Customer Reviews: Tommo and Hawk (Potato Factory Trilogy)
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Customer Reviews

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on March 21, 2002
Tommo & Hawk continues the story started in the Potato Factory. It further adds to the contention that Bryce Courtenay is the best storyteller since Hemmingway. His depiction of 19th century Tasmania is a triumph. Not only can you feel and almost smell what the characters are experiencing, but his tale is gripping. Whereas The Power of One and Tandia were more on the high brow end of the moral spectrum, the Potato Factory and this novel dig a little deeper into the underbelly of the British Empire. The result is a grittier, more visceral read, that is difficult to put down.
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on February 1, 2001
This novel - a sequel to 'The Potato Factory' (a great book, mind you!), is a rollicking tale of 2 unlikely brothers, with a lot of grisly adventure and the typical BC-style of lots of bad things happening that make you really care for the characters and then, gee, things seem to turn out OK in the end (but not without a lot of pain and suffering, thank you Charles Dickens).
Nevertheless, I loved this book for all of the 650+ pages that Bryce decided to put into it... Being very critical, I would say that gee yep, this coulda been better and all (as I did not like all of the things that happenend in the end), but it was a great read from one of the best authors in the land of OZ (for this type of literature). He has a great style and command of words that makes you want to know what is going on with the characters, and is very conscious of what is going on at the time as well. No, this is not big time literary stuff, but it is simply GREAT entertainment that won't leave your head and will keep your mind off the othe worries of the world...
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on May 21, 2000
I have read the trilogy from the 'Potato Factory' to 'Solomon's Song. My only regret, I read 'Solomon's Song' before I read 'Thommo & Hawk'. The novel, like the others,is absolutely captivating & the reader really becomes part of the 'Abacus' come 'Solomon' family. I would have loved to see another sequel or two. Maybe Bryce has something in mind to continue the Solomon saga. The trilogy was the best I have ever read. Congratulations, Bryce.
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on April 25, 2006
I have only read The Potato Factory and this book by BC, and really enjoyed them both. I have to say I found this book to be a bit better than The Potato Factory, mainly because of the humor that is injected. I love how God gets involved in conversations with either Tommo or Hawk - they made me laugh!

I also really appreciated the detail which was put into different stories, for example the whale hunting story and the opium situation. I found the detail of the times and the issues of the times to be fascinating, and while I realize it is a 'story', I also believe that a lot of the subjects discussed are actual portrayals of situations that happened during that era (mid 1800's).

I highly recommend this book, but only after you have read The Potato Factory, because Ikey is referred to a lot (as are other situations), and to truly appreciate this book, it will help to have read the prequel.

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on February 4, 2002
Courtenay has written a book steeped in the richness of early Australian History. Still I found this book rather disappointing. I am not much into violence and I found that whilst historically correct (assumption) many of the scenes were too long and graphic for my liking. It is very readable on it's own - I have yet to read the prequel to this book. The book dipicts in detail the quality of characters and hardships of early Australia in a pleasing and vivid way.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 29, 2006
Bryce Courtenay has been on my list of favorite authors since I read "The Power of One." He does not disappoint in "Tommo and Hawk."

The story of twin boys in Australia, this book enthralls with rich characters and a setting that draws the reader into the early days of European settlement of Australia and New Zealand. The story is filled with historical information, but it is the character development of the twins, their mother, and Maggie Pye that impels the reader through "just one more chapter."

Though not as optomistic in tone or outcome as "The Power of One," "Tommo and Hawk" is even more fascinating. The twins, opposites in every respect except their love for each other, survive misadventures and struggle through until an inevitable, but sorrow-filled ending.

Captivating reading -- five stars!
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on July 16, 2015
Have now ready both "The Potato Factory" and "Tommo & Hawk" and am currently reading the last in the trilogy, "Solomon's Song" Both books were exceptionally good and Tommo & Hawk just takes over from where the Potato Factory ends. The same is true of Solomon's Song. The author will have you sitting on the edge of your seat on one page and laughing to tears on the next. The narrator is fantastic. He changes voices among the various characters and has a masterful way of holding your attention.
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on August 20, 2015
This, the second book of the trilogy follows the descendants of the characters of the first book.. The characters are well developed and several; characters that were in "The Potato Factory" appear again in this book. I did enjoy reading this book but it a can't compare to "The Potato Factory"
The history and character's connection was much better in the first book. This said, Tommo & Hawk is a good read butnot as good as the first book.
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on March 27, 2014
I loved The Potato Factory - I liked this one. There was one part in particular where I felt the book dragged on a little - that was during the Maori war. I did love the characters and the tie-ins from the first book. Just bought the third one, but haven't started it yet.
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on August 15, 2015
This book is the second in a trilogy and continues the story based on Ikey Solomon, the "prince of thieves" in London. The saga is about the shipment of convicts to Australia and how they survived in the colony. Two of the main characters also go to New Zealand and I was annoyed that Bryce Courtenay did not do his research on Maori cultural practices surrounding death but, otherwise, the author tells a great tale.
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