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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 (3612 )
5 star
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4.4 (2603 )
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Story
4.6 (2597 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (139)
2 star
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1 star
 (43)
Performance
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  •  
    Suzanne Iantorno Denver, CO, United States 01-31-13
    Suzanne Iantorno Denver, CO, United States 01-31-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
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    4
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    Performance
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
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    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    42
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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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
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    203
    8
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    1
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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
  •  
    Gina 01-04-13
    Gina 01-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    0
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    "Love the author, another great read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Narration was well done - I like the voices and found the reader easy to listen to and engaging. The story is amazing: great character descriptions (well developed throughout the novel), loved the evolving story line with changing settings. I loved "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay and found this novel equally well done. I can't wait to download the second book of this trilogy!!


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

    unlike most books I've read.


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

    I loved all of the narrator's performances. Mary is my favorite if I have to pick. I couldn't imagine the accent or delivery any other way. I have chosen to purchase another novel performed by Humphrey Bower based on my enjoyment of his reading of this novel


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

    Mary. she would probably make the best company as she is depicted as honest, intelligent, and resourceful.


    Any additional comments?

    every minute was engaging. must read!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce PALM HARBOR, FL, United States 12-11-12
    Joyce PALM HARBOR, FL, United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best series I have read in a long long time."

    The story is captivating, Bryce is the king words. For the first time in a long time I did not feel I was reading at a 6th grade level. He envelopes you in his world, binds you to his people, makes you fall in love with his world. I could not stop reading or wait for the next book in the series. When you are sad to have read the last page you know the writer has done his work with the hand and mind of a work artist. Humphrey Bower is the best reader I have ever heard. He brings to life the authors intended character personality. I laughed and cried and felt the emotions of love and loss along with the anger of injustice. Well done sir.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    horslovr 12-01-12
    horslovr 12-01-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"

    I will miss Bryce Courtenay's work so very much. His writings are so uplifting, as his characters overcome their demons and at times, tragedies and somehow seem to rise above them and learn from them.

    This story was just as wonderful as the others. It is part 1 of a series of 2 (the next is Tommo and Hawk) and is about a woman who ventures out trying to find work in a man's world, suffers consequences as a result of this and spends a good part of her life rising above all of these misfortunes to a level that I found very uplifting. What a testiment to the human spirit!

    As always, Humphrey Bower is a joy to listen to; his voice fits Bryce's work so well, and he does different characters so convincingly that you forget that it's one person narrating!

    All in all, a wonderful read, I am greatly saddened by Mr. Courtenay's death and the stories that he had yet to tell. RIP Mr. Courtenay, and thank you for gracing us with your words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Australia 11-29-12
    Joseph Australia 11-29-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    127
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    67
    47
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    "Deep, Wide, Rich and Satisfying"

    First, Humphrey Bower's performance is magnificent. Men, women, children, Irish, Scottish, Australian, British and others are all executed wonderfully.

    The story of the Potato Factory is a fantastic read. Full of interesting and complicated characters who experience joy and tragedy. After listening for nearly 24 hours, I found myself yearning for more. It is no wonder that Mr. Courtenay was such a successful author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan NY, NY, United States 11-23-12
    Susan NY, NY, United States 11-23-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    "Very poor man's Dickens"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A much better story with more appealing and realistic characters


    What could Bryce Courtenay have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    It was just one bad event after another, happening to characters who were not developed enough for me to care


    What didn’t you like about Humphrey Bower’s performance?

    boring


    What character would you cut from The Potato Factory?

    Quite a few


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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