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The Power of One Audiobook

The Power of One

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: Good character dramas are best shared with others, like good wine on special occasions. Bryce Courtenay's wonderful story of a child coming of age in a country ripped apart by racism is such a vintage—rich and complex, an experience you'll want to talk about long after the last words are spoken.

Publisher's Summary

"First with your head and then with your heart." So says Hoppie Groenewald, boxing champion, to a seven-year-old boy who dreams of being the welterweight champion of the world. For the young Peekay, it is a piece of advice he will carry with him throughout his life.

Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

©1989 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2000 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (4039 )
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Performance
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  •  
    simmi Berwyn, PA, United States 05-08-13
    simmi Berwyn, PA, United States 05-08-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow!!!"
    Any additional comments?

    I do a lot of driving, and only listen the audiobooks when I drive. I couldn't wait to get in my car, and went the long way home more than once. I loved the author, the narrator, and the story, and will remember all for a long while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Milaca, MN, United States 05-07-13
    Rebecca Milaca, MN, United States 05-07-13

    I love books, but busy mom that doesnt have time to read them. So having audible has been a blessing to me. Shower or car listening is great

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "New Fan!"

    I am a new fan of Bryce Courtenay...this being my first ever, I'm super excited to try others by him.

    This book kept my constant interests from start to finish. The story is great for people of all interest. I plan to read the second book next.

    I thought the narrator was great and the story is smoothly told....I may even decide to read it again sometime down the road just because I enjoyed it so much!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fern Logan Carbondale, IL, US 04-22-13
    Fern Logan Carbondale, IL, US 04-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful Story"
    What did you love best about The Power of One?

    I loved the courage and determination of PeeKay. He was truly an inspiration. He was blessed with friends who advanced his lot in life. we should all be so fortunate. Halfway through this book I learned that there was a movie made of this story. After reading the synopsis and the changes made from the original story, I had no desire to see the movie. I didn't want to ruin the wonderful feeling of this great story.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Humphrey Bower's talent with accents is untouched. Each character is unique. I would listen to anything Mr. Bower reads. As a matter of fact I am currently listening to Shantaram which is also narrated by Mr. Bower.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jus' Dan 04-19-13
    jus' Dan 04-19-13

    dp

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    "Gripping storytelling"

    Bryce Courtenay guides the reader through the oft-horrifying, yet enchanted childhood and youth of Peekay, drawing heavily on his own experience but branching well into the realm of the imaginary. It is a vivid tour through the South Africa of the 1930s-1950s, brought to life by a dazzling array of characters, many brutal and despicable (the older bully at his boarding school, several guards at the prison where he learns to box), others cunning and colorful (his prisoner boxing coach and his best prep school pal), and some, not least Peekay himself, brilliant and heroic. Courtenay paints a vivid and entertaining picture of the many places and social milieux that Peekay inhabits.

    Though it's not perfect, Humphrey Bower's impressive portrayal of the multitude of characters--with myriad accents--and his charming narration earned five stars from me. The story nearly earned five, but I settled on four because I found the reflective portions, such as Peekay's musings on the power of one, rather contrived, and the conclusion unsatisfying.

    Fortunately, though, the vast majority of the book features Courtenay's insightful, well-paced, funny, disturbing, and uplifting storytelling, laced with keen social commentary and fueled by the ambitions and imagination of a wildly talented boy turned young man, one I was compelled to cheer for throughout. You will, too, and you will find The Power of One well worth the listening time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 04-13-13
    Joseph 04-13-13 Member Since 2008
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    "The Power of Two"

    This book really demonstrates "the power of two". The writing of Bryce Courtenay and the wonderful narration of Humphrey Bower.

    I’m relatively new to Bryce Courtenay’s expansive storytelling. I read The Potato Factory jut a few months ago and was taken by his methodical and detailed style. The Power of One also pulled me into his world and had me connecting with his characters and reacting emotionally to the trials, tribulations and triumphs they experienced.

    The Power of One left me with a single disappointment; the unfulfilling ending. In some ways it was like Peekay’s experience with Doc’s death. I felt like there was no time to say ‘good bye’. It was just suddenly over.

    But I leave the book engaged with the characters, amused by Courtenay’s clever turns of phrase and enriched by the stories within the novel. And I was again captivated by Humphrey Bower and his talent for bringing Courtenay's characters to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Australia 04-12-13
    Margaret Australia 04-12-13
    ratings
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    11
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    "Fantastic"
    Would you try another book from Bryce Courtenay and/or Humphrey Bower?

    Yes, I have now read or listened to them all.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Power of One?

    Peekay meeting the witch doctor.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I loved them all. Great


    Was The Power of One worth the listening time?

    Yes definately.


    Any additional comments?

    It's such a pity there will be no more Bryce Courtenay. A fantastic story teller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel San Dimas, CA, United States 04-11-13
    Rachel San Dimas, CA, United States 04-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Amazing!"
    What did you love best about The Power of One?

    I don't know what I didn't love about this book. I love P.K. and everything he's been through and overcome. He truely is the Power of One.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Power of One?

    So many memorable moments in this book. I actually saw parts of the movie over 10 years ago and I remember the part about the chicken vaguely. So at that part it was really hard for me not to cry. I think My favorite part though is the fight against his nanny's son. The meeting between the two as well as the relationship they build.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Everything! Humphrey is such a great narrator. I'm somewhat new to audiobooks and usually its kind of hard for me to listen to narrators with accents. I love this one though. He is so good at changing his voice for each character it almost sounds like there are numerous narrators.


