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Solomon's Song (The Potato Factory #3)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,412 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Story of extended family from slums of London in 1880s, to Australia on convict ships and their subsequent lives there. Unnecessarily crude in places but a good read.
Published (first published January 1st 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 20, 2013 Marissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm 20 pages away from being done and I am so sad- I want to stop reading. I won't because I have to know how it ends. I wish I could ask why his characters all go through hell- how good things don't happen to good people. But really I know the reasons, becuase it doesn't happen often enough in real life. His tragedies are so devastating- but these events explain the molding of a person and her dynasty. I'm grateful for this author for enriching my life and taking me to places I could never have ...more
Jan 24, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
Solomon's Song is the third in the Australia series by Courtenay. I started with this one because it concerns Gallipoli, a subject I'm slowly becoming an expert on. Even though it is the finale of the series, it hasn't destroyed my desire t0 read the rest, as soon as possible.

The series concerns two families, connected and competing, from the colonization of Australia (actually Van Dieman's Land - Tasmania) to the year 1916.

I had to read half the book before the Gallipoli section started, but i
Kathleen Hagen
Solomon’s Song, by Bryce Courtenay. Narrated by Humphrey Bowers, produced by Bolinda Audio, downloaded from This is the third in the Potato Factory trilogy taking place from about 1840 to 1916 in Australia.

Humphrey Bowers is worth the book. I think these books are ones that would not have been as good if not narrated by Bowers. In this third book, we go on with the two families, the Solomons, and the Tinklemans. Courtenay is particularly good at writing war narratives, and he spends
The Saga of the divided Solomon family continues.From Sydney in 1861 to the battle fields in France in 1916, fueled by hatred, the family moves forward through history. Tommo, Mary,David,Hinetitama leave us and we move forward with Grandfather Hawk,Ben and Victoria on the side of goodness and Abraham and Joshua on the side of evil.. For me this book is the story of Tommo's grandson,Ben Teekleman, "The Click" platoon, and the development of the fighting Anzacs (Australian, Tasmanians and New Zeal ...more
Nov 09, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never felt the need to leave a review but with this I feel I must. I am quite new to Bryce Courtenay books but have been working through them lately. I leave the review on this title because it has left a mark on me that will never leave. Simply breathtaking in its telling and horrific in its conclusion. My advice to anyone wanting to "read" Bryce Courtenay. Get the audio books. The narrator "Humphrey Bower" is a master of his craft. You do not hear a narrator, you hear the characters. He ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Tegan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this trilogy by reading the second book (Tommo and Hawk). I loved both characters, and I was excited to read Solomon's Song to understand 'where they went'. While Tommo's plot was satisfying, that of Hawk left a lot to be desired. I feel like I've been robbed of a conclusion for the Hawk character.

