Along the way, Hawk meets the outrageous Maggie Pye, who brings love and laughter into his life. But the demons of Tommo's past return to haunt the brothers. With Tommo at his side, Hawk takes on a fight against all odds to save what they cherish most. In the final confrontation between good and evil, three magpie feathers become the symbol of Tommo and Hawk's rite of passage.
©1997 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2000 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
"Narrator Humphrey Bower captures each character, making listeners forget that one majestic voice creates the various natives, the Irish, the English, and people of all ages. Few will fail to be enthralled by this adventure saga, which skillfully captures history while keeping listeners glued to their earphones." (Audiofile)
You have to start with The Potato Factory, listen to it first. After that 5 star listen you will want to immediately listen to this one. It does not disappoint. Until I started listening to this story my favorite narrator was Frank Muller. He took Grisham, Stephen King and Pat Conroy's masterpieces to another level. I thought no one could top his ability. The combination of Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower has taken audio books may pass that level. I've spent hundreds of hours listening to audio books, this series is my favorite by far.
This is a history of Australia told and performed by a stellar team of artists. Bryce writes like Charles Dickens. You really could compare his writing to classics like Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, etc.
Ikey Solomon is my favorite character from an audio book. Humphrey Bower nails this character.
Both Tommo and Hawk are memorable
The story has many layers that are easy to keep track of. The writing is superb and the characters are etched in your memory for all time. This is one hell of a tale. Very much worth a credit.
I am always disappointed when I read one of Bryce Courtenay's sequels. The first books (and I've read and loved several so far) have been excellently written, with fully-realized characters and interesting stories. They always end with a hook and a bit of a question: "What happened then?" But try as he might, none of Bryce Courtenay's excellent first books are ever matched by their sequels. In fact, it's as if he turns the writing of them over to another writer, someone who is not his match and fails miserably to deliver. My advice is to read the first of his books and forget any sequels. No matter how much you wonder what happened with the characters, how it all worked out, you will be disappointed.
The Potato Factory is definitely the best of this trilogy, but the last two novels are still worthy listens. Love these characters.
Say something about yourself!
What a story! Due to the previous reviews and the synopsis I won???t go into what this was about; instead I wanted to add my views of how much I like Bryce Courtney and the narrator Humphrey Bower. What a combination. Mr. Bower is a master of acting ??? in narration ??? and if he ever becomes a huge video star his talents would be missed. Mr. Courtney is a master story teller of things I know/knew little of. In his preface he notes that the surroundings and personalities were accurate; with that in mind and having little else to go on, he painted quite an existence. As with most history, women are constantly victims and those who choose not to be, are very interesting people indeed. Get the series ??? each book could stand on their own but one without the other would miss a lot. I will listen to the series again.
The writing and narration combination is easily 5 star. These are stand alone books though. You must go on to the next book in the trilogy with the ending of Tommo and Hawk forcing ones hand to purchase the next. Still, if you understand that you have committed to the trilogy when you start reading Potato Factory, you will enjoy the wide ranging epic tale of the Solomon clan. Looking forward to book 3.
I love these characters, & the story in this middle book of the Australian Trilogy. And I love how Humphrey Bower narrates their voices -- the incredible story continues, & the characters become more & more endearing & inspiring as the story continues.
I have read several of Courtenay's books and always pushed my inner literary critic aside because I love that he has worked so hard to pull kids into reading. It's a nobel passion and I fully support it. I was so excited to learn that there was a trilogy from the Potato Factory that I immediately downloaded Tommo and Hawk. Good read until the totally lame and counter-to-the-smart-women he professed to develop ending. I won't be downloading part three.
I chose this book because of its New Zealand history and I took a while to subsequently start listening, as I anticipated an emotional rollercoaster. That it was and once I started I couldn't stop. I loved the history and became enfolded into the lives of the major characters. The writing was superb and the narration also. I missed the first in the trilogy, but am back to download the last. I will then no doubt download the first and start listening all over.
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