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 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!
There are few things better than a good story well told!
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.
I like to go shopping....but as I age the distance I can travel is growing shorter.
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.
There were too many exceptional moments to choose just one.
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.
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.
All, the story, the performance...
No one in particular. Ike's character is superb though
Not before but I will look him over
The part of Mary quite contrary
A must listen to book
yes in that Humphrey Bower brought the characters alive in his reading
Charles Dicken's Faggen is so like Iky Soloman. I believe Charles Dickens took his character ftom Iky.
The bar scene with Sperm Whale Sally is unforgetable.
I laughed and cried it is just wonderful listening.
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
The Potato Factory is extremely well written and read that I will listen over and over again like watching a grand old movie.
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.
I will buy books that Humphrey Bower performs without knowing anything about the author. Humphrey makes this book sing and crackle with spirit.
The Potato Factory is full of shocking historical truths that you will never forget
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
I have been listening to books on tape for over 20 years. Starting with audio tapes, then CD's and now downloads.
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.
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!
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.
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