The character development for Tommo's family seems rushed and is also unsatisfying, as others have mentioned. Hinetitama (Tommo's daughter) is a character and personality I start to enjoy, an
Mar 22, 2010 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solomon's Song is the third and last book in Byrce Courtenay's Potato Factory Trilogy. It was my favorite. Much of the story took place on the peninsula of Gallipoli in Turkey, in 1915 -16. I have been to Gallipoli and saw where the New Zealand and Australian military perished as they supported the English. I could picture the scenes of these battles. Over the past year, I have had the families of Ikey and Mary....Tommo and Hawk with me on my MP3 Player as I worked around the house and drove in ...more
Nov 18, 2011 Adri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel traumatised, again, having read about WW1. Recently I finished reading "Birds without Wings" and experienced this war from the Turkish perspective. This time, from the Australian. And it is the same from both views - the horror, the horror. And both authors expressed so well the futility of war, the senseless killing. And I am left with a sense of despair, because it all just continues. We are incapable of learning from history. I feel, like one of the soldiers in this story, that I need ...more
Jeffrey Rasley
Jun 07, 2014 Jeffrey Rasley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
--- Powerful anti-war story, but over the top in WWI ---
This review is from: Solomon's Song: The Australian Trilogy, Book 3 (Audible Audio Edition)
Courtenay is a great story-teller, and this was one of the most affecting anti-war stories I've experienced. (I listened to the audiobook.) The horrors of Gallipoli and the trench warfare of World War I are very personally conveyed. The reader attaches to Sgt. Ben Solomon as he is an unassuming, kind, and exceptionally competent soldier serving with t
What a fantastic end to a three book trilogy. The Anzac experience in fighting against the Germans was incredibly detailed. The historic value of this book is excellent and detailed with a fanciful tale of the grandchildren of Ikey Sullivan who are still in a rivalry with the children of Ikey's horrid brother David. I wish there were more to this series. Bruce Courtenay makes each of his strange and wonderful characters come alive.
Elaine Stovet
Sep 12, 2013 Elaine Stovet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last book in the Trilogy of the Solomon family. Was just as good as the first two. I could not read the first two without reading the last.
Nadine May
Jul 01, 2012 Nadine May rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always Bryce keeps your attention all the way.
Oct 08, 2007 Jess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the first two books of Courtenay's Australian Trilogy. In The Potato Factory and Tommo and Hawk the reader really got to know the main characters (Ikey, Mary, Tommo, Hawk) and had an understanding of each charcter's development. In this last book not only are Tommo and Mary dead, I feel like Hawk is lost in this book and replaced by Victoria and Ben, which I never really felt I got to know. These characters had bits and pieces of former characters, but with not as much depth and ...more
Apr 13, 2010 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book I read of Bryce Courtenay's was, "The Power of One". It was one of my Bookclubs reads: one of which I had never heard. It was a wonderful book, filled with the texture of complex and diverse characters.
As I was cruising the shelves of Powells Bookstore in Portland, the Courtenay books jumped out once again and I chose "Solomon's Song" simply for the title. True to form, Courtenay provides a saga of Icelandic proportions: a fat book filled with multi-generational families, intertw
While still excellently compelling, and a fictional retelling of the ANZAC experience in WWI, this third part of the Potato Factory saga, to me, was so focussed on telling Australia's war story, I was left wishing there was more character driven elements, so rich are Courtenay's creations. That said, his reasearch was obviously meticulous and Solomon's Song is a beautiful exemplar of an intersection between fiction and history.
Michael McEvoy
May 22, 2015 Michael McEvoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Each book in this trilogy could almost be its own stand alone novel, as they all focus on a different generation of the Solomon family. At least with "Tommo & Hawk", we knew who the main characters were, but with "Solomon's Song", Ben and Victoria had not yet been introduced. This could have distanced the reader, but Bryce Courtenay writes such song characters that this was not an issue.

I loved the series as a whole. This book would definitely be the most different, as literally half way th
Noel Romey
This book concentrates on the argument between the two halves of the Solomons and resolves in somewhat surprising fashion the feud. It also concentrates on the world war and the conflict in Galipolee.

I understand that war is difficult, heart wrenching, and bloody. I gave this book three stars not because I didn't enjoy the story must of the time but because there were points when I had to force myself to continue through the sadness. I was disappointed in the ending to say the least. One must a
Peter Lees
Feb 15, 2015 Peter Lees rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book as an audio book. Humphrey Bower is an accomplished narrator and a master of making individual characters come alive. I am often disappointed with the narrating of audio books, but certainly not in this case. This is the third book in the trilogy and like the two previous books is well written, keeping the reader entranced. The battle descriptions at Gallipoli and the Western Front (France) are as vivid as scenes from television or the cinema, not to mention the horror of ...more
Sep 04, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading (listening to) this reminded me again of what a brutal author Bryce Courtenay is. He writes so well, the storytelling real, raw, and he does nothing to let his reader down lightly. It's harsh. I feel emotionally bruised. But how else should I feel when reading about a war?
Brilliantly read by Humphrey Bower.
Mar 25, 2013 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would never voluntarily read a book about war. And I freely admit my beliefs that violence and war are only the senseless tools of the senseless has been formed far too glibly, and far too distant from their reality. Through the eyes, the heart, the lives of all the characters in this novel and the whole Australian Trilogy my beliefs have been fortified and tears have been shed.
The hardcore realness of this narrative that takes place in World War One is so powerful that this reader felt the fo
Apr 27, 2016 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent finale to the Potato Factory trilogy.

