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)
"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)
I really liked it. That being said, I did have a little bit of a hard time identifying with any of the characters at first and shut it off a few times for a little break. I'm glad I stuck with it and found myself rooting for Ikey and Mary in the end!
This book has everything. Well worth the listen and definately worth the credit or the money. It is classic Australian historical literature.
A very enjoyable read, I couldn't wait to start Tomo and Hawk! Excellent characters and an enjoyable story. I'd give it 4.5 out of 5 if I could (a five in my book is hard to get)
We simply have not been able to progress beyond the endless profanity and vulgar scenes in the first portion of the the book. So, in all honesty we do not know if this is overall good or bad...but, are very disappointed by the experience...and it has been over 6-months we still have not gotten to part two of the three downloads...too bad...
I usually enjoy Bryce Courtenay books. However, there are too many characters with no moral compass here. Reading/listening to a long story about not very nice people, gets tiresome.
This was a long story and I listened to the whole thing. The narration was wonderful and the story kept me interested enough but not enough that I wanted to read or listen to the sequel. The author starts the book by warning us that the story might come off as anti-semitic but that it's not. Well he's wrong. I thought that half the time he brought up Ikey being Jewish, it was offensive. It is one thing if other characters are making Jewish stereotypes and comments but what made this offensive is that the narrator made sweeping generalizations about what it is like to be Jewish. It was annoying and I almost stopped listening because I lost so much respect for Courteney.
I can get thru almost anything and a book on sale has now taken on a new meaning. It's on sale because it is terrible. I know my mother always warned me about this but again I relearned my lesson.
New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
THAT DON'T WISH HE WAS AN ENGLISHMAN. WHAT...
Every hundred books are so you come across a gem like this. This is why I continue to read and explore new authors. BC says you learn more through story then you do history books and I could not agree more. This story had well developed characters (that I did fall in love with, even though they were criminals.) an intriguing story and it is just so well written. If you read my reviews you find that I often complain about books being to long. This was over 23 hours and I loved every minute. I could have easily listened to 23 more hours.
There are three main characters, but listen to the names of some of the supporting cast; The Reamer, Tittie Smart, Sparrow Fart, Monkey Mary, Mary Abacus, Billy's Gone Queer, and Sperm Whale Sally, among others.
If you like George R. R. Martin and how he suddenly out of the blue, cuts somebody's hand off or penis, then you will like this. Some have said this is predictable, but I disagree. I did not see what was going to happen and at times when things were going to good, I would start to mentally cringe, expecting the worse, but that did not always happen either.
This first book of the trilogy is mostly about London, but they do get to Australia and the first part of the book is exceptionally good.
Bower was the perfect narrator for this, it is always great when the perfect book gets matched with the perfect narrator.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.