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Matthew Flinder's Cat

Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
Length: 16 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (135 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The story of a drunk, a boy, and a cat. Billy O'Shannessy, once a prominent barrister, is now on the street where he sleeps on a bench outside the State Library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim. Ryan is a 10-year-old, a near-street kid heading for the usual trouble. The two form an unlikely bond. Through telling Ryan the story of Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia as seen through Trim's eyes, Billy is drawn deeply into Ryan's life and into the Sydney underworld.
©2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2014 Publishing Pty. Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Pam
  • 25-07-2017

Outstanding

What did you like most about Matthew Flinder's Cat?

Educational, poignant, compelling

What other book might you compare Matthew Flinder's Cat to, and why?

The Four Fires as they both approached the story from different world views

What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

the gravelly voice of a derelict and the nonchalance of the eleven year old

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Rough

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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highly recommended

exceptional storyline and historically accurate. A wonderful and rewarding listen. very entertaining. believable characters

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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soul search

This will make you think about life another truly great book by Bryce. This book was very hard to stop listening to could easily listen to again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Absorbing

Loved this story from start to end. Bower did a really good job with the narration and the story is so addictive that you just want more.
Great author, great book, highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Bryce does it again

I sailed on the boat with Mathew Flinders cat, experienced the agony of alcoholism and stood side by side with Billy who drew deep for the strength to fight child abuse.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great novel woven around history and fact.

Bryce Courtenay is a real story teller and very believable. His research and eye for detail make this story a must read. I also loved the narrator Humphrey Bower who brought to life all the characters.
It told a story of unbelievable hardships and misery but with a little kindness the human spirit can overcome life's nasties and see the goodness in living once again. It is a story of hope over the seediness of man and greed.

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Engaging story line

Narrator is well paced and a good choice for this book. The book while hard hitting is considered, concise and engaging

  • Overall
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spectacular story telling

the narrator did an amazing job of involving his multiple character voices to embellish the quite believable narrative. it got a little windy towards the end with Trim's story, and a little too scant with our main character's stories, as many well written text do, leaving me wanting a bit more.
thank you for another great story, Bryce

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laugh cry and open your mind

Bryce Courtenay is an exceptional author. mathew flinders cat is a beautiful and captivating story. it will make you laugh, cry and it will certainly help you open your mind and your eyes to a problem that is still ongoing in the world today. A sad and Happy story. must listen/read.

Humphrey is also an exceptional talent and perfect for reading Mr Courtenays novels.

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a great read..an insight into world known by few

the book was so interesting and the subject took us into world that is not know about by most Australians.....so many of us are so lucky not to be touched by the sadness and distress in this Book, but so many are as well.

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  • CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH
  • 11-08-2006

Extraordinary Story

I consider this book "a sleeper." A book I decided to purchase on a whim, and what a story! The main characters might be considered 'losers' in society but are true heroes. A derelict lawyer, a discarded child, and a fabled cat that binds the lawyer and child together in a horrific yet uplifting tale. Even at the darkest moments of the book, one pulls for them to win. I laughed and cried during this listen. And what a marvelous narration! I loved every word.

30 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathryn Walker
  • 05-02-2007

Unusual

A novel about an alcoholic and a boy is one I would usually pass without a second glance. Fortunately, I was already a Bryce Courtenay fan. This touching novel is not to be missed. Humphrey Bower does his usual outstand job presenting each character in his/own voice. Five stars!

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan
  • 03-03-2008

I like the cat

This book has two stories in one, both are good but both also some have slow moments. They drag for awhile and then come back to life. I enjoyed the characters and the narration. I was a derelict for several years after I left high school and an alcoholic while in my junior and senior high school years. My experience helped me relate to the characters and the Salvation Army (my favorite charity). I also enjoyed the vocabulary. I give this book three stars for being an average, good book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 11-06-2009

Bryce Courtenay & Humphrey Bower do it again!

I loved MF's Cat and its wonderful characters - Billy, Ryan and of course Trim, the cat. Never have I laughed and cried so much in one book. Powerful. A special thanks to the author and to the incredible Humphrey Bower. This is my 7th Courtenay novel and I can't say enough about the author and the narrator.
BC takes on two most difficult and delicate social issues - alcoholism and pediaphila. He does it with great sensitivity as well as ruthless reality. This is a 'must read'.

COME ON AUDIBLE.COM, BRING ON "THE PERSIMMON TREE"!

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Louise
  • 14-07-2006

Go Ahead Spoil Yourself

Pleeease take the plunge and comit a wonderful experience. Superb story with the extremely talented Humphrey Bower. I am going to be sad when this story comes to an end. But hey, I'll just get another Bryce Courtenay novel narrated by Humphrey. Okay, now I'm not sad any more. AAAAnd according to Bryce's web site he is working on a new book. And this one had better make it to Audible.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 16-06-2014

Redemption in the Form of a Cat

There's no writer quite like Bryce Courtenay . . . his stories of Australia are all so different, so crazy different, I can't even begin to tell you . . . and this one, about a drunk, a boy and a cat . . . First off, I don't even like cats . . . so you know, for me to choose and listen to this one, means that I gotta trust in the writing of Bryce Courtenay . . . My dad, whom I loved with all my heart was an alcoholic . . . and not unlike Billy, my dad was kind . . . and he was broken . . . and he couldn't stand to see anybody mistreated . . . I definitely went on a "journey" with this book . . . a sad, beautiful, longing journey, into my own past and into the tale of a much loved cat named Trim, who did much to heal Billy and a little boy . . . you will NOT regret listening to this book . . .

