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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 (4451 )
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4.6 (3378 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Randy Fairfield, OH, United States 10-11-12
    Randy Fairfield, OH, United States 10-11-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"
    If you could sum up The Potato Factory in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent and surprising book! I didn't think I would enjoy this book, however I loved it, and grabbed me right from the first chapter.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Ackley 10-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing"
    If you could sum up The Potato Factory in three words, what would they be?

    Enlightening, tragic, historic


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

    Mr Bowers performance is perfect for this series. All of the trilogy comes alive with his narration


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the people in power would read these books. It seems to me, we are doomed to repeat the past over and over again. Will we never learn?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 10-05-12
    Michael 10-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poor writing"

    Good writing is more important for an audiobook experience than for conventional reading. It is harder to skim over the annoying parts, or to skip ahead if you really just want to see what happens. Here, the author chose an interesting historical setting, and had some good ideas for characters and story. But the writing is below average, and I recommend looking elsewhere.

    Here are some specific criticisms:
    - Phony sounding dialogue;
    - Over the top, eye-roll inducing, descriptions;
    - Inconsistent narrator point-of-view; sometimes in the characters' underpants (literally), sometimes a lofty historical perspective, sometimes getting sidetracked in an irrelevant crime caper, and once suggesting a recipe for the reader to try at home;
    - Blatantly contrived plot devices; typical examples: (a) having characters raped and tortured for no particular reason, other than to generate sympathy; or (b) supposedly smart criminals scheme and suffer extensively trying to get a three digit safe code . . . but they don't realize that it would only take a few hours to try all 1000 combinations? (They had access, and assuming a generous 10 seconds per attempt, it would take less than 3 hours.) Not so smart.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 10-02-12
    Amanda 10-02-12
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    "True Australian Spirit"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Potato Factory to be better than the print version?

    I loved both versions. I read the novel many years ago and I loved getting to know all the characters then, but times have changed and now being a busy mum with other commitments I don't have a lot of leisure time to sit down and immerse myself in a novel. I am finding that the audible versions of my favourite books are really exciting and I can listen to them all day - driving my children around, doing my house work or on my daily walk.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Although the scene made my blood boil with anger and weep with frustration and utter devastation my favourite scene was when Mary found Hawk and rescued him from the vile disgusting mountain man.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the way Mr Courtenay has captured the essence of early Australian settlement and how it came about. Old London town was a fascinating place - with the help of Mr Courtenay's detailed descriptions I felt I was there - feeling, smelling and experiencing that miserable existence of the poor. I would love to build a time machine to take me back, then come back to thank Mr Courtenay for preparing me for what I was to see and face.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joanne 10-01-12
    joanne 10-01-12
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    "Enjoyable!"
    What did you love best about The Potato Factory?

    The Story was historically interesting


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

    Too many to pick just one


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

    Each person in the story had their own voice, sometimes I forgot it was the same man reading all the characters, very well done!


    Any additional comments?

    All and all a great listen, mayby a bit long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tana Harrison, AR, United States 09-29-12
    Tana Harrison, AR, United States 09-29-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Awesome!"

    Best use of credits in a long time. Hated to finsih this 20+ hour read. Excellent narration to accompany a saga that pulls you in right from the beginning. This is a great story about the lives of 3 innertwinned from young adults over the next several decades. I've found some Bryce Courtenay material slow and tedious but this book kept me wanting more from the very beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian Hortal Madrid, Spain 09-26-12
    Marian Hortal Madrid, Spain 09-26-12 Member Since 2010

    Marian

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    "Best audibook (the complete Trilogy) ever read"
    What made the experience of listening to The Potato Factory the most enjoyable?

    The story is amazing, and so are all the characters of the book. Writen with a rithym you can never stop.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The personality of all the characters. All of them are different and address life according to their vision of the world


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

    I have read/heard many audiobooks, but I find this narrator the best I've ever heard. I really don't know if I would have liked the three books better, if read by myself


    Who was the most memorable character of The Potato Factory and why?

    Mary Abacus. Her strenght and sense of justice. She never gives up!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta HALF MOON BAY, CA, United States 09-25-12
    Roberta HALF MOON BAY, CA, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2015

    Sensitive critic

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    "Really enjoyed it - great, sweeping novel"

    I really enjoyed this book and also learned a lot about the history of Australia, plus Ikey Solomon, who was a real person. The novel goes into great detail (sometimes too much detail - I found myself saying, "Come on, just get on with it!" in several places) - but as a whole, I thought it was very good.

    There are comments that the novel is anti-Semitic and I went into listening to it with an open mind, but unfortunately I think the comments are true. I found out five years ago that I'm Jewish, so I'm more sensitive to things like that and I was resenting a few of the things he said. I don't know if it was because there was a lot of prejudice in the early days of London and Australia against the Jews - after all, he was very historically accurate - however some of the comments - at least to me - were not necessary. There are racially-biased comments against the Aborigines, but I know that there has been a lot of prejudice against them in the past.

    The novel covers a lot of time and I enjoyed it. I would have given it five stars if it wasn't for the too-extensive detail at times, plus the prejudiced remarks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 09-25-12
    Mark 09-25-12
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    "Stectactular Story. This author is a true find!"
    Where does The Potato Factory rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Having been an Audible member since 2004, I have a large library and this will definitely rank in my top 10 reads. The rich characters, the incredible language and the engaging story combined with an excellent reader makes this worth every minute.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Flemington, NJ, United States 09-24-12
    John Flemington, NJ, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Outstanding audiobook trilogy"

    The story is expertly brought to life by Humphrey Bower's narration - he does a great job with all the different characters and accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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