This is the second Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower combination I have listened to, the other being Four Fires, While I thoroughly enjoyed both books, for my money The Power of One is the better of the two. One reason is the exotic setting of South Africa and its wonderful rhythms and diversity. Another is the powerful personal coming of age story of The Power of One versus the multiple narratives in Four Fires. Both books are excellent and worthy of five stars.
There are some similarities between the two books. Both have boxers and boxing as an important element. Both have women who are good at sewing. Both have central characters who succeed in academics. Courtenay writes about things he knows something about through personal experience and this gives his stories great authenticity. He also has a knack for creating very colorful characters, many of whom are capable of both good and bad. In The Power of One I especially enjoyed Geel Peet, the savvy black prisoner who coaches the protagonist in boxing, and Mrs. Boxall, the philanthropist librarian with a pragmatic understanding of nonprofit marketing.
I can't say enough about the fine narration of Humphrey Bower. His Australian accent in Four Fires was so authentic sounding I never questioned but that he is Australian. Yet here he narrates with a South African accent and it is almost as convincing. I'd bet that the Australian accent is more natural to him but I could be wrong. He also does a fine job of conveying the emotion behind African chanting and music, which can't be easy. There are a few moments in this book having to do with African tribal chants that brought tears to my eyes.
I can recommend The Power of One wholeheartedly. It does end with a few questions unanswered, particularly regarding Peekay's ambitions and whether they are eventually realized. But upon reflection I guess his demons are dealt with in the end, so what happens after that is of less consequence.
I put off reading this book as I had seen the movie many years ago. I really enjoyed the movie and thought that the book would be pretty much the same but in more depth. Whilst on a Courtenay marathon I decided to get the book and listen to it in it's originality. I was very surprised at the differences between the book and the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to all Courtenay fans.
It got just a little too raunchy for my tastes. I watched the movie and quite enjoyed it and decided I didn't need to finish last quarter of book.
To think that this book could have been never published and used for a door-stop until it was worn out and maybe thrown away. I'm an avid reader and place the book, The Power of One, as the number 1 book I have read. The mind and friends are wonderful things and you, Bryce Courtenay, have written how this phenomenon can and did happen. Thank you for your wonderful book.
We had watched the movie before listening to this book so we had an idea of the story line but felt it was so much more powerful listening to it through our ipod
I really enjoyed this book, but I felt that too much had been left out once I finished it. Had I not also listened to "Tandia", I would not have rated this a 5, simply because I didn't understand how the author could have left so much out.
However, I DID listen to "Tandia" (thankfully), and in my opinion, it could almost be called "The Power of One (Part 2)" since it fills in many of the blanks that were in my mind about "The Power of One".
That said, both the writer and the narrator did very fine work.
This is an excellent story read by a world class narrator. It is 11 of 10. I am a founding listener of Audible. I mean it this book is so well written and read it is a real joy. The ending is weak, but there is a sequel, it's just not in audio. That is a disappointment, absoloodle. Here's to the PK in all of us.
Read the book years ago and decided I just had to hear it now. I fell in love all over again with this book. Reading well over 100 books a year, I can say with out a doubt this is my favorite book. That stated, I have not read any other book he's written. Couldn't find any at others at our library! Now that I am a member I will read all of his works. Mr. Courtney weaves a beautiful story that sends your soul on a glorious flight that you pray never ends. But when it does, he leaves you in awe. Best buy you'll ever make, and the best listen.