Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This is my fifth Bryce Courtenay book, and I haven't been disappointed yet. I've listened to The Power of One, The Potato Factory Trilogy (which I also highly recommend), and now Tandia. Humphrey Bower narrates them all . . . flawlessly. I have learned so much about the history of Africa in listening to The Power of One and Tandia. Sadly, evil is so prevalent in the political and the powerful. And it has been so since the beginning of time. The beautiful story of Peekay, as a child and now as an adult, who chooses to fight for right is a rare jewel. To reject corruption and embrace truth in the face of even death . . . awe, this is the magic of the tadpole angel.
I was so happy to find out how it went for Pekay. It was seamless. It will have you on the edge of your seat, bring you to tears, and give you a few laughs.
Great continuation of "Power of One". This book answered the questions of what happens to PeeKay but also shows another perspective with Tandia's life. Great listen!!
This is a beautiful and emotionally wrenching story set in South Africa under Apartheid. The narrator is outstanding. I will definitely look for other books by this author, or narrated by this narrator.
I listened to the audio mainly to continue in PK's story.
I might, but the difference between Power of One and Tandia was startling, and I would like to find more like the first book.
The boxing scenes came to "life"
The Power of One felt like "Africa", the way PK grew up, the developing political scene worldwide, the descriptions of young PK's first train trip, the chicken, his growing up with close ties with all the tribes, his love of the botanists, the descriptions of mining, descriptions of country, the author had to have experienced some of that to write so descriptively, so movingly. Power of One = 10 stars. But "Tandia" was so different, almost as though a sequel had been just required, actually as though it were written by a different author. "Tandia" presents the reader with quite a few leaps and bounds in the disjointed script to get all the right characters into the right places, ie to tie it all up. The ending of Tandia, not where PK dies, but the whole sequence of the flight up the escarpment and over the saddle rang particularly contrived. Once it was mentioned that sure death would result if any of the pursuers would be caught out in the terrible freezing of night, yet that was never mentioned again as PK, Yani, Dum, and Tandia were being faced with sundown. One aspect that disappointed me in Tandia, was the near complete lack of "nature", I don't think any wild animals were ever mentioned, hard to get a feeling of the landscape, where the "Power of One" came alive with the feel. There is nothing better than the Wilbur Smith books for a presentation of South Africa's nature, but the narrator of the Wilbur Smith books is hard to listen to.
A better story.
I really enjoyed the Power of One, and was expecting that caliber of writing for this one. Unfortunately, I did not get that. The first book was very lyrical - almost magical as if the author were telling a story from the mists of time. In Tandia, the plot wandered around, had very abrupt jumps from one person's story to another's, and just did not flow like the first book. And PeeKay says something so sexist (which he seemed to think was a compliment) to Tandia towards the end that I almost stopped listening. The ending was somewhat bizarre. I just can't recommend this one.
Where 'The Power of One' looked at the maturation of one boy in the oppressed state of South Africa, "Tandia' brings the ugliness of Apartheid to the reader like a punch in the gut! Bryce Courtenay tells a beautiful story and develops his characters slowly and in great detail. He makes you smile, elicits tremendous empathy, laugh and makes you cringe at the details of life in a separated S. Africa. A wonderful follow up presented so spot on by the inimitable Humphrey Bower.
I really don't understand how anyone could write this beautifully. This is a traumatic listen in many ways - Courtenay doesn't pull any punches on his disturbing subject matter, all based in the horror of apartheid, from rape to murder to the worst injustices you can imagine. But the incredible transcendent beauty of the story, the vivid, breathing characters, the reality of their struggles and the strength of their passion, make it a book well worth listening to. There were times I felt like I couldn't possibly listen to another word because my heart was breaking, and more than one night when I stayed up way too late listening for what happened next. If you are looking for a light, pleasant read, then get something else. But if you want something that will transport you to another world, and engage your heart and mind for days, weeks and months to come, then don't hesitate - buy.
Tandia and the Power of One are perhaps that best books/novels that I have read /listened to so far. At the end of these two books, I feel a deep love for Africa itself and feel as if the lead character PeeKay is someone I really know. The author has a wonderful way of describing about the native customs/beliefs of Africa with respect and without trivialising them. This is rare as most westerner academics/authors who study non-western customs rarely understand them and frequently trivialize them using their limited knowledge. Obviously, the author, Bryce Courtenay, is a real son of Africa, just like how PeeKay is potrayed.
The narrator deserves a special mention. I dont think I would have enjoyed this book as well as I did if I read it off a book. The different voices and tones and accent that Humphrey Bower uses throughout the two books is really entertaining.
I for sure will listen to more books from this Author-Narrator combo both for content and entertainment.
Not familiar with the author, I bought this one on the basis of other reviews. I was not the least bit disappointed. While the book is emotionally difficult at points, and quite graphic, it is beautiful, informative, and very compelling. The narrator does an exceptional job, and I am sorry to have it end.