    If you could rename The Power of One, what would you call it?

    I love the title of this book so I wouldn't rename it.


    Any additional comments?

    I've been recommending this book to all of my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miriam Gozani 04-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Amazing, this is a 10 star this book"
    What did you love best about The Power of One?

    I loved the charactors in the book


    What other book might you compare The Power of One to and why?

    Other good historical novels


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Humphrey Bower brings the story and people alive


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and was sad, and happy,


    Any additional comments?

    some parts were a bit gory, even though I loved this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 04-01-13
    Jennifer 04-01-13
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    "Moving story enhanced by a wonderful performance"
    If you could sum up The Power of One in three words, what would they be?

    Powerful, moving, inspiring


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator truly brought me into the world of the story with what sounded like an authentic South African accent and his excellent interpretation of the emotional meaning behind the words.


    Any additional comments?

    Although the story was larger than life at times and the main character occasionally too good to be true, the writing was lovely and moving and there are beautiful, touching, sad moments that will live with me for a long time. The writer weaves throughout the notion of the "loneliness birds," which is such a visual way of describing what the main character was experiencing. I loved being taken into this world and loved hearing about the various people who made a difference in the main character's life and who taught him how to strive for the best. The characters were fantastic. I do wish a certain character who was introduced early on had made an appearance at the end to see how his kindness changed a boy's life, but still great even without that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn Carlsbad, CA, United States 03-29-13
    Evelyn Carlsbad, CA, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "All but the ending....."

    There is so much of this book that I really liked. While the beginning is disturbing - - anytime a child is mistreated - - you usually figure that there will be some sort of justice or happy ending to make the ride worthwhile. The narrator did a great job with the varying characters. They were all distinct , but somewhat one-dimensional. Either good guys or bad guys. The ending spoiled it for me. And this is a long book to wade through to find yourself feeling a bit cheated at the end. It felt to me as if the author had a deadline and had to finish in a hurry to "wrap things up". The leading character's behavior did not match the boy you had grown up with along the span of the story. I found it disappointing, but again, found many things to enjoy along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Sarah
    Grange-over-Sands, United Kingdom
    8/20/06
    Overall
    "Fantastic reading of a great book"

    I first read this book when I was 20, some 16 years ago. It was a powerful read then and I have really enjoyed the excellent performance of the reader here, who brings the characters to life wonderfully. I have listened to hundrends of spoken books, and this is in my top five!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah
    Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
    4/3/09
    Overall
    "The best book I've bought from Audible"

    I bought this book on the recommendation of my brother and I am so glad I did. It moved me to tears on several occasions and I became totally hooked and have spent the last few days with my iPod permanently attached! I'm only sad that I've finished it as I enjoyed it so much. The reader is brilliant and really gets the accents right. I can't wait now for my next book as I've decided to work my way through Bryce Courtenay's entire list. FANTASTIC!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nick (uglyducklin)
    UK
    2/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To sum it up in one word: Brilliant"
    Would you listen to The Power of One again? Why?

    I have the dvd,book but now kindle version (as people whom I lent the book to pinched it) and the audio version as it is a great story that gives you various emotions whilst watching/reading or listening to the story and this version is very well read that my wife keeps asking about my expression or why I am laughing.
    This is easily in my top 3 books and would certainly recommend you give it a try.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Peekay because his life is well written and you do really get into the character and wonder what is going to happen next.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    I like the expression in his voice as really brings some parts to live where as some other audio books just sound like its a computerised voice and boring.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There are a few points but as I wouldn't like to spoil any part of the story I'll say there are a couple of moments I did laugh or others that did get me sad (sorry I love reading and really get into stories)


    Any additional comments?

    When I had the book, I had lent it to a number of people to try and each person enjoyed the book and one person so much they pinched it :( so I bought the kindle version and now tried audible and have this version.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    London, United Kingdom
    5/4/11
    Overall
    "Awesome read"

    Fantastic read. I have really enjoyed this book. Narrator did the great job.
    Recommend this book for Must buy!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Craig
    Bath, UK
    8/28/09
    Overall
    "Serendipity"

    I came across this book because it had somehow been featured on the Religion and Spirituality page of Audible ? mistaken, I presume, for ?The Power of Now?. However some mistakes are serendipitous and having read the reviews I selected it, and I have to say it is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to. Superbly well read, constantly engaging ? I never found that my mind had wandered and I had to rewind ? and a cracking good story. My only complaint would be to observe that Peekay is a little too brilliant at everything he does to be entirely believable ? but heh, it is fiction after all...

    I will certainly be listening to more from Bryce Courtenay!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Barrie
    Dudley, United Kingdom
    8/13/08
    Overall
    "Life story"

    This is a life story, and although it is fiction, it's very believable, and is drawn from the authors experiences. I really enjoyed it, and it really gives a good view of South African culture in the mid 20th century. It's also a good read without the history if your not interested in that. Reader is great too.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Charlotte
    8/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "best narration!"

    Bower makes this book with his excellent narration. this book is an absolute triumph of a read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs S A Wales
    6/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning and beautifully read"

    Such a gem, beautifully read. A captivating story that is truly inspiring - wish I had found this years ago

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Cornwall, England
    6/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful!"

    Great book and outstanding narration. Absolutely loved it and quite upset I have finished it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah Parris Littler
    Manlleu, Catalunya
    4/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is a superb book and exceptionally well read."

    The narrator deserves an Oscar. I was amazed by his dominion of accents. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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