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.
This is a powerful book that can give the listener good insight into the political climate of South Africa. The reader is superb. I found myself engrossed in this book and looking forward to getting into my car to place myself in the middle of this fantasy.
I am only two-thirds through listening to this book, but I can tell you that this is one of, if not the best, book I have ever listened to. The author and narrator are both superb. I can't wait to listen to it every day on my drive to and from work. And I've even taken to listening to it during my lunch hour!
I came across this book while looking through the books featured in "Great First Listens" on the Audible website. Although this is not my first listen, it is certainly a great listen.
Absolutal - an 11 out of 10!
An amazing and uplifting book. It is has meaning on so many levels. Wonderful writing. The beginning is somewhat difficult in that the story's begininng is disturbing. Stick with it, and you will be rewarded.
Humphrey Bower does a superb job at capturing the voices of the South African characters, and the story is not only convincing but compelling.
The movie took major liberties with the plot, which is unfortunate. I must say that the audio book is brilliant, and I enjoyed it immensely. Absoludel!
Cape Town, South Africa
The Power of One is one of those books you savour each moment of, and mourn once it is over! It is a magnificent story teeming with all the elements that make for a story that touches the intellect, the heart, the human and of course the South African within you. I shall re-read this story many times in my life, as well as the sequel Tandia, for which I can only echo these same words of praise. Humphrey Bower was masterful in his narration and listening to his interpretation of this book in audio form will not rob you of the gifts of imagination which come with reading a book, this vivid portrayal can only enhance your experience!
Highly highly recommended!
Five stars does not seem enough to share between Author and Narrator. The story, the language used and the way it's narrated are brilliant. The first person story telling is real, entertaining and chilling. The first few chapters as a five and six year old had the hairs on my arms almost constantly on end. My new favourite Audiobook by far.
This is my favorite book of all time. I consider myself a well read person and have never been much of a repeat reader- but nothing- nothing - not even Jane Austen- has quite affected me like the Power of One. (Ok maybe that is apples and oranges but you get the point). This should be taught in schools. Literally the best book of all time. And the audio version is quite good! Do not even hesitate to get this!
Although PK was a bit too perfect to be believable, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The reading was excellent, the pace good, and it always held my attention.
I ENJOY BIOGRAPHY AND NON-FICTION. I LIKE TO LEARN FROM STORIES.
I have loved listening to this story, so colorful and heartwarming. The accents are so well done by the reader that you feel you are there, listening.
I have a lot of issues with this book, but there are some things that are good, even beautiful about it. Courtenay does a wonderful job of describing the settings and I can feel, taste, smell it as if I were there. Also this book is set in an interesting place with some very important, very heavy themes. He drives home the point of racial equality and the worth of humans regardless of race or religion. The sentiment certainly is noble.
However, the craft of the book is lacking. There is not enough tension in the book (despite all the graphic violence) mostly because it starts off with Peekay being harassed and tortured as a small 5 year old. After his awful experience at boarding school Peekay decides that his destiny is to become a champion boxer and, as soon as he starts boxing, he becomes undefeated with something like 116 fights, he was pretty brilliant concerning music, he speaks something like 5 languages fluently and uses it for the good of mankind, and all his academic pursuits he mostly achieves (no he didn't get the Road Scholarship to Oxford University, but he did get accepted and had scholarships to other Universities). So there was no tension for his character, because after Peekay picks himself up at age 5, he himself is consistently a winner in athletics and academics. His success is a sure bet. Sure people around him have awful lives and some die in horrible ways, but the character seemingly overcomes his early childhood almost as if he were superhuman. It doesn't feel real or accessible to me.
The thing I had most problems with is that Peekay, because of his empathy and his fluency in many languages and the tribal and cultural niceties, somehow becomes the white boy savior of the black people. I think I would have been fine with him doing great things for the black community in an extraordinary way, but the addition to him treating the black people as less than subhuman, changing the prison system so that blacks could get mail from their loved ones, and him starting a school for black people to read and write (all of which are plausible things for an extraordinary character in a historical fiction), but also he became the Tadpole Angel: Zulu spiritual leader of the African tribes of the region. The fact that the blacks in this book regarded him as a magical savior just really seemed overboard for me.
So my basic response to this book was that it was tedious and long and meandered through seemingly a lifetime of this character's experiences, but mostly I found a lot of this novel a little too fantastical for historical fiction. It felt like a lot of wish fulfillment to me.
A brilliant and nostalgic peace of work almost poetic at times well worth the listen and exceptionally well narrated.
I read this book when I was much younger and I remember at the time that it made a huge impression on me. Second time round it has lost none of its original impact. Just one great fabulous book!
Best audio book so far. A great story, brilliantly read. Can't recommend it highly enough.
I would give this book a 6 stars review, I don't have enough words to praise this book enough. The story is breathtaking, so well written, and the narration is just outstanding.
A very powerful story reflecting in a non hysterical way the evil development of apartheid in South Africa.
Unusually I found myself re-reading pages not because I had fallen asleep but because the sentence constructions were very beautiful.
Not only was it a great novel but also interesting historically in a sense.
I had previously read the book and of course created in mind how the characters would sound but if anything the narrator brought into more life than I had imagined.
A tale of great courage in adversity
A jolly good read and listen
This is the first Bruce Courtenay book I have read & it will not be my last. I enjoyed the book from the beginning to the end, story line was good I didn't want it to be over. Narration was first class.
"a fabulous read"
found this to be an amazing book, that takes you through the journey of PK
"A book about a kid boxing? - not my topic"
It was not what I was expecting. I'd read the sequel "Tandia" and felt parts of that story were a bit vague. It spoke of 'Doc' and I just had to read the "Power of One" to learn more.Oh, how I wish I'd read this book first. It was so engrossing and the enjoyment enhanced by the supreme narrator, Humphrey Bower. "Tandia" becomes a better book too as you become reacquainted with familiar characters and vague references become apparent.
Possibly another of Bryce Courtenay' s books, The Potato Factory, when Mary fights her way from the very bottom to the top, overcoming adversity at every step.
When Peekay and Doc found the cave.
I worry about people who cry over books! Laughing I understand.
DON'T be even slightly tempted to watch the film. A waste of time and money and barely resembles the book.
"A Brilliant Book."
I was over the moon when I come across this book as I loved the film.
I really enjoyed the book as there was far more in this book as their was in the film.
The story was so much more in depth as Bryce Courtney's books tell a very good story.
Also unlike the film there was a second second book called Tandia.
I enjoyed the story of South Africa during the Second World War and also the struggle of apartheid.
This book was well read by Humphrey Bower and was just as good if not better than his other narrations.
This book has already a film and his brilliant
A brilliant story from the very start!!!
"decent page-turner, but over -rated"
This is well narrated and its simple story-line makes it an easy listen in some respects. But the hero, apparently supposed to be based on the author's early life (?!), can do no wrong so any sense of reality is kept at arm's length. The emphasis of all the action is of the hero suffering and/or observing gross abuse ranging from vicious childhood bullying to aspects of living in the racist police state of South Africa (late 1930s - 1950s in this book). It was a scary place to live and some of the horrors are simply used as a vehicle for the hero's personal voyage and development, rather than giving any real insight. Not necessarily a bad thing for a piece of entertainment, but so much less than the book's many fans had led me to expect. A prolific author in his late years, for my taste he went on to write much better novels than this, his first and still best-known.
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