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The Power of One | [Bryce Courtenay]

The Power of One

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.
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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 (3340 )
5 star
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4.6 (2105 )
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4.7 (2097 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    David Bellingham, WA, USA 03-20-06
    David Bellingham, WA, USA 03-20-06 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    3
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    "The power of one"

    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liza Klosterman 07-30-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
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    "Phenomenal Read!"

    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!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MR AJ Moore Magaliessig, Gauteng South Africa 02-17-09
    MR AJ Moore Magaliessig, Gauteng South Africa 02-17-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
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    80
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    "Victory Story"

    This life afirming story moved me like no other book before! Excellent.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roxanne 02-13-09
    Roxanne 02-13-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    "Amazing"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny ALDARA PARK, South Africa 12-20-06
    Penny ALDARA PARK, South Africa 12-20-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    159
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    "Excellent Narration"

    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!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ursula 03-25-12
    Ursula 03-25-12 Member Since 2010

    Cape Town, South Africa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    13
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    "Magnificent and unforgettable"

    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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Bateau Bay, NSW, Australia 06-16-10
    Ben Bateau Bay, NSW, Australia 06-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "The Best"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Asheville, NC, Virgin Islands, U.S. 06-09-10
    Elizabeth Asheville, NC, Virgin Islands, U.S. 06-09-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Universal, transcendent, a must read"

    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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy 12-21-08
    Sandy 12-21-08 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Wonderful"

    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.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elise 12-16-08
    Elise 12-16-08 Member Since 2014

    I ENJOY BIOGRAPHY AND NON-FICTION. I LIKE TO LEARN FROM STORIES.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Totally Engrossing"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mick'sMoll
    2/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book about a kid boxing? - not my topic"
    What did you like most about The Power of One?

    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.


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

    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.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    When Peekay and Doc found the cave.


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

    I worry about people who cry over books! Laughing I understand.


    Any additional comments?

    DON'T be even slightly tempted to watch the film. A waste of time and money and barely resembles the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dave Duddle
    12/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Brilliant Book."
    If you could sum up The Power of One in three words, what would they be?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the story of South Africa during the Second World War and also the struggle of apartheid.


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

    This book was well read by Humphrey Bower and was just as good if not better than his other narrations.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    This book has already a film and his brilliant


    Any additional comments?

    A brilliant story from the very start!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • T
    Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
    10/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • M. A. Atkin
    brighton, uk
    7/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Epic Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a wonderful book wonