[Ebook] ➧ The Potato Factory By Bryce Courtenay – Snackgo.co.uk

The Potato Factory Big, brash and epic, The Potato Factory takes us back to early 19th century London and to the early years of England s penal settlement in Tasmania, Van Diemen s Land This is the London of Charles Dickens, gritty with poverty, violence, brutality and crime, much of which we come to see, gets exported to Australia The Potato Factory is Courtenays fictionalized history of Ikey Solomon, his wife Anna and his erstwhile mistress and business partner, Mary Ikey is a London Jew, a master fence , crafty, despicable and the likely inspiration for Dicken s Fagin in Oliver Twist Ikey s schemes and machinations eventually catch up with him, and he, and separately Anna and Mary, get transported to Van Diemen s Land.This story, whether completely true or not, is a powerful tale of social injustice and greed and of our ability to overcome this It is also a lush and vivid portrait of this time in English and Australian history, lovingly researched and clearly Courtenay s homage to the grit and determination that characterized the European settlement of Down Under The characters are all richly textured and memorable, truly Dickensian, and the story line, with its plot twists and intrigues, is an emotional roller coaster of a ride The Potato Factory is story telling at its best.And I cannot finish without giving another strong plug for the audiobook, narrated by Humphrey Bower His voicings and narration bring a lif 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 a work of fiction, the author chose this route to publication only as a method of filling out the bare facts as recorded in historical periodicals of the time, both here and in Van Demons Land As a work of fiction he was also afforded the luxury of adding some excellent dialogue.The central character in this true tale is Ikey Solomon whom most readers will recognise as Fagan from Oliver Twist This was no coincidence, as he was the inspiration behind this well known classic, as were many other colourful characters, such as Sparrow Fart The Artful Dodger, and Bob Marley Bill Sykes Other Characters include Sperm Whale Sally and Billygonequeer Charles Dickens himself is reputed to have interview Sparrow Fart in his capacity as a young reporter after the well documented escape 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, 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. 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 Ikey, Mary and Hannah Ikey s wife were documented real people some of the other characters in Tasmania are based on real historical people Although Ikey s character is partially based on Fagin from Dicken s Oliver Twist it s interesting just how much Courtenay has borrowed of Dicken s Twist to flesh out Ikey s London years particularly with his apprentice thieves This is the first Courtneay book I ve read It s faced paced generally and keeps you hooked though a few chapters here and there dragged although interesting possibly historically close to actual reality of the early whalers, the point was long in coming eg the chapter about Blue Whale Sally Here and there I was annoyed at some of Courtenay s descriptions of our particular Australian things such as daub and wattle huts They felt like they were lifted out of the w This is Historical Fiction and I ve had this in my audio library for quite some time I ll first say that the narration was wonderfully done When that happens, it adds to the enjoyment.I liked this I liked that it fully covered the same characters for decades I felt like I really got to know them Even when they weren t particularly likable, I felt I understood them and their actions I liked the way the the author took opportunities to torture his characters They really were so tortured, but yet he d balance it out with hope or 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 detail has been meticulously researched it was almost like I was reading a very interesting history book about how people lived in that time I was there, I bought the story however after the first quarter of the novel I started to have an ominous feeling that I wasn t going to love this book Boredom came first Courtenay tended to repeat and rattle on about unnecessary facts explaining every minute detail Although at times it is interesting, it does get annoying after a while hence the next dilemma I started to get annoyed that the story was never going to finish because it kept diverting into these other random facts and story lines There was a point that I really felt that I was reading a completely different book I unders 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 would be R for sure For me it was almost like reading in another language, a vernacular of our own, but even though I can t stand to watch movies with lots of swearing, this book didn t bother me Not sure why, but it just seemed raw and true I was enthralled with the lives of the characters and the 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 Oliver Twist, and a whole lot of really great history on England, the British legal and penal systen, and Van Diemen s Land, which is now known as Tasmania.We follow the fortunes of Ikey Solomon Fagin , a young street urchin in London The Artful Dodger , Bob Marley, Ikey s estranged and vengeful wife Hannah and her children, Mary Abacas who is truly Ikey s love of his life and who turns from prostitute to business woman when her fortunes turn, and one of the great characters I have ever come across who is eventually known as Sperm Whale Sally This is an eventful book that follows the fortunes and misfortunes of Ikey and how he gets in and out of trouble, along with the journey of Mary who is a mathematical whiz with the device that gives her her last name We follow them through all sorts of adventures in London and then when they all eventually are banished to the penal 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 I read this as a download from Audible.com 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 a


About the Author: Bryce Courtenay

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


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