb narration.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 06-04-12
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 06-04-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    784
    ratings
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    96
    73
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    115
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    Performance
    Story
    "Sorry to Finish the Book"
    Would you listen to Solomon's Song again? Why?

    Yes, but in sequence with the other two books...to spend time with Victoria and Ben as they pick up where the last generation left off.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Solomon's Song?

    The last page, but that would be a spoiler.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    What's not to like? He's astonishingly gifted at voicing very different characters. I'll look for him again and again.


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

    Hawk. Who wouldn't take a seven foot tall, face-tattoo'd pacifist to dinner?


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend the series: it's a masterwork of the historical family saga variety.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angelyn Lynn Haven, FL, United States 02-16-10
    Angelyn Lynn Haven, FL, United States 02-16-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    205
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    298
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    21
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    Overall
    "Ho Hum"

    This listen was interesting, but failed to reach that place inside me where I really care about the characters.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K Cornwinkle San Francisco, CA USA 08-27-12
    K Cornwinkle San Francisco, CA USA 08-27-12 Member Since 2008

    Say something about Yusef. Uh...he was a great horn player?

    HELPFUL VOTES
    218
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    "I'm a sucker for sagas"

    and the Australian trilogy fit the bill. As for this volume, t Mr. Courtenay doesn't go over the edge historically and made sure to include the sodden trenches of France along with the horrors of Gallipoli. Now that I have Humphrey Bower's voice in me head much of the time, I must tell you that there is no better narrator; some who compare, but none better.

    Four stars because I'm getting tired of being guilty of grade inflation and though I liked Solomon's Song very much, The Power of One and The Potato Factory are ~1 star better.

    By the way, I am going to try to get the following: Bryce Courtenay helped with the publication of "An Anzac's Story" by Roy Kyle. Kyle was at Gallipoli (and France later) as an ordinary soldier and began this memoir at 89.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 04-17-09
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 04-17-09 Member Since 2005

    Business Physicist and Astronomer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    693
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    292
    128
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    138
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    Overall
    "Weakest of the 3 books"

    This could have been far more interesting if T&H had had a real ending. Then this book could have had a bit more freedom. It's like two books that don't fit well together being forced to share a jacket. Old Days/New Days but poor transition.

    We're forced to find out the ending of T&H---and that is VERY contrived. The characters act very, well, out of character. I don't want to give anything away but I will say that Hawk doesn't seem too distraught over the loss of Maggie Pie, Mary seems more devious than before but not to worry because we're only dragged around in circles for 10 hours of free form just to get some characters on the stage---and then, out of the whole 19 hours, we get around 2 hours of the real story which feels compressed to meet a deadline.

    The ending is very weak. Dramatic, but silly weak.

    I hate to say it because I am a huge fan---Power of One, Tandia---5 stars. Brother Fish---4 Stars.

    Potato Factory? 4, T&H? 3.5 SS? 2 In other words, it's a downhill ride. Too much of the same stuff.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
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