All three novels are cleverly presented to weave together a very successful series.

If you have read The Potato Factory and Tommo & Hawk, the third and final novel is a must.

For those who enjoy Bryce Courtney this is highly recommended.
Nov 29, 2014 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Bryce, you're killing me! This was the final book of the Potato Factory trilogy. I would have given it 4 stars if it hadn't ended so abruptly, I needed another whole section tying up loose ends! But the character development was wonderful and the story did not disappoint. It tells the story of the Australian men who fought for the allies in WWI, wiping out an entire generation of men and greatly impacting Australia's future. It was sad and frustrating, the stupidity of war always is, but in t ...more
Marietjie Steyn
Onnodig wreed en te grafies. Ek het die reeks klaargelees net omdat ek nie wou glo Tommo is dood nie. Dit was 'n nare triek van die skrywer om my te laat aanhou lees en in boek 3 toe raak die skrywer moeg geskryf en woeps! toe eindig die reeks.
Nov 16, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bryce really wanted to tell the story of the Australians in WW I, but this is probably my least favorite of his books that I've read so far. It's a powerful story of the waste and violence of war. "Where have all the soldiers gone, gone to flowers every one. When will they ever learn?"

The ending is quite abrupt. I think Bryce was a natural story teller, and didn't really map his books out. He and his researchers did a ton of research, then he just started writing. Then, one day his publisher ca
Dianna Shimizu
May 26, 2016 Dianna Shimizu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the trilogy of a woman transported to Tasmania as a convict in the 1800's and I think I enjoyed them more the second time around than I did the first time I read them.
Feb 22, 2015 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The Potato Factory trilogy was eye-opening. I had no sense of the history of Australia but now I have an appreciation for the people and how they built a nation. Solomon's Song brought me to tears many times, especially during the Galipolli battles. Heartbreaking end.
Teri Pre
Jul 20, 2014 Teri Pre marked it as gave-up  ·  review of another edition
I just couldn't listen any more. Too much blah blah blah about politics. I LOVED the first one, liked the second but just can't get into this one.
Nov 22, 2014 Jc rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romans
This is a book that had potential but it is so badly constructed it is wasted. The first half rambles through flashbacks which assume you’ve read the two previous books. There are a lot of characters that could have been interesting except that the author drops them half way through: Tommo dies, Hawk becomes boring, Tommo’s daughter disappears, Tommo’s grand-daughter is groomed to become Mary’s true successor but nothing happens. The book picks up when we switch to Ben and the Anzacs in Gallipol ...more
Jill Polsby
Oct 05, 2012 Jill Polsby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was sad to have this fabulous trilogy of books, (Potato Factory, Tommo and Hawk, Solomon's Song) all of them at least 400 pp come to an end. Bryce Courtenay writes so easily and so well that you're just drawn in to the book and hate to put it down. I got taken back up into this author by having a friend recommend a reread of "Power of One" - a book we'd all read 20 years ago. None of us realized that it was the first of a series of books, each one better than the last. Can't recommend this autho ...more
Jan 02, 2016 Jenn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The point where I gave up on BC and his graphic and gratuitous violence.
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Can I read this one first? 2 18 Aug 27, 2012 02:35AM  
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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
More about Bryce Courtenay...

Other Books in the Series

The Potato Factory (3 books)
  • The Potato Factory (The Potato Factory, #1)
  • Tommo and Hawk (The Potato Factory, #2)

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