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The Potato Factory Audiobook

The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

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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

4.4 (4412 )
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Performance
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  •  
    MM Colorado 08-28-13
    MM Colorado 08-28-13 Member Since 2005

    mom

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not your typical historical fiction"
    Any additional comments?

    Kind of slow at first, and the ending was way too abrupt, but 98% of this story kept me interested and entertained. Fascinating characters, exceptionally well developed and intricate plot, and an engaging narrator. The only downside was that it was impossible to know what was historically-based and what was complete fiction.

    A fascinating account of the settlement of the Australian continent by convicts from England, including wonderful stories of the seediness of Charles Dickens' London. The main character was the real-life inspiration for Fagin in Oliver Twist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Unni M. Berg Bahamas 08-24-13
    Unni M. Berg Bahamas 08-24-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Amazing work by an extremely skillful author"

    I've just finished book one, and I loved it. I'm in awe at what the author has created here. The descriptions are so lively, the setting so real, it feels like being present. Also the insight into the human nature, both good and bad that the author so skillfully is presenting to us is fascinating. The narrator did an awesome job too. I can't wait to start listening to book 2 and 3, and feel lucky that I didn't have to wait for them...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 08-14-13
    Mary 08-14-13 Member Since 2011

    Tell us about yourself! I LOVE TO READ AND BE IN THE KNOW. I LIKE TO TALK TO INTELLIGENT PEOPLE.

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    "Historical approach with feminist exploited evils"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would highly recommend this audiobook to others.It shows a female who suffers insufferable vulgarity, the cause and extent of traits of men during this era. It shows the social powers of people at different economic ability. Its historical events in the story is lesson learned. Its an interesting story. I drove to Texas from North Carolina listening to this book. My trip did not seem like 21 hours of driving one way. But this story took me there!!!


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

    Books by Ken Follett are comparable.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Bower can tell a story. He can tell a story throwing his voice from male to female.


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

    I do not know


    Any additional comments?

    No, I truly enjoyed the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerald Georgetown, TX, United States 08-13-13
    Gerald Georgetown, TX, United States 08-13-13 Member Since 2016
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    "It must be me."

    I couldn't get half way through the first book of this series before I quit. I must be the only one who had this problem, but I couldn't find a person in this that I was really anxious to like. The great reviews it has are all probably the real thing. I just think that it is my own personality at war with this book. I really wanted to like it, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Raleigh, NC 08-02-13
    Melanie Raleigh, NC 08-02-13
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    "A real gem and a pleasant surprise"
    Any additional comments?

    I was looking for a different type of book as I usually go for authors I'm familiar with who have a formula. I'm really glad I took a chance on this book. It's a work of historical fiction loosely based on the true story of Ikey Soloman who supposedly Charles Dickens modeled his Fagin character after. I've only just finished this first installment and loved it. I definitely plan on reading parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy.

    First, the author's narration was excellent. He could do a number of different dialects from a posh British accent, to various British regional dialects. His narration helped create the wonderful richness within the characters of the book.

    The strength of the book itself are the characters who are both strong and deeply flawed. This is a novel that takes place over numerous years and over many continents. The characters' lives are intertwined and full of ebbs and flows, ups and downs. If you like books with richness of characters whose lives you follow over time, then this is the book for you. I fully recommend it - you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Whytock JOSHUA TREE, CA, US 07-27-13
    John Whytock JOSHUA TREE, CA, US 07-27-13 Member Since 2014
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    "P.C. Dickens - sans endearments"
    Would you try another book from Bryce Courtenay and/or Humphrey Bower?

    No, I would not try another book by this author. The reader was adequate. Each character was despicable, including the children. I couldn't have cared less about them in the end. The author couldn't resist putting his political and spiritual perspective into the narrative instead of simply telling the story. He managed to offend me by his unfortunate stereotyping of most of the Christian institutions and characters, saving the Quakers. I don't question the authenticity of his research (mostly), only the moral conclusions and judgments regarding the economic, political and spiritual environments of the times that he felt compelled to impart to the listener through use of sarcasm and ridicule. Just tell the story, Bryce and let me draw my own conclusions.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne 07-26-13
    Suzanne 07-26-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Long story, but I can't wait for the next one!"

    It was fascinating. I really enjoyed all of it. Tension, history about things I didn't know much about, and lots more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 07-25-13
    Karen 07-25-13

    Have Books Will Travel

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    "So very dark"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This looked like it would be wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed the author's introduction, but this book is so very, very dark, I just can't get through it. The main characters have so few redeeming characteristics, that I can't sympathize with them at all.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica 07-18-13
    Monica 07-18-13 Member Since 2012
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    "absolutly worth your credit!"

    Great book, great reader. If your looking for a good long book that keeps you interested, this is definitely a top 10!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary Nepean, ON, Canada 07-11-13
    Hilary Nepean, ON, Canada 07-11-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oliver Twist"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Very depressing storyline, it would be nice if they had some more positive things happen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Interesting, liked the history.


    Do you think The Potato Factory needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes, I enjoy reading the next one to find out what happened to the twin and why he was gone for so long.


    Any additional comments?

    A little gruesome but a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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