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The Potato Factory Audiobook

The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

Always leave a little salt on the bread. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Always leave a little salt on the bread...

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)

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (4258 )
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4.6 (3203 )
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Performance
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  •  
    bracken mocksville, nc, United States 02-23-14
    bracken mocksville, nc, United States 02-23-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book."

    A bit verbose, but the action/story makes up for it. And what a cliffhanger! I will be getting the entire series. I love it when I have to Google things that I'm not familiar with (like what a rookery is). It's very well researched and written. Great narration and character voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 02-19-14
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 02-19-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't Recommend Highly Enough"

    I just finished book 2 and wrote a longer review - but for those that are considering this series but may hesitate given the length of each book - do yourself a favor, get this one and try it out.... if you hate it you can return it. I'm betting a good 98% of you will go on to be chomping at the bit for the next one and the next one and on and on. Having just finished 2 and sitting waiting for 3 to download to my Android - I'm having withdrawals already.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geraldine 02-13-14
    Geraldine 02-13-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing historical fiction"
    Where does The Potato Factory rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was the most enjoyable fiction to listen to! I just couldn't stop listening to the story! I wanted to know what happened next to all of the characters in the story that I got the second audiobook in the series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Colorado Springs, CO, United States 02-09-14
    Carol Colorado Springs, CO, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2014
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    "fantastic!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    YES!! The writting and narrative combine to make the best audible book of all time.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Potato Factory?

    Every scene is etched in my mind. But the boat ride was so visceral I thought I was aboard.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Humphrey Bower can do every accent and voice…….it becomes a play in your mind.


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

    It is a little long for that concept but it is hard to 'put down'.


    Any additional comments?

    I am hooked on Bryce Courtney's writings and have NEVER been dissapointed. His historical research is exhaustive and Humphrey Bower is the perfect compliment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 01-30-14
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 01-30-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Only a starting point of a trilogy."

    I am a great fan of Bryce Courtenay but this story seemed very long and drawn out. It sometimes seemed contrived and just too unbelievable. I have already purchased parts 2 “Tommo and Hawk” and 3 “Song of Solomon”, and I hope that they will be much better than the first book.

    I did learn about Australian history which was very interesting. The narration by Humphrey Bower was excellent. I enjoyed the character Ikey Soloman and Mary Abacus. It is definitely an unforgettable story, just not my favorite of Mr. Courtenay's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 01-28-14
    Linda 01-28-14 Member Since 2010

    I am waiting patiently for the best book on earth!!

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    "Worth the read~"
    If you could sum up The Potato Factory in three words, what would they be?

    I loved this book~ The history and story combined make for a delightful read!


    Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

    Of course Mary and her poor hands!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Cookeville, TN, United States 01-26-14
    Rebecca Cookeville, TN, United States 01-26-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Not for the squeamish."
    Any additional comments?

    This book is excellent. If you like an epic tale of struggle, misfortune and meager survival then this book is for you.
    However, this book is also brutal, bloody and full of graphic descriptions of horrific child abuse. If you are sqeamish, don't try this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Sisters, OR, United States 01-24-14
    Barbara Sisters, OR, United States 01-24-14 Member Since 2015
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    "An Aussie sage"
    What made the experience of listening to The Potato Factory the most enjoyable?

    The voyages


    If you’ve listened to books by Bryce Courtenay before, how does this one compare?

    n/a


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good reader, gets into the characters


    Any additional comments?

    An O.K. story, but I've read better about immigration to down under

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Perth, Australia 01-03-14
    Bruce Perth, Australia 01-03-14 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Worth presisting with"

    I almost gave up after an hour or so of listening but pushed on. Glad I did. Found the plot a bit weak book but enjoyable nonetheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bike Commuter Minneapolis 12-31-13
    Bike Commuter Minneapolis 12-31-13 Member Since 2012

    bike commuter

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    "Amazing Historical Fiction"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Potato Factory to be better than the print version?

    Only listened


    What other book might you compare The Potato Factory to and why?

    Hawaii and Papillion - the excitement of a new beginning in Hawaii with the misery of prison as described in Papillion.


    Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

    Mary - her perseverance was amazing; hard to think of another character similar.


    If you could rename The Potato Factory, what would you call it?

    I could suggest any number of clichés, but "Misery" needs to be included in any other title.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great book. I found it very interesting that the author, Bryce Courtenay, has created much of the on-line related documentation tied to the English prison ships. He did a great job of researching the facts surrounding this topic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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