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The Potato Factory Audiobook
The Potato Factory
Written by: 
Bryce Courtenay
Narrated by: 
Humphrey Bower
 >   > 
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 (4379 )
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4.6 (3309 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amanda 02-05-13
    Amanda 02-05-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 01-30-13
    Josephine 01-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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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    5
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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

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