The Potato Factory

The Potato Factory Ikey Solomon is very successful indeed in the art of thieving Ikey s partner in crime is his mistress the forthright Mary Abacus until misfortune befalls them They are parted and each must make the

Ikey Solomon is very successful indeed, in the art of thieving 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 19th century London to Van Diemens Land In the backstreets and dives of Hobart Town, Mary learns the art of brewing and builds The Potato Factory, whereIkey Solomon is very successful indeed, in the art of thieving 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 19th century London to Van Diemens 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 As each woman sets out to destroy the other, the families are brought to the edge of disaster.

  • ☆ The Potato Factory ☆ Bryce Courtenay
    121 Bryce Courtenay
The Potato Factory

  1. I was born illegitimately in 1933 in South Africa and spent my early childhood years in a small town deep in the heart of the Lebombo mountains.It was a somewhat isolated community and I grew up among farm folk and the African people At the age of five I was sent to a boarding school which might be better described as a combination orphanage and reform school, where I learned to box though less as a sport and as a means to stay alive.But I survived to return to a small mountain town named Barberton in the North Eastern part of the country.Here I met Doc, a drunken German music teacher who spent the next few years filling my young mind with the wonders of nature as we roamed the high mountains His was the best education I was ever to receive, despite the scholarship I won to a prestigious boy s school and thereafter to a university in England where I studied Journalism.I came to Australia because I was banned from returning to my own country.This was due to the fact that I had started a weekend school for Africans in the school hall of the prestigious boy s school I attended.One day the school hall was raided by the police who then branded me a Communist as they considered educating Africans a subversive act.While studying journalism, I met a wonderful Australian girl Come to my country Benita invited.I did, and soon after arriving in Australia, married her Benita gave me three splendid sons, Brett, Adam and Damon Brett, who married Ann has given me three lovely grandsons, Ben now 14, Jake is about to turn 12 and Marcus is almost 6 years old.I have lived all my Australian life in Sydney the nicest place on earth and, until I started writing fiction, made my career in advertising working as a copywriter and creative director.At the age of 55 I decided to take the plunge I had been telling stories since the age of five and had always known I would be a writer some day, though life kept getting in the way until I realised that it was either now or never.Bryce Courtenay died at his home in Canberra, Australia He was 79.Courtenay is survived by his second wife Christine Gee and his children Adam and Brett.

881 Reply to “The Potato Factory”

  1. Holy hell This is one damn good book Bryce Courtenay still amazes me in his level of research comparable to only authors such as Diana Gabaldon and Jack Whyte It deals with the populating of the British colonies in Australia, Tasmaina, and New Zealand While the accuracy of detail is impeccable, his skill as a storyteller is what keeps me hooked on ordering his books from Australia Good God, I hope this man lives forever and keeps writing Thank goodness that it is one book in a series of 3 I was [...]

  2. I read this as a download from Audible Humphrey Bower is an exceptional narrator effortlessly giving each character their own distinct voice I was enthralled with Courtenay s writing and Bower s narration I don t know if I d give it five stars as a print book or not, but I recommend it as an audible book to anyone.

  3. donated to CCU 30 10 2014review finally.Ikey Solomon and his partner in crime, Mary Abacus, 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 builds The Potato Factory a brewery, where she plans a new future But her ambitions are threatened by Ikey s wife, Hannah, her old enemy As each woman sets out to destroy the other, the families are brought to the edge of disaster.The characters Ik [...]

  4. The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtnay.This excellent novel sat on my bookshelf for some months before I finally got around to reading it I am not sure why, perhaps it was the title that did not strike the right cords I even picked it up a couple of times, but dismissed it What an oversight that was The Potato Factory is a journey back in time to Dickensian London and all the filth and squalor that inspired Charles Dickens to pen his many novels, and in particular Oliver Twist.Although written as [...]

  5. I m a bit undecided with The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay Yes, there s no doubt that Bryce Courtenay is a great writer He has the ability to make you believe that you are experiencing the same things with the characters whether its in the streets of 19th century London or the colonial outpost that was Van Damien Island and even projecting sympathy towards the lowest scums of English society Also, the way he sets up the background of the story is nothing short of perfect, you know each detai [...]

  6. First I loved this book After starting it on vacation it was the only book at the rental home on the beach where we were I had to find the others in this series The storyline was so fascinating to me as a look into the lives of the poor and downtrodden prisoners sent from Britain to Australia Because of the people involved the language is very course and I wouldn t recommend it to people who are offended by such I don t believe it is filthy for the sake of filth, but if this were a movie it woul [...]