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Wray
  • 18-03-2006

A whole new perspective

What a moving read. Humphrey Bower is a brilliant narrator who plays each voice and accent superbly but what an amazing writer Bryce Courtenay is. How many of us have looked at drunks, addicts and derelicts and wondered how they could ever get there? Mr Courtenay will help you understand the incredibly tough existence that a drunk, a drug addict, a derelict or child prostitute lives through and will bring you to tears on a regular basis.

This is a book that I would absolutely recommend to anyone.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mergra
  • 18-04-2011

Moving, heart-warming and beautifully narrated.

We each come from our own, unique background and I suspect that those who have not walked in the shoes of the less fortunate may identify only slightly with the character/s in this book. However, those who have some understanding of the plight of the addict, the abused, the pervasive nature of corruption and those for whom discrimination is a daily and unrelenting occurrence, this book will speak directly to their hearts, as it did mine. I greatly respect the way Courtenay wove the tapestry of this story and I love the hope he inspires with his words, whilst acknowledging the darkness and difficulties that plague all of us as we attempt to navigate the complexities of our lives. I particularly like the synchronicities he includes, showing how events can seemingly conspire for, and against all of us. Yes, the stories of Trim and Flinders were sometimes long-winded - but isn't that the way life is to us sometimes? The details that we'd rather not know about so that we can cut to the chase and get to the more interesting, inspiring bits? It was the telling of Trim's story that gave Billy hope and allowed him to employ his creative self, both through his drunken wanderings AND his sober perseverance whilst waiting for contact with Ryan. I experienced this book as a brilliant insight into the very heart of so many issues and I loved the narration - excellent work, as usual, by Humphrey Bower. Hats off to author and narrator!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CBDC
  • 25-03-2007

Poetry and humanity

In MATTHEW FINDER'S CAT, Bryce Courtnay helped me understand someone I knew (or thought I did and now realize I never did). As TANDIA brought home the reality of apartheid and APRIL FOOLS DAY the reality of AIDS on a person and those who knew or know him or her, MATTHEW FLINDER'S CAT is a sensitive and powerful story of alcoholiam. But it's more; the story is about youth, old age, friendship, bias, love, family and relationships.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Czap
  • 21-05-2016

Compelling story with some heavy topics

The narrator was awesome and made the characters come to life. The book was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, took me from laughter to tears. I wasn't expecting the story to be so detailed and the reader should be aware there are mature topics contained including drugs and sex not intended for the naive reader who would like to stay that way. I am undecided if I will try another book by this author, I think I would like to have a better understanding of the content first. But this was a good book and performance overall.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr.
  • 07-04-2013

As alway Bryce Courtney delivers.

Bruce Courtney always delivers. Mathew Flinders Cat is no different.

He captures the characters and their emotions and you end up knowing them, feeling their pain, sorrows and joy.

A captivating story of a man who has fallen a long way, but is rescued by his friendship with a young boy with problems, and his ingrained sense of justice and compassion. You become part of the journey and involved in the story and wanting a 'happy' positive outcome.

Bryce Courtney never disappoints in any of his stories and this is no exception.

A good listen with the reader bringing the story to life. You will not be disappointed.

A definite five stars. Can't wait to get more Bryce Courtney books.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 23-12-2017

Great, reliable reads

Another well narrated book.

A little slow at points however the story did require some detail to bring the subject to life and that it did in addressing many of the addictions of societies around the world

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sadiq
  • 03-06-2017

Brilliant story and journey

Loved it....brings Sydney to me....
liked hire he weaves everything into the story line
the ends comes a bit abruptly

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for newgamer  thoroughly enjoyable play for hours
  • newgamer thoroughly enjoyable play for hours
  • 20-02-2018

History Flinders Cat

did not want it to finish kept me close to the book so I could listen when ever I could

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  • Khonsu
  • 11-02-2018

Difficult to relate to & ended feeling rushed

Of course it is difficult to relate to an alcoholic ex-lawyer and a paedophile ring.

It was very difficult to find an sympathy or association for the lead character for the same reason. The telling of the alcoholics lifestyle, if you're going to go there, wasn't gritty enough - it was by no means fluffy but it didn't go as dark as the subject matter is. The paedophiliac side of the story, thankafully, was only touched on in terms of the disgusting detail.

The laying of the two main characters went into some depth and then, unfortunately, the ending was so rushed and so lacking in detail with the excuse of "the police didn't make me aware of the final details" was poor.

As for Matthew Flinders cat... introduced to show a parallel to a young boys life - failed miserably and seemed like it was a short story slightly embroiled into the main plot.

Overall - disappointing from the late Bryce Courtenay. There are many others much much better.

Excellently read as always by Humphrey Bower.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-08-2017

INTERESTING

Loved the perspective from the cat. As ever the narration steals the show. BC excellent.