The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay

Many a times I have picked up a Bryce Courtenay novel in the bookstore to only put it down again.  I don’t know why but the covers of the book did not appeal to me however the titles did.

And then I finally did it – I bought 2 of his novels of which Potato Factory was my first.

From the minute I met Ikey Solomon I knew I was going to enjoy this journey.  Mr Courtenay has a fantastic way with words and I had to stop after reading only one page to take in what I have just read.

The smells of London town was jumping from the pages and the foul stench filled my sensitive nostrils.  I had to walk away from the book because I had tears in my eyes, gagging on the smells of London town.  Mr Courtenay is such a master storyteller but yet these words of master storyteller sounds like just another cliché – I don’t have the words to explain what a fantastic read this was!

Allow me some extracts from his book:  Mary wasn’t Ikey’s wife, nor yet his mistress, perhaps something in between, an attachment for which there is not yet a suitable name.

Another cliché I can use is page turner, because you can’t stop once you start, but I forced myself to stop.  For one – I still have a day job and 2 – I wanted to savour every word.  Great was my shock when I realized that Potato Factory was book one of a trilogy – and great was my relieve when I realized I bought the second book as well!  Now only to get the 3rd book – but back to Potato Factory.

At one stage I couldn’t understand the title of the book but as you get well into the story, the Potato Factory becomes prominent.

A few things I will never forget from the book:

Always leave a little salt on the bread …

Listen to your stomach, hear with your eyes and see with your ears…

This is a wonderful tale of the fortunes and misfortunes of Ikey Solomon, Mary Abacus and Sperm Whale Sally and how greed almost brought families to destruction.  You will read about the back streets of London Town, Hobart Town.  You will be taken on a voyage on a ship upon the stormy seas.

All in all a fantastic book (another cliché) but take time and read this awesome novel!  Remember it is a trilogy!


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