Listen free for 30 days

Matthew Flinder's Cat

Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
Length: 16 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

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
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    42
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

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

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

History Flinders Cat

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

INTERESTING

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A remarkable book!

Truly felt this must be an autobiography. It contained such insight, and I was surprised to find at the end that it wasn’t , but had been extensively researched. Would highly recommend especially if you are or know of an addict of any substance as it greatly helps with understanding and shows a path to recovery in well explained detail.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH
  • CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH
  • 11-08-06

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kathryn Walker
  • Kathryn Walker
  • 05-02-07

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alan
  • Alan
  • 03-03-08

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dave
  • Dave
  • 11-06-09

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Louise
  • Louise
  • 14-07-06

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Debbie
  • Debbie
  • 16-06-14

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andrew Wray
  • Andrew Wray
  • 18-03-06

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mergra
  • mergra
  • 18-04-11

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CBDC
  • CBDC
  • 25-03-07

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. Czap
  • J. Czap
  • 21-05-16

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 people found this helpful