©1992 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2000 Bolinda Publishing Pyt Ltd by arrangement with Penguin Group (Australia)
"Humphrey Bower is brilliant....[Tandia] will resonate in the hearts and minds of listeners long after the final chapter." (AudioFile Magazine )
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.
NV, not NY
Although not quite the amazing story of The Power of One, Tandia still deserves five stars. I guess that makes The Power of One a six star novel. If you haven't read The Power of One, forget this book and start at the beginning. Once you finish that masterpiece you'll have no choice but to read the follow-up. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. The Power of One is one you'll be recommending to all your friends.
Humphrey Bower is the best Australian reader I've heard. Period.
Tandia, although darker, is a worthy follow up to The Power of One, telling the story of life in apartheid South Africa from the other perspective and following on with Peekay's story.
Sadly, despite what Audible have been told by the publisher, this audiobook is definitely abridged. I've read the hard copy before and was surprised when both minor and pivotal scenes were cut. Further more, a number of plot points that are edited out are constantly referred back to later in the story – enough to cause confusion in a listener who lacked prior knowledge of the story.
A very lazy job of editing a very well performed audiobook.
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.
This was just a great book. It was my first Bryce Courtney book but it won't be my last. Such rich full character and the reader was very good. I have recommended this book to others as it should appeal to all.
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