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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.
©2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2014 Publishing Pty. Ltd

What listeners say about Matthew Flinder's Cat

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    514
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    329
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    142
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    30
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    374
  • 4 Stars
    217
  • 3 Stars
    106
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 . . .

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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"!

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Compelling story with some heavy topics

The narrator was awesome and made the characters come to life. The book was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, took me from laughter to tears. I wasn't expecting the story to be so detailed and the reader should be aware there are mature topics contained including drugs and sex not intended for the naive reader who would like to stay that way. I am undecided if I will try another book by this author, I think I would like to have a better understanding of the content first. But this was a good book and performance overall.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Courtenay's best

Would you consider the audio edition of Matthew Flinder's Cat to be better than the print version?

Don't know. Never read the print version.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Reduced the amounts of time spent on the story of Matthew Flanders and Trim.

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

Humphrey Bower brings every book he narrates to life. I've listened to him lots and have never been disappointed.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A story af alcoholism and child sexual exploitation in Aussyland.

Any additional comments?

The story tells the tale of a very special friendship between an alcoholic and a child. I really think it was more about what BC wanted to say about alcoholism/addiction, it's recovery process, and make some points about child sexual exploitation. I really feel like he used this story to get his views across, while not wrong in any way, but took away from the story really just being about the characters. I connected with Billie, but would have more if he hadn't been so into project Mina bird!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • 12-23-17

Great, reliable reads

Another well narrated book.

A little slow at points however the story did require some detail to bring the subject to life and that it did in addressing many of the addictions of societies around the world

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for newgamer  thoroughly enjoyable play for hours
  • newgamer thoroughly enjoyable play for hours
  • 02-20-18

History Flinders Cat

did not want it to finish kept me close to the book so I could listen when ever I could

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Khonsu
  • 02-11-18

Difficult to relate to & ended feeling rushed

Of course it is difficult to relate to an alcoholic ex-lawyer and a paedophile ring.

It was very difficult to find an sympathy or association for the lead character for the same reason. The telling of the alcoholics lifestyle, if you're going to go there, wasn't gritty enough - it was by no means fluffy but it didn't go as dark as the subject matter is. The paedophiliac side of the story, thankafully, was only touched on in terms of the disgusting detail.

The laying of the two main characters went into some depth and then, unfortunately, the ending was so rushed and so lacking in detail with the excuse of "the police didn't make me aware of the final details" was poor.

As for Matthew Flinders cat... introduced to show a parallel to a young boys life - failed miserably and seemed like it was a short story slightly embroiled into the main plot.

Overall - disappointing from the late Bryce Courtenay. There are many others much much better.

Excellently read as always by Humphrey Bower.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-19-17

INTERESTING

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rosemary
  • 05-14-22

another brilliant narrative

Each book I listen to by Bryce Courtney appears better than the last one. I think the narrator Humphrey Bower really adds to the overall experience, always clear and so clever with the different voices. A winning combination.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SR
  • 02-25-21

A great combination

Loved this book. Courtney gets to the heart of things and Bower narrates with perfection.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G H P Bardell
  • 06-05-20

A remarkable book!

Truly felt this must be an autobiography. It contained such insight, and I was surprised to find at the end that it wasn’t , but had been extensively researched. Would highly recommend especially if you are or know of an addict of any substance as it greatly helps with understanding and shows a path to recovery in well explained detail.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Allyson
  • 08-29-15

highly recommended

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

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Angelo Mourikis
  • 06-10-21

Basically two stories in one

Very good narration. Loved the insight into recent Sydney history and the Kings Cross underworld. The main character Billy was great. The parallel story with Flinders and Trim the cat was interesting, but not sure it worked.
One problem is the chapter syncing between the narration and the app.. way off.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-26-20

Perhaps life changing

It has given me explanation of my own life, and made me want to become more than I am currently. I cried a lot during the book. It made me feel a familiarity with an author that I haven't experienced before. Thank You Bryce. Welsh accent was terrible. Sorry.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • zenihama
  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mtsl
  • 11-29-21

Not Bryce Courtenays Best Book

Was a bit slow for the first 3/4 of the book and the ending seemed rushed. Great research on what its like to be an addict and rehabilitation. And as always Humphrey Bowers narration is 100% Amazing!!. Audiobook should come with a warning to avoid this book if you don't like hearing about peadophiles with details of what they do to young boys!! I did not enjoy listening to that at all!! Could potentially be quite upsetting listening to this if you've experienced child sexual abuse.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-21

Typically Courtenay

Not Courtenay’s best work, though he was the master at character development and getting the reader/listener fully invested and even emotionally involved with key characters.

Working in the city I found myself looking at the homeless differently.