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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 (3284 )
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4.6 (2318 )
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 (38)
Performance
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  •  
    Martha Sachse, TX, United States 03-19-13
    Martha Sachse, TX, United States 03-19-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    22
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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 Houston TX USA 03-16-13
    Emily Bronte Houston TX USA 03-16-13 Member Since 2004

    Linda

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    7
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    5
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    1
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    Story
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 Isanti, MN, United States 03-11-13
    Elaine Isanti, MN, United States 03-11-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Barbara Prince Albert, South Africa 03-11-13
    Barbara Prince Albert, South Africa 03-11-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A well written and performed informative book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, well written, informative with colourful characters and brilliantly read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mary Abacus, I felt sorry for her but admired her determination


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Hoe he changed with every character,


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Mary tried to find employment as a clark.


    Any additional comments?

    I am now reading Tommo and Hawk

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Hinchinbrook, Australia 03-11-13
    John Hinchinbrook, Australia 03-11-13

    Avid reader and audio book listener

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    26
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    "Great story of Australian History"

    Well worth the listen, provides a live history by way of interesting characters. I will certainly look for more of Bryce Courtney's work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Stratford, PE, Canada 03-10-13
    Donald Stratford, PE, Canada 03-10-13 Member Since 2002

    stephens1414

    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    112
    24
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    0
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    "writer with unfortunate influences"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I have read the author has said "Growing up in a strict, punishing church-run orphanage in South Africa during the apartheid era... ‘I know all about the God of wrath but have never met the God of love"
    Unfortunately this has lead to a narrow and flawed view of Christianity reflected in this story.
    Among the vast number who loved the book, another reviewer commented on bigoted treatment of religion.
    That is my biggest problem with this book though I disliked, what I felt, was excessive detail of the cruelty and squalor of the time.


    Has The Potato Factory turned you off from other books in this genre?

    From the author not the genre


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    excellent


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julie perth, Australia 03-09-13
    julie perth, Australia 03-09-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "BE WARNED CONTAINS OBSCENE LANGUAGE"
    Where does The Potato Factory rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a great story, its adventurous and riveting but contains some very graphic violent portrayals of life as it was. Set in the late 1800's it starts in England when some of the most brutal behaviour against women and the poor was committed. I listened to this one day and couldn't eat my lunch as a result! I was shocked and appalled at the reality of it.None the less I have continued with the series and am now onto Tommo and Hawk. if you can handle the obscenities and the graphic violence, the story is fantastic. Well done by the reader and overall well worth the Listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Characters are unforgettable and I wonder if it will ever be made into a movie series?
    It would be a visual feast with the locations involved... that said, the film maker would have to go carefully with some of the worst violent parts.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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