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Publisher's Summary

The story of a drunk, a boy, and a cat. Billy O'Shannessy, once a prominent barrister, is now on the street where he sleeps on a bench outside the State Library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim. Ryan is a 10-year-old, a near-street kid heading for the usual trouble. The two form an unlikely bond. Through telling Ryan the story of Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia as seen through Trim's eyes, Billy is drawn deeply into Ryan's life and into the Sydney underworld.
©2002 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2002 Bolinda Publishing Pty. Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    393
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    287
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    122
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    28
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    113
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    26
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Extraordinary Story

I consider this book "a sleeper." A book I decided to purchase on a whim, and what a story! The main characters might be considered 'losers' in society but are true heroes. A derelict lawyer, a discarded child, and a fabled cat that binds the lawyer and child together in a horrific yet uplifting tale. Even at the darkest moments of the book, one pulls for them to win. I laughed and cried during this listen. And what a marvelous narration! I loved every word.

28 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unusual

A novel about an alcoholic and a boy is one I would usually pass without a second glance. Fortunately, I was already a Bryce Courtenay fan. This touching novel is not to be missed. Humphrey Bower does his usual outstand job presenting each character in his/own voice. Five stars!

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dave
  • Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada
  • 06-11-09

Bryce Courtenay & Humphrey Bower do it again!

I loved MF's Cat and its wonderful characters - Billy, Ryan and of course Trim, the cat. Never have I laughed and cried so much in one book. Powerful. A special thanks to the author and to the incredible Humphrey Bower. This is my 7th Courtenay novel and I can't say enough about the author and the narrator.
BC takes on two most difficult and delicate social issues - alcoholism and pediaphila. He does it with great sensitivity as well as ruthless reality. This is a 'must read'.

COME ON AUDIBLE.COM, BRING ON "THE PERSIMMON TREE"!

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Alan
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 03-03-08

I like the cat

This book has two stories in one, both are good but both also some have slow moments. They drag for awhile and then come back to life. I enjoyed the characters and the narration. I was a derelict for several years after I left high school and an alcoholic while in my junior and senior high school years. My experience helped me relate to the characters and the Salvation Army (my favorite charity). I also enjoyed the vocabulary. I give this book three stars for being an average, good book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Louise
  • WINTON, CA, USA
  • 07-14-06

Go Ahead Spoil Yourself

Pleeease take the plunge and comit a wonderful experience. Superb story with the extremely talented Humphrey Bower. I am going to be sad when this story comes to an end. But hey, I'll just get another Bryce Courtenay novel narrated by Humphrey. Okay, now I'm not sad any more. AAAAnd according to Bryce's web site he is working on a new book. And this one had better make it to Audible.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 06-16-14

Redemption in the Form of a Cat

There's no writer quite like Bryce Courtenay . . . his stories of Australia are all so different, so crazy different, I can't even begin to tell you . . . and this one, about a drunk, a boy and a cat . . . First off, I don't even like cats . . . so you know, for me to choose and listen to this one, means that I gotta trust in the writing of Bryce Courtenay . . . My dad, whom I loved with all my heart was an alcoholic . . . and not unlike Billy, my dad was kind . . . and he was broken . . . and he couldn't stand to see anybody mistreated . . . I definitely went on a "journey" with this book . . . a sad, beautiful, longing journey, into my own past and into the tale of a much loved cat named Trim, who did much to heal Billy and a little boy . . . you will NOT regret listening to this book . . .

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A whole new perspective

What a moving read. Humphrey Bower is a brilliant narrator who plays each voice and accent superbly but what an amazing writer Bryce Courtenay is. How many of us have looked at drunks, addicts and derelicts and wondered how they could ever get there? Mr Courtenay will help you understand the incredibly tough existence that a drunk, a drug addict, a derelict or child prostitute lives through and will bring you to tears on a regular basis.

This is a book that I would absolutely recommend to anyone.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • CBDC
  • Washington, DC USA
  • 03-25-07

Poetry and humanity

In MATTHEW FINDER'S CAT, Bryce Courtnay helped me understand someone I knew (or thought I did and now realize I never did). As TANDIA brought home the reality of apartheid and APRIL FOOLS DAY the reality of AIDS on a person and those who knew or know him or her, MATTHEW FLINDER'S CAT is a sensitive and powerful story of alcoholiam. But it's more; the story is about youth, old age, friendship, bias, love, family and relationships.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Emotional

Where does Matthew Flinder's Cat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would rank this novel at 85% of over 700 Audible Books I have purchased. However, that is mostly meaningless because, while I am an Average Guy, it's only my personal opinion. I do not think you would be disappointed with the novel because, woven throughout a very good story, there are a few nuggets of knowledge we all can benefit from

What did you like best about this story?

