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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 14 July 1999
Bryce Courtenay has a passion for humanity that I have never ever seen in contemporary fiction. Tommo and Hawk are such brilliantly defined characters and their whole universe is so meticulously researched and so lovingly portrayed, that not only is this book a good story (the way stories used to be good) but it is also very educational and more than a little thought provoking. Anyone who is familiar with "Power of One" will once again experience the absolute torrent of emotions that has become the norm when reading one of his books. This book is about two brothers coming of age together in a very violent land (Australia and New Zealand in the 1860'S) and coming to terms with their own demons while trying to survive the actions of a misguided bible bashing sea Captain, a war,a murder conviction, an unscrupulous gambler and worst of all their own brutal past. All this plays out against a landscape that you can tell the author is knowledeable about and cares for very deeply. Although this no "Power of One" (it's difficult not to compare), Bryce Courtenay writes with a passion and an authority that takes you places and shows you things you forgot were possible. And after all, isn't that what a good book is supposed to do?
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on 26 November 2014
I've just re-read the whole ofThe "Australian Trilogy". Fantastic, Bryce Courtenay's great historical novels and his sparkling unputdownable stories and tales make for terrific reading entertainment. If you've not discovered him yet I Urge you to do so, for regrettably there will be no more.
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on 15 December 2012
This is a huge book, like The Potato Factory, and I zipped through it in no time at all because I could hardly put it down. It follows the lives of the Solomon family in Australia, and paints a wonderful picture of life there in the 1800s when the convicts were still being shipped there from the UK. The goldrush - the Chinese - the lack of education, it all colours the story. I can't wait to start the next one - in fact I finished this one around 3 am and immediately got the next one and started reading!
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on 14 January 2013
Cam on time, as pictured, correct title no problems.

The book - I found it never settled, and hence the character development suffered. So many historical events and locations were crammed in which gave the author little space for character development. Although we know some of Tommo and Hawk from the previous novel, do we really get to know them? Or are we being whisked through the maori uprising, the early development of Sydney, the gold rush and back to hobart?

I preferred the first book
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on 20 September 2005
From any other author i would consider this a 5-star rated book, from Bryce Courtenay on the other hand it is a whole different story.
I find that the characters just aren't as strong as in his other books such as the Power of One or Tandia and that the plot was all too familiar. Neither is it the emotional challenge that April's Fool's Day was and it is generally hampered by the quality of his previous works. Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed this book emensely as a good read, it has many thought provoking issues from drug addiction to racism, but it just lacks the same touch that some of Courtenay's other books had.
So if you have read others of his and want to read more or if you are looking for a good book about Australia in the 19th century then this is your book. But if you are a new comer to Bryce Courtenay then i would recommend the Power of One/Tandia as a better picture of Courtenay's genius.
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on 3 April 2013
Halfway through reading The Potato Factory, I downloaded Tommo and Hawk and Solomon's Song as I couldn't wait to read what happened to Ikey and Mary. I was not disappointed with this sequel and loved the way Bryce writes so you learn so much fact written as fiction. I have since looked up more about life in New Zealand. Wonderful book with the next one to come!
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on 5 April 2015
I brought this paperback book with 11 others from a charity shop and didn't know it was the second of a trilogy. I couldn't put it down and often didn't try to get to sleep until sometimes 2 in the morning. I won't go into the story as others have already done so but it wasn't until the last page that I realised there was another. So now its on my wish list for my new Kindle Fire HD I'm expecting this week, together with The Potato Factory which was the first.
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on 31 October 2014
There are aspects of the story that make it an entertaining read , but you have to suspend quite a lot of belief.
The description of one twin's height "seven foot" in a malnourished Victorian era does not make sense , nor does the absence of STDs in the partner of a unprotected prostitute.I enjoyed the descriptions of whaling and the Gold Rush period but could not quite take the story seriously .
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on 20 May 2014
This the second book of the trilogy and I intend to read the third as I'm very interested in the lives of people who travelled to Australia at that time in history. As my Daughter went to Australia to live 7 years ago and I travel there each year staying for 3 months at a time so I like to read about the places and country.
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on 3 January 2012
An absolute joy to read and I find it impossible to put down. I read "The Potato Factory" first, which is the first book in the trilogy, and then straight on to this one. I am a busy lady, but I am searching for time so I can get back to this novel. Well researched and well written, I don't want it to finish! But, I have the third book in this trilogy to go on to, (Solomon's Song) so I am very contented! Anyone who revels in historical novels, you will not be disappointed.
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