Michelle's Reviews > The Potato Factory

The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay
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Nov 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: zz2012-read

I really did enjoy this book for the most part. During some of it I felt like it did drag on a little but I guess all that detail added to the realness of the story and the building of the characters.

I could not believe how much character development there was in this book. It virtually ran over a period of almost 20 years and it was kind of exciting to see where the main characters ended up after all that time. You almost felt like you were part of the lives of Ikey and Mary by the end after experiencing every aspect of their trials and tribulations over the years and how their personalities changed.

The language used in this book is unbelievably descriptive and it made you almost feel as if you could smell and taste what was being described in the story. I kind of felt dirty sometimes after reading sections of this book because the language really made me feel like I could totally imagine the slum conditions they were living in. It truly amazes and disgusts me that this was how people were treated and managed to lived back then. The dirtiness and diseases that were commonplace really makes you appreciate how times have changed in our society.

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 subsequently treated once they arrived. Reading about this was very thought provoking and made me realise just how lucky we are that we don't have to fight for our lives in our country like that anymore. The differences between classes and how men treated women was horrendous and it makes you really sad to think that human beings were once so savage and had such little regard for their fellow man.

One dislike I did have regarding this book was some of the language used when the characters were speaking. Most of it was abbreviated into trying to replicate the real old cockney English and sometimes that made it a bit difficult when there were long conversations going on and you had to follow the broken words. But that is obviously not something that would bother everyone.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading a fictional account of how our society started as it was apparently based loosely on real people and events.

Overall I would give this book 4 stars our of 5 as it definitely held my interest right to the end and I always felt disappointed whenever I had to put it down and knew I wasn't going to get to read it again for a while.

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Reading Progress

November 17, 2011 – Shelved
December 29, 2011 – Started Reading
January 1, 2012 –
page 52
7.04%
January 3, 2012 –
page 84
11.37%
January 4, 2012 –
page 105
14.21%
January 5, 2012 –
page 158
21.38%
January 13, 2012 –
page 331
44.79%
January 15, 2012 –
page 366
49.53%
January 18, 2012 –
page 472
63.87%
January 22, 2012 – Finished Reading
May 1, 2012 – Shelved as: zz2012-read

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