Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.
In the backstreets and dives of Hobart Town, Mary learns the art of brewing and builds The Potato Factory, where she plans a new future. But her ambitions are threatened by Ikey's wife, Hannah, her old enemy. The two women raise their separate families, one legitimate and the other bastard. As each woman sets out to destroy the other, the families are brought to the edge of disaster.
©1995 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2000 Bolinda Publishing Pyt Ltd by arrangement with Penguin Group (Australia)
"In the tradition of Charles Dickens, Courtenay creates a unique cast of characters from the outset of this epic novel....Humphrey Bower's performance is a marvel...making this one of those rare books with a sweep of characters the readers come to care about deeply." (AudioFile)
This is the first of 3 books regarding Australia and Tazmania. The detail and descriptiveness makes the characters breathe and live in the listener's mind. Excellent, excellent reading.
I had never heard of the author but so glad I found him and am looking forward to the rest of this trilogy. Fabulous story beautifully brought to life by Humphrey Bower.
Because this is a trilogy, the story and character development is very thorough, but maybe too slow for some. I enjoy the writers style, and as usual, Humphrey Bower does a stellar job at bringing the words to life.
Tough to choose
Yes. "Shantaram" (The audio book that got me into audio books. Simply the best), and "Four Fires" (my first and favorite Bryce Courtney).It stands up well as far as narration. I search out books read by Bower. He's that good.If you're reading this, get one of these two books before you get the potato factory.
Lots of laughs. But not a comedy.
Slow moving book. Very well done, but really very slow.
Retired teacher and interpreter. I read classic and contemporary fiction, as well as Mystery/Suspense/Horror, Fantasy&Sci-fi.
Really seriously a very very great listen!!!
Bryce Courtenay calls this book "My thank you note to Australia", explaining that most people learn history from novels, not history books...
Beginning in late 18th/early 19th century London, and following a cast of characters to Australia as convicts, this is entertainment at its finest. The narration is perfect. I can not say enough good things about this book! As it ended I wanted to applaud!
What are DOING!?!?! You could be listening to it already!!!
Loved the great sympathy for the plight of the underclasses plus this is a dang good story. The characters will stay withe forever. Can't wait to get to the next in the series
took me a bit at first to get into the book but then I couldn't put it down! loved it! can't wait to get the next book!
Didn't know anything about Australia [except for the wonderful description of the Aussie success in Why Nations Fail]. This book gave me a bunch more, in a very entertaining manner.
Thanks Bryce and Humphrey! You two write and perform with exceptional talent! I am as drawn in by the characters and storyline as I was the first time reading!
This is the 4th Courtenay book I've read, and I was not disappointed. Can't wait to start the next book in the series. Narration by Humphrey Bower was terrific!
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