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The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1 | [Bryce Courtenay]

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 (3493 )
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4.6 (2491 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Carla Decatur, AL, United States 03-28-13
    Carla Decatur, AL, United States 03-28-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed (Not however "Best Book of Year")"

    Loved the history. Loved the narrator. A little bit violent in a sad, sad way. But the end? It was almost as if after 600 pages (give or take) the author was done, tired and ended it with "And so they lived happily ever after". Not that I don't love a happy ending but I found the very, very end a bit weird. In a good way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad Boise, ID, United States 03-26-13
    Chad Boise, ID, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2010
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    98
    4
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    "Outstanding book!!"
    Would you listen to The Potato Factory again? Why?

    This was a great book!!! Up there in my top 5 all time. Keeps you entertained and not wanting to put it down. The Narration was also superb.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-22-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    42
    14
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    "Gripping and Beautiful"

    I had no idea what to expect when starting this book, but upon finishing it this afternoon I must say this has been an adventure like no other. It feels like a trip back in time to view lives presented in such a realistic and dramatic way, I was left feeling like an exhausted time traveler! There was shocking information that I take to be truth, because of the lessons of history taught to me in school, but so realistic I felt an immediate kinship with the poor people both in England and Van Diemans land. I will have to listen to this again to be sure, like looking at a painting, to appreciate things I did not see the first time.
    This work is truly a gift to all of us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 03-20-13
    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2005

    I have purchased over 400 books. I have high standards for writing and content, but indulge in "travel trash" or fairly good entertainment.

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    "INTERESTING - GREAT HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE"

    I especially enjoyed the well researched history. I found it to be somewhat long, but don't think there is much that could be eliminated. Although much of the story had harsh aspects they were never exploited. I feel like I was treated to an entertaining history lesson. I would recommend this listen, and will find the sequels. The narration is good. There were many characters, and accents which were well differentiated. I also appreciated the pace of the narration. I find that to often be problematical. Not here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Sachse, TX, United States 03-19-13
    Martha Sachse, TX, United States 03-19-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "One of the best historical fictions series"
    Would you listen to The Potato Factory again? Why?

    Yes, I think I'd discover new details with a second reading that I may have missed the first time.


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

    It's hard to compare this series to another. But if you enjoyed this, you will enjoy the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Humphrey Bower is an amazing narrator. This may be his best performance.


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

    Leave a Little Salt on the Bread.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a very entertaining book and performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Bronte 03-16-13

    Linda

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Story and Wonderful Reader"

    Courtenay wrote a fascinating tale with wonderful characters. The reader does a wonderful job with the different voices. I had some problems getting into the book as the lives of the characters are so cruel and dismal during the first third. Those times were definitely not the "good old days." After that, I enjoyed every minute of the book. In fact, I am listening to the second book in the trilogy now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Dale Florida 03-15-13
    Deborah Dale Florida 03-15-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    6
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    "Narrator takes a great story and makes it awesome"
    Would you listen to The Potato Factory again? Why?

    I was captured right from the start. This is a really great story with vivid characters. I would have enjoyed reading it but the narrator takes this book and makes listening the ultimate audible experience!


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

    Ikey Solomon....


    Who was the most memorable character of The Potato Factory and why?

    Mary


    Any additional comments?

    Dont miss this one. Even if it is not what you would normally listen to....I promise you will be entertained and swept away. The second in this series is just as good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonora A. Geiger-Miller Pittsgrove, NJ, US 03-12-13
    Leonora A. Geiger-Miller Pittsgrove, NJ, US 03-12-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
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    Story
    "What a Great Find!"
    Where does The Potato Factory rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top five. Not romantized..When I initially began to listen I felt as if I was listening to a modern Dickens Tale. Interestingly, Dickens is later introduced into the story as a minor character. Initially I was concerned that the book was going to be a bit too graphic for my taste but these were brutal times!


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

    Well researched looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    He brought the book to life!!!I felt the narrator performance was exquisite. He gave the characters a true voice and personality.


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

    Actually, too long to enjoy in one sitting.I listen to audio books a lot when I drive and a true test is when I sit in the garage and listen because the story is so engaging. I did this with this book!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Boerne, TX, United States 03-12-13
    Scott Boerne, TX, United States 03-12-13 Member Since 2011
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    2
    2
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    "loved this book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    all the characters


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    his different voices for the characters made them recognizable and ability to speak as in the time of the story, excellent job


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine 03-11-13
    Elaine 03-11-13
    ratings
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    2
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    "A great listen!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Potato Factory the most enjoyable?

    Narration was perfect, nothing boring hearing the great vocabulary.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It has been a while since I have listened to such a great story that also educated me about the era and the process of the English getting deported to Australia and the struggles once there. It is such a well written book, so different from the authors pushing out a new one each year.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I cannot think of many scenes that were not my favorite -the lives of Ike, Bob Marley, the two Marys and even Ann Gower. There is so much woven into it.

    The formation of the characters has been done superbly.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my favorite listen since Cutting for Stone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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