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 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.
Everything about this whole experience was wonderful. I am already on the second book of the trilogy.
The time period and the Dickensonian feel to the novel.
The trial when Charles Dickens appears.
I have recommended this book to anyone who will listen to me.
It's in my top 5.
The characters are colorful and despicable, the descriptions are fun and the narrator gives great voice to the characters.
Read the entire three book set...it is an awesome epic journey!!! I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Aussie history
The character development by the writer. As nasty as some of them were, I felt I knew them personally.
What happened to Mary Abacus immediately after getting a job.
Ikey. He was a bad apple, but sometimes he stumbled onto some undeniable truths.
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!!
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.
This is the first Humphrey Bower performance that I'm aware of - I will seek him out in future - Brilliant!
Mother of 3, grandmother of 6, retired nurse and substance abuse counselor. Thrilled to have the time to read or listen to books again.
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.
The reader was fantastic! The story was so well done and researched. A great way to enjoy history, a peek into early England. The characters were memorable, some were actually real. The leading man of larceny was indeed a character. Truly memorable.
Avid reader... oops, LISTENER
This book was a slow start for me. It kept losing me in the beginning and let me say that the violence in this book makes it one to be approached with caution for those of the faint of heart.
Of course, what should I have expected, since the very beginning of Australia was steeped in violence. But I tell you that by the middle of this story, I was listening until 3 in the morning and in a great upswing to my health, walking a mile past my usual walk. My husband was marveling that I was willing to do the dishes and his part of the laundry just so I could keep listening.
It's a good book, just hang in there. It pays off...
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