  7. Loved this book This is now the 3rd book I have read by the author and I plan to read The first I had read was The Power of One which is a truly marvelous book, after that I read The Persimmon Tree which was a slow and plodding disappointment to me And so I came to this book on my Kindle and had no idea what to expect What I got was a book that held my rapt attention, a book that was a super fast and interesting read, a book that includes two characters that also appear in Charles Dickens book [...]

  8. It took me a few months to get through this audiobook and every now and again I had to stop listening because it was just too much the violence, the poverty, the lack of compassion Yet I would always pick it up again, keen to find out what happens next, because throughout the story there is a glimmer of hope in its characters grit, their will to survive and find peace, however short lived Bryce Courtenay is an impressive storyteller who is sometimes ruthless to his readers while describing the r [...]

  9. This is the first in the Australian trilogy 1.The Potato Factory2.Tommo Hawk3.Solomon s SongI was hooked after the first chapter Bryce Courtenay is noted for his ability to weave dramatic, graphic, human stories with historic fact He did not disappoint with this book I could not put it down We meet Ikey, Hannah and Mary in 1820 s England dark times, bleak times, hard times They survive in the under belly of English society Their lives and their stories are woven togetherDeemed criminals by Engli [...]

  10. This book has the quality of a folk legend re imagined The characters loom larger than life and protagonists endure years of the worst kinds of suffering before triumphing over their oppressors The first half of this novel, set in nineteenth century London, is slowly paced, but packed with eccentric, Dickensian characters, complete with dialect The very eventful second half takes place mostly in Australia during its penal colony days, as the feud that boils for over 700 pages comes to a head The [...]

  11. Set in the early 19th century, THE POTATO FACTORY explores the lives of London s thieves, con men, prostitutes, street urchins and lowlife who, suffering from England s social and political inequalities, are sent to the penal colony of Van Diemen s Land now Tasmania This Dickensian tale with larger than life characters and plenty of pulp is not for the fainthearted as master storyteller Bryce Courtenay spares no sordid or salacious detail I loved the book but at 852 pages found it to be overly l [...]

  12. What an altogether roller coaster journey about London during the early and mid 18 hundreds I knew that life during those times was rather terrible for the lower class of the population, but how vividly poverty is described in a Charles Dickens style leave little to the imagination of the reader The Potato Factory was a very good read and again my admiration for Bryce s detail in describing human misery to its fullest I never knew that Tasmania was a destination for convicts, I knew about Austra [...]

  13. Listened to on my IPod Amazing Narration with Humphrey Bower doing many dialects with great skill The story is about Fagan, the villain from Oliver, who is a real life character who Dickens used to tell the story of the young thieves Much of the story takes place in Australia after his deportment for his crimes.

  14. I listened to the audiobook of 23 hours Fabulous This book took the author 20 years to write due to research and accuracy The story is based on true individuals of Ikey Solomon and Mary Sparrow who were convicts and sent to Australia to serve their sentences MR Cannon did a wonderful job telling their stories of street debauchery and Ikey s life of crime and Mary s good nature and tenacity to overcome society s views of criminals and women The actor who read was superb This is the first book of [...]

  15. This was my first Bryce Courtenay book and if the others are anything like this it will not be my last The amount of research that must have went into this story is amazing The story follows the journey of one Ikey Solomon Ikey s journey starts in England and eventually ends in Tasmania Along the way we meet many loveable character and some we love to hate mainly Ikey s wife Hannah Mary Abacus as she is come to be know, due to her use of the abacus is a stand out character throughout the entire [...]

  16. This is a historical fiction about the most notorious criminal in England in the early 1800 s and his exile to Australia It reads to me like a Dickens novel, set in the same time period I ve never actually read any other books that tell the story of how Australia was settled and how the convicts were brought here and treated once they arrived The first half of the book is wordy, slow and hard to read And only at the halfway point it gradually accelerates So I doubt very much whether I ll pick up [...]

  17. Lately I have been on a Bryce Courtenay reading marathon After just finishing April Fool s Day I wanted to read from this author that has touched my life, particularly with his first novel The Power of One That is definitely absolutal on my favorite list In the preface to this novel Courtney writes These were dark times, bleak times, hard times, times where a poor man s life was regarded as less valuable than that of a pig, a poor Jew s far less valuable even than that That Ikey Solomon s life [...]