A better understanding of the causes of an addictive personality.

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

Humphrey Bower is a great voice actor who brings to life each and every character in the story. He makes you care, very much, about them. Mr. Bower is right up there with Mr. George Guidall, who, I believe, could read the phone book and make it come alive.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

In the very beginning when Billy is getting hassled by the local cop; I began to care about what was going to happen to him. That is the moment I got hooked and wanted to find out how the rest of the story developed.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • mergra
  • WILLUNGA, Australia
  • 04-18-11

Moving, heart-warming and beautifully narrated.

We each come from our own, unique background and I suspect that those who have not walked in the shoes of the less fortunate may identify only slightly with the character/s in this book. However, those who have some understanding of the plight of the addict, the abused, the pervasive nature of corruption and those for whom discrimination is a daily and unrelenting occurrence, this book will speak directly to their hearts, as it did mine. I greatly respect the way Courtenay wove the tapestry of this story and I love the hope he inspires with his words, whilst acknowledging the darkness and difficulties that plague all of us as we attempt to navigate the complexities of our lives. I particularly like the synchronicities he includes, showing how events can seemingly conspire for, and against all of us. Yes, the stories of Trim and Flinders were sometimes long-winded - but isn't that the way life is to us sometimes? The details that we'd rather not know about so that we can cut to the chase and get to the more interesting, inspiring bits? It was the telling of Trim's story that gave Billy hope and allowed him to employ his creative self, both through his drunken wanderings AND his sober perseverance whilst waiting for contact with Ryan. I experienced this book as a brilliant insight into the very heart of so many issues and I loved the narration - excellent work, as usual, by Humphrey Bower. Hats off to author and narrator!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Mr.
  • 04-07-13

As alway Bryce Courtney delivers.

Bruce Courtney always delivers. Mathew Flinders Cat is no different.

He captures the characters and their emotions and you end up knowing them, feeling their pain, sorrows and joy.

A captivating story of a man who has fallen a long way, but is rescued by his friendship with a young boy with problems, and his ingrained sense of justice and compassion. You become part of the journey and involved in the story and wanting a 'happy' positive outcome.

Bryce Courtney never disappoints in any of his stories and this is no exception.

A good listen with the reader bringing the story to life. You will not be disappointed.

A definite five stars. Can't wait to get more Bryce Courtney books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-19-17

INTERESTING

Loved the perspective from the cat. As ever the narration steals the show. BC excellent.

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  • Sadiq
  • 06-03-17

Brilliant story and journey

Loved it....brings Sydney to me....
liked hire he weaves everything into the story line
the ends comes a bit abruptly

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  • Overall
  • Performance
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  • Pam
  • 07-25-17

Outstanding

What did you like most about Matthew Flinder's Cat?

Educational, poignant, compelling

What other book might you compare Matthew Flinder's Cat to, and why?

The Four Fires as they both approached the story from different world views

What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

the gravelly voice of a derelict and the nonchalance of the eleven year old

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Rough

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Allyson
  • 08-29-15

highly recommended

exceptional storyline and historically accurate. A wonderful and rewarding listen. very entertaining. believable characters

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • 06-19-15

soul search

This will make you think about life another truly great book by Bryce. This book was very hard to stop listening to could easily listen to again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • peter
  • 05-25-15

Absorbing

Loved this story from start to end. Bower did a really good job with the narration and the story is so addictive that you just want more.
Great author, great book, highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Erica Dibden
  • 05-18-15

Bryce does it again

I sailed on the boat with Mathew Flinders cat, experienced the agony of alcoholism and stood side by side with Billy who drew deep for the strength to fight child abuse.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Helen
  • 12-04-17

a great read..an insight into world known by few

the book was so interesting and the subject took us into world that is not know about by most Australians.....so many of us are so lucky not to be touched by the sadness and distress in this Book, but so many are as well.

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  • Jenny
  • 11-15-17

A deeply movng story of redemption and hope

A deeply movng story of redemption and hope, this tale gives insight into the struggles faced by addicts and the bravery of those who choose to face their demons in order to free themselves. While it does not flinch from addressing some utterly evil aspects of humanity it also celebrates the joy and hope that can be found in true friendship.