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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 (3391 )
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4.6 (2403 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    yani Saratoga, Australia 02-12-13
    yani Saratoga, Australia 02-12-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Potato Factory to be better than the print version?

    Brilliant story......love Bryce Courtney's story telling is second to none for me. Brilliant narration......Humphrey Bower has the best voices for every character. I've been a member for 3 yrs & the narration of this wonderful story is at the top of my list.
    I Can't wait to listen to books 2 & 3.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne Baxter, MN, United States 02-12-13
    Dianne Baxter, MN, United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2010

    Addicted to reading on kindle or audiobooks. I prefer science fiction, fantasy, horror, epic series, and historical fiction. Favorite authors are Terry Goodkind, Bryce Countney, Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Diana Gabaldon. Don't care for forensic thrillers....same thing over and over.

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    "Fresh version of Oliver Twist era"
    What made the experience of listening to The Potato Factory the most enjoyable?

    Bryce Courtney creates such vibrant and flawed characters. It is so easy to become acquainted with them and their world. Loved learning about London during this time period and later Tasmania/Australia. Harsh times but seems very accurate. Great historical fiction novel.


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

    The attack on Mary by the male workers....the extent of human cruelty.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    His accents and voices for each character are awesome. I could listen to him for hours and hours and have bought may Bryce Courtney audiobooks for just that reason. Prefer the audio format instead of text for these books, and Humphrey Bower has a lot to do with that.


    If you could take any character from The Potato Factory out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Hawk. His soul is made of solid gold, all the way to the core. His size and appearance are so striking that he is one of the most unique characters I could imagine. As I have also listened to part 2 and part 3 in this series, I have gotten to know more of Hawk, so this book is just an introduction to his character.


    Any additional comments?

    Love these long complex stories and I just love getting to know Bryce's characters. These books (Potato Factory series and anything by Bryce Courtney) would be interesting to so many different types of people. I highly recommend them to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Cincinnati, OH, United States 02-11-13
    Diane Cincinnati, OH, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    3
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    6
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    "Wonderful historical novel!"
    Would you listen to The Potato Factory again? Why?

    It is a wonderful book, but I never listen to a book again nor do I watch a movie twice.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really liked Iky Soloman and Mary Abacus. Although they had to do many illegal, immoral things, it was because of their life situations and I loved that they had integrity and and that they used their intelligence and instincts to survive unthinkable conditions.


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

    Iky Solomon. I cannot imagine any other voice for him, he was perfect!


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

    I thought that was a perfect name. When you begin with the book, it does not seem to fit but as Mary is imprisioned on the island and then creates her own brewery, it all goes back to Iky and his influence over her and then her adopted sons. It is her salvation.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the book. Historical fiction has never interested me before and I do not know why I bought this book but I am so glad that I did. I love the characters and seeing how their backgrounds have affected their development. The historical information included also has been extremely interesting. I am now listening to the 2nd part of the trilogy, Tommo and Hawk and am engrossed in it also.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Agnes Sanchez 02-11-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    8
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    "wonderful"

    what a great story wonderfully told! the narrator is terrific. WHY are the 2nd and 3rd volumes
    unavailable?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan San Dimas, CA, United States 02-11-13
    Susan San Dimas, CA, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2010

    I'm going from chapter to chapter in life. Some are definitely better than others!

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    "Worth the long listening time"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The book has many intertwining characters, which as the story progressed I wanted to learn of their next difficulty or triumph. At times it was hard to sort out, or remember, what was what and whom was benefiting or harming whom, because of the length of the book. However by the end it all made sense.


    Any additional comments?

    There were a couple of times I thought about abandoning my listen, but I'm glad I stuck it out. I may even listen to book 2 after a break.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Balga, Australia 02-07-13
    Jo Balga, Australia 02-07-13
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    "Brilliant Story - Couldn't stop listening"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Potato Factory to be better than the print version?

    I cannot say whether the audio is better than the printed version as it's years ago I read the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I highlty recommend this audio book to everyone. This is the first review I have written. The audio book was hard to pause. Humphrey Bower is an amazing narrator. He covered so many different voices. I really fealt like I was there witnessing the story. I'm a Bryce Courtenay fan, so I knew I'd like the story, I had just never listened to his books on audio before. I'm hooked. If anyone asked me to recommend a book to try audio I would recommend this one. I was captivated from the very beginning right to the end. I have now downloaded Tommo & Hawk and hope it's as captivating & good narrating as the potato factory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barb Munson, PA, United States 02-07-13
    Barb Munson, PA, United States 02-07-13 Member Since 2012
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    "The 1st book I read that Bryce Courtenay wrote!"
    Where does The Potato Factory rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best! I really enjoyed it. There were parts that made me cry and some that made me laugh out loud too! I enjoyed a good laugh a few times when things went haywire for the characters. Great read if you enjoy reading about how things were in the 1800 in good olde England and then on to Australia. What a hard life the lower middle class led at that time. How dirty the people were, seems like they never bathe and how horrible the children were treated by the grown-ups. Still the truth is in the print when it comes to how things were. Thank you Bryce.


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

    Mary Abacus was so strong and intelligent. She would have fit in great in today's society. She overstepped her bounds in the life of olde England. She paid dearly for this and I cried for her. She is my Heroin of the trilogy.


    Any additional comments?

    I was so saddened by the passing of Bryce Courtenay. I read about his life and short fight against cancer. I have read all his books and the only one I didn't care for was "Sylvia" and that was because the orator made me cringe when she spoke. I believe that would have been a good book if read aloud by another person.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Browder Ocala, Fl USA 02-06-13
    Bill Browder Ocala, Fl USA 02-06-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Bryce Courtenay always gets five"

    Bryce Courtenay is one of my favorite writers. Very sorry to hear of his death. Every book I have read or listen too I have given five stars. Original well written entertaining with great characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Victoria, BC, Canada 02-05-13
    Amanda Victoria, BC, Canada 02-05-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Fabulous, fabulous and fabulous"
    If you could sum up The Potato Factory in three words, what would they be?

    As always, Bryce Courtenay is wonderful He never ceases to amaze me.. as well, Humphrey Bower ....what a team. Wish there were more writers like this man.... everything else seems dull in comparison. I will miss his writing :(


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-04-13
    02-04-13 Member Since 2008
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    3
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    ", entertaining Makes you cry then laugh."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Potato Factory to be better than the print version?

    Yes


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

    When the twins went missing and their birth.


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

    Yes. This one was good. He is a really good reader.


    If you could take any character from The Potato Factory out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Tommo.


    Any additional comments?

    Love it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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