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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Matt United States 07-22-12
    Matt United States 07-22-12
    ratings
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    "Amazing Story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Potato Factory to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, but the narrator is very skilled he brings to life the full character of Ikey Solomon.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character is Ikey Solomon. The man is a down right scoundrel, but you find yourself rooting for him.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brings to life all of the characters and really gives a voice to Ikey.


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

    Salt on the Bread


    Any additional comments?

    This book and the later two in the trilogy are definitely worth the time to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael New Canaan, CT, United States 07-21-12
    michael New Canaan, CT, United States 07-21-12 Member Since 2014
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    "First of a GREAT series"

    I am loving all of Bryce's books. As a fellow adman I am jealous and appreciative of his command of storytelling. Nice mix of moral, interest and, of course, all the wonderful Aussie and S. African turns of phrase and expressions. Makes me feel dumbs a box of hair :)

    Humphrey Bower is the new king of narrators.
    He rivals and surpasses in some ways Scott Brick and John Lee.
    Amazing with accents, characters and emphasis

    The Courtenay books are the best I have listened to in years! And I have 2 accounts listening to about 5 a month while super commuting.
    You will love
    Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lars Durham, NC, United States 07-10-12
    Lars Durham, NC, United States 07-10-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Brilliant Story; Brilliant Narration"

    I really love this book. It became my entry port for all of Bryce Courtenay's novels and also everything narrated by Humphrey Bowers. The former truly knows how to spin a yarn, and the latter how to bring it alive. That there additionally is more than a kernel of truth in "The Australian Trilogy," makes it all so much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    poodlemom Washington, ME, United States 07-09-12
    poodlemom Washington, ME, United States 07-09-12
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    "Fabulous experience"
    What made the experience of listening to The Potato Factory the most enjoyable?

    Everything about this whole experience was wonderful. I am already on the second book of the trilogy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The time period and the Dickensonian feel to the novel.


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

    Ikey.


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

    The trial when Charles Dickens appears.


    Any additional comments?

    I have recommended this book to anyone who will listen to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Portland, OR, United States 07-09-12
    Mary Portland, OR, United States 07-09-12 Member Since 2011
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    9
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    Story
    "Good time!"
    Where does The Potato Factory rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's in my top 5.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters are colorful and despicable, the descriptions are fun and the narrator gives great voice to the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry R. Burney Muncie, Indiana United States 06-26-12
    Jerry R. Burney Muncie, Indiana United States 06-26-12 Listener Since 2006
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    "Absolutely Fantastic Beginning To A Great Epic!!!"

    Read the entire three book set...it is an awesome epic journey!!! I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Aussie history

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Johnstown, PA, United States 06-25-12
    Carol Johnstown, PA, United States 06-25-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Blew me away!!!"
    What did you love best about The Potato Factory?

    The character development by the writer. As nasty as some of them were, I felt I knew them personally.


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

    What happened to Mary Abacus immediately after getting a job.


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

    Ikey. He was a bad apple, but sometimes he stumbled onto some undeniable truths.


    Any additional comments?

    I have just discovered Bryce Courtenay and will isten to every one of his books, especially with the knowledge that Humphrey Bower narrates them all. What a combination of talent!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Johannesburg, South Africa 06-23-12
    Janice Johannesburg, South Africa 06-23-12
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    5
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    "I even loved the villan"
    What made the experience of listening to The Potato Factory the most enjoyable?

    This is a masterpiece that seems to capture the essence of "the criminal class" in England and the classist ways of the ruling English in Tasmania. The colour of the characters is quite fantastic. The listener is trasnported - not only into another world - but into their grimy lives that strangely enough - are quite charming. I loved every second of the listen.


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

    This is the first Humphrey Bower performance that I'm aware of - I will seek him out in future - Brilliant!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Clyde 06-21-12
    Mr Clyde 06-21-12
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    "Tremendous"

    I cant wait for more of this duo of author and reader to come out. Keep up the good work

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-21-12
    Patricia Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-21-12 Member Since 2010

    Mother of 3, grandmother of 6, retired nurse and substance abuse counselor. Thrilled to have the time to read or listen to books again.

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    "hard to put down"

    Extremely well written and an engrossing story line. A bit brutal, well more than a bit and the story stays with you long after you have read it. I keep telling myself that it is a work of fiction but you still cant help but feel for the characters. Looking forward to the second book in the series, (i think) hope it is not as brutal as the first but I'm sure it will be by the reviews I've read.
    The narration is good except when doing the sex scenes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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