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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 (3286 )
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  •  
    MALT LITTLETON, CO, United States 02-24-12
    MALT LITTLETON, CO, United States 02-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!"
    What did you love best about The Potato Factory?

    I was lost in the story and how well this was put together. Loved the narrator, he made me laugh at the women's voices, though. Great book, well worth it!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Venatries Philadelphia, PA USA 02-15-12
    Kim Venatries Philadelphia, PA USA 02-15-12 Member Since 2010

    There are few things better than a good story well told!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fine Historical Fiction"

    What a marvelous adventure this story is! It is historical fiction at its best--meticulously researched and thoroughly entertaining. This novel ranks with the best of Ken Follett or Wilbur Smith. It gives an unflinching look at life in 19th century London and the beginnings of modern Australia. The narration was exceptionally good. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    suerhae Damascus, Oregon 97089-8354 01-31-12
    suerhae Damascus, Oregon 97089-8354 01-31-12 Member Since 2006

    I like to go shopping....but as I age the distance I can travel is growing shorter.

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    "A story "not" about potato's-Exceptional read"
    What did you love best about The Potato Factory?

    The charactors were interesting and had great debth while the story painted a word picture of a time in history that was new for me.


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

    There were too many exceptional moments to choose just one.


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

    I liked Ms Abicus and found her to be interesting, kind, bright, loving, forgiving and down to earth. She always made the best of every situation and showed that her kindness to others came back to her many fold.


    Any additional comments?

    People, like these charactors, are not either good or bad. Their lives offer up challenges and each challenge shapes the person and guides their choices. Bad people might do very wonderful things at times which might seem surprising but cause the reader to have a new insight into human behavior and thinking. I will read/listen to this book again and again to see if I missed any of the interesting details.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marco Santiago, Chile 01-22-12
    Marco Santiago, Chile 01-22-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing in all aspects"
    What made the experience of listening to The Potato Factory the most enjoyable?

    All, the story, the performance...


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

    No one in particular. Ike's character is superb though


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

    Not before but I will look him over


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The part of Mary quite contrary


    Any additional comments?

    A must listen to book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth United States 12-22-11
    Beth United States 12-22-11
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "outstanding and entertaining"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Potato Factory to be better than the print version?

    yes in that Humphrey Bower brought the characters alive in his reading


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

    Charles Dicken's Faggen is so like Iky Soloman. I believe Charles Dickens took his character ftom Iky.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The bar scene with Sperm Whale Sally is unforgetable.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and cried it is just wonderful listening.


    Any additional comments?

    I read the Persimmon Tree and gave it to my 37 year old son. We both loved that one. He read the Potato Factory and said

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert Arroyo Grande, CA, United States 11-10-11
    robert Arroyo Grande, CA, United States 11-10-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Epic"
    Where does The Potato Factory rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Potato Factory is extremely well written and read that I will listen over and over again like watching a grand old movie.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There are so many fabulous and colorful characters in this book that picking just one as a favourite is difficult. Ikey with his many schemes, Mary with her strength and the love they shared.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    I will buy books that Humphrey Bower performs without knowing anything about the author. Humphrey makes this book sing and crackle with spirit.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Potato Factory is full of shocking historical truths that you will never forget


    Any additional comments?

    If you are looking for a love story, great drama, suspense and history all in one book then this is the one for you. I highly recommend The Potato Factory

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KEITH Canyon Country, CA, United States 10-22-11
    KEITH Canyon Country, CA, United States 10-22-11 Member Since 2010

    I have been listening to books on tape for over 20 years. Starting with audio tapes, then CD's and now downloads.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great story that will not be rushed"

    A good/great writer has a story to tell and though some parts may slow down, they will not be rushed with the story; Mr. Courenay is that type of writer. I enjoyed the details of what the 1800 England and Australia was like. The hardships and violence of everyday working people made me happy to have police to protect us now. His main character is a true person of history, though not a likeable person. I am looking forward to listening to the next part of the trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha Merrill, OR, United States 10-06-11
    Samantha Merrill, OR, United States 10-06-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing Story"

    This book is well written and obviously well researched. The characters are engaging and interesting, whether you end up like them or not. At times it was a little brutal and graphic and you start to wonder if anything good will ever happen to the characters, but it is well worth sticking with. I love a novel that is both a good story and a learning opportunity and this book is both. Humphrey Bower does one of the best narrations I have ever heard and I have listened to over a hundred Audible books. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred O. Jennings 09-27-11 Member Since 2006
    ratings
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    "Good read"

    I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and their entwined lives with Ikey. The story was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Austin, TX, United States 09-26-11
    Timothy Austin, TX, United States 09-26-11 Member Since 2010
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    "A masterpiece, impossible to put down"

    Bryce Courtenay is that rare thing, a master storyteller who is also a wonderful and deep writer. A modern Dickens, without the inflated prose but with the same completely credible yet larger-than-life characters and even better plotting. Humphrey Bower does an absolutely perfect job of reading the book, with ideal voices for every character., One of the best books I have ever read on Audible, in the same class as Pillars of the Earth, American Gods and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Also one of the best historical novels I have ever read, communicating a vivid feeling for a different time and place and the people who populated and made it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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