The Power of One is the story of a strong willed orphan with everything going against her in Dickensian England except her cunning and amazing ability with an abacus. But behind her rise to success is the equally cunning, but also unscrupulous and miserly Jewish fencer of stolen goods and leader of the underworld, the only one willing to give her a chance. And thus Mary, while pure of heart, must compromise herself to get ahead.
The intricate story line and depth of characters made for a great read, and Bower's reading captured the author's voice and those of the characters.
This novel is so entertaining and captivating, I feel as though I have met and had fun with many of the characters! They live on in my head and I hope to meet some again or their relatives in a third book!
The story and the vivid characters are so compelling that I found myself thinking about them all during my day. But the virtuoso performance by Humphrey Bower makes the book truly spring to life. I returned from a month in southern Africa having just finished listening to The Power of One and I was amazed at how accurately Bower reproduces the many different voices I heard there.
I doubt I would have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed listening to it.
As someone who has read the book numerous times over the years, I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed listening to it being read. I loved the narrator's use of different voices and accents. All characters were unique and distinct and I didn't feel as if someone was blandly just reading out loud.
So many moments, hard to pick. But I would say (spoiler alert) the death of Grandpa Chook, the discovery of Doc's note at the Crystal Cave of Africa, and undoubtedly, hands down, the end, when Peekay meets the Judge again. Best ending I've ever come across in a book. The fact that they didn't use it in the movie is a tragedy.
Everything. He was fantastic. Great accents, great voices. I would purchase an Audible book I'd never heard of simply because he was listed as the narrator. A good narrator makes all the difference.
Literally, the whole book. The entire book moves me. But if I had to pick just one, it would be when Peekay carves the Union Jack over the swastika tattoo on the Judge's arm.
Best. Book. Ever.
Mom with an hour commute to work each way. I like books that keep me from falling asleep in the morning and to help me power through chores.
Absolutely. This was such a great book... hearing the audio edition really helped bring the characters to life and I loved each minute of it.
I love the sense of empowerment in the book that showed that one person can make such an impact on so many lives. This book makes you feel like you can accomplish anything.
Almost every scene was my favorite... The level of detail is amazing but not so much that it takes away from the story. Each scene gets better and better and it is so hard to put down. If I had to pick just one, I would say my favorite at the beginning of the book when Peekay witnesses his first boxing match. The energy in the scene is addictive and amusing when seen from the perspective of a child.
The book made me laugh and also cry. The book isn't just one genre. It is mostly a drama, but it is also a comedy, horror, and action genre.
performance adds power
Bower is terrific at presenting a variety of langauges, accents, ages and genders into a very comfortable telling. He seem to pitch the story perfectly. It is never boring and never hyped.
not really. The memories that it creates are vivid enough that it was always easy to return.
The ability of this author to weave human nature with historical accuracy is compelling, entertaining and at times startling. The narrator is mesmerizing. I listen more than I read these days with such a profound choice.
Paul Theroux' books about his travels in Africa.
Voice quality and ability to key in on accents
Gut wrenching and redeeming.
Somehow, I loved this book when I read it but I couldn't keep listening to it as an Audio book. It wasn't really the fault of the narrator; it was just that it now seems all so predictable. I found the protagonist's voice a little cloying and his tale of woe, interspersed with kind acts by well-meaning down-and-outers, to be fairly obvious. Honestly, the most interesting thing about this book was the prelude that describes how it was written.
Overall I guess I enjoyed the book and the reader did an excellent job. My biggest issues revolved around the flow of the story. Very disjointed. I would be very involved and then the story would lose steam. The story started very strong and I really felt engaged and then it would slow down and I had the feeling that a little fast forward would help. Basically, 30 minutes good 5-10 minutes bad. The real problem was the ending. It was unbelievable and left me wondering where was the rest of it. Almost the entire story the main character had one goal and we heard it over and over. He life always seemed to turn back to this goal. Then the story ends on a rather weird scene that did not fit the rest of the book and the goal is left not only unanswered but not addressed in any way. A better ending would help this book immensely.
Bruce Courtenay is one of the great authors. His stories grip you through out the book, The book is set in South Africa during the mid 1900s. Simply, without any over dramatic hammers, racial discrimination is shown to be the nasty and ugly thing that it truly is. The author did an outstanding job describing the area without boring the listener to sleep with the details.
I am not quite sure if I would have liked the book as much as I did if there was a different narrartor. Humphrey Bower's voice weaves the story around you like a soft blanket. I cheered, cried and laughed out loud. Hurray for the Tadpole Angel! ( gotta listen to the book for that one!)