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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 (3676 )
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4.6 (2656 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Barb 02-07-13
    Barb 02-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 02-05-13
    Amanda 02-05-13 Member Since 2013
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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
  •  
    margaret 02-04-13
    margaret 02-04-13 Member Since 2014
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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
  •  
    Stuart Fujisaki Oak Park, California United States 02-01-13
    Stuart Fujisaki Oak Park, California United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2014

    I've been an audio book fan for years and years, since borrowing Books-on-Tape from my local library, buying cassettes from BOT, then migrating to Audible eight years ago. My audio library has become extensive. But still waiting for James Michener's work to get over here.....

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Makes me want to visit Australia"

    This book was a nice surprise. It popped up as a personal suggestion based on my past
    Audible purchases. The author wrote this historical novel almost 20 years ago as part one of a trilogy, and covered a topic I had not previously come across, I.e. the settlement of the Australian continent. The story begins in Dickens-era London, and then moves to the island today known as Tasmania, after the main characters get “transported” to the British penal colony following court convictions. Charles Dickens makes a cameo appearance as a reporter covering the trial in London, interviewing a street urchin who tells him his name is Artful Dodger. I enjoyed this book very much, and found myself really caring for the story’s characters, including some unsavory ones who battled their flaws and demons throughout. I can’t wait to start on part two of the trilogy. Good thing I bought a year's worth of credits!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne Iantorno Denver, CO, United States 01-31-13
    Suzanne Iantorno Denver, CO, United States 01-31-13
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    "Just not a fan"
    Would you try another book from Bryce Courtenay and/or Humphrey Bower?

    No.


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

    Yes, it's just too depressing and violent.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Humphrey Bower?

    Yes.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    The violence. it's also a slow moving story.


    Any additional comments?

    NO

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josephine SAN ANSELMO, CA, United States 01-30-13
    Josephine SAN ANSELMO, CA, United States 01-30-13
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    "Too Much Male Hormones for Me"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, it is too bigotted against religion and too full of a man's fantasy of what women want and feel.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting part was the history. The least interesting was the story.


    Was The Potato Factory worth the listening time?

    Not for me. I didn't finish listening to the whole story.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Toback New York, NY 01-26-13
    A. Toback New York, NY 01-26-13 Member Since 2005

    AnnB

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    "Epic Story!"

    Wow! I found this book during a routine search of the Audible website. It was one of those great finds you stumble upon from time to time. The story was incredibly rich and detailed, the characters compelling (even if they weren't always likeable), and the plot pulls you in. Humphrey Bower is a top narrator--he really brings the characters to life. At the end of the book, I immediately downloaded Book 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Depew, NY, United States 01-14-13
    John Depew, NY, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Wonderful"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Potato Factory to be better than the print version?

    yes the narration is excellent, I limit my listening to my walking time so to prolong the book.


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

    Mary finally getting her freedom


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Ikey's escape from prison.


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

    Title works for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 01-06-13
    Andrew 01-06-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Slow start, but excellent story with amazing depth"
    If you’ve listened to books by Bryce Courtenay before, how does this one compare?

    First time.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    An amazing look into the life and times of old England's lower class and poor.

    This book begins slowly. This is a very long story with most of a lifetime taking place within. The conclusion is one in which I wanted to cheer out loud. Such is the connection with some of the characters and my desire to se justice and just deserts give out to all.

    I should also mention that there is a considerable amount of foul language contained within this story. The "F" bomb is dropped well over a dozen times. If you, like me, prefer a story that can be heard by the younger members of the family, without having to pause and apologize for the language, then you may want to think twice about purchasing this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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