  18. I enjoyed every word of this book,and who ever likes historical novels, will love it Australian s are lately so proud of their convict heritage you can t become Australian now if you have a criminal record , and most have romantic idea of settlers drinking Billy Tea and singing Waltzing Matilda, sitting around the fire in the bush, but reality of the times 200 years ago is much closer to this book.Bryce Courtney likes to bring out dirty laundry and he does it with such elegance.Characters are in [...]

  19. Because of my passing interest in the antipodes, after I read its description I thought maybe this book would give me some insight into life in Australia during the country s early years, specifically the first half of the nineteenth century Unfortunately, I never got to the part where the main characters actually moved to Australia from England They were so crass and disgusting, it became impossible for me to continue reading about them and their dissolute antics So I gave it up, after about 10 [...]

  20. I love historical fiction Before I read The Potato Factory I had never heard or Bryce Courtney He has a way of writing that makes you feel transported back in time The story of Ikey Solomon and Mary Abacus is brutal, and heartbreaking, however you have to admire the determination and success against all odds The events of their lives, apart and together, lay a foundation for an unparalleled story you will not be able to put down I have just started the second of the trilogy which I did not know [...]

  21. I really enjoyed this book It is long and the subject is heavy but it is an amazing read.The story is about Ikey Solomon who the character Fagin from Oliver Twist was based on and his fictional mistress Mary Abacus Ikey is a fencer and uses his army of pickpocket children to get stolen goods to send to international markets His mistress Mary Abacus has a quick mind for business and together they open a high class brothel When Ikey s wife Hannah finds out about Mary she is furious and sets him up [...]

  22. Another supremely entertaining story by Bryce Courtenay I read the paperback version as well as listened to the audio book Humphrey Bower is such a great narrator who brings all of Courtenay s colorful characters to life This is the first book in a trilogy, chronicling the fictionalized life of Ikey Solomon, set in London and Van Dieman s Land Tasmania I m already on to book 2 Tommo and Hawk and am enjoying this 2nd bookImmensely too.

  23. This book was physically difficult to read with over 600 pages of single line spaced small font Really interesting story but did get bogged down at times.

  24. The Potato Factory, by Bryce Courtenay, Narrated by Humphrey Bower, Produced by Bolinda Publishing, downloaded from audible.This book is the first in a series of three Bryce Courtenay, in an introduction which he read personally in the audio version, states that it is his tribute to Australia, a country which has given him much He was born in South Africa This book is about Ikey Solomon, apparently a real person He was raised in the poorest streets of London, became a thief, and trained a band o [...]

  25. My friend from Australia recommended this author to me when I told her I was looking for something by a writer from her country Another reviewer raved about the audio version narrated by Humphrey Bower,one of those talented actors who makes characters come alive through the different voices and accents he gives them A good thing too because this novel, the first in a trilogy, is filled with colorful characters which made it a lot of fun to listen to them speak, rather than simply read what they [...]

  26. Many years ago I read The Power of One Bryce Courtenay s book on South AfricaI never did read the sequal for some reason and I don t think I realized how many historical fiction books he had written This summer I picked up Power of One again, and just so, so enjoyed it again Courtenay s style of writing is gentle, informative, involvingThe people seem to be real people, with real histories and they tell the stories of the countries Went on to read Tandia , the second book in the South African se [...]

  27. This book is a good one to read if interested in the historical perspective of Australia or rather Van Diemen s Tasmania as a destination for prisoners from Great Britain in the early decades of the 19th century It covers the prison ships as they transport those banished from their home countries and then life as they live out their terms and afterwards.It is also the fictionaliized story of an infamous criminal, Ikey Solomon and his life of crime Ikey is believed by many to have been the model [...]

  28. This book was given to me by the lady in the next apartment to ours whilst we were holidaying on Crete We d struck up a Lovely weather again how s your day been relationship whilst sitting on our ground floor balconies reading You won t be able to put it down, she told me.She was right.The book is based on Ikey Solomon, the so called Prince of Fences and the basis of the Fagin character in the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist It is the first in a three part series, followed by Tommo Hawk and S [...]

  29. Memorable Quotes only desire is to teach the word o man and leave the word o Gawd to the pulpit men The rapacious white tribe who were arriving in increasing numbers, not only as convicts but also as settlers, wanted to own everything they touched They slashed and burned the wilderness so that they might graze their sheep and grow their corn They erected fences around the land they now called their own and which henceforth they were prepared to defend with muskets and sometimes even their lives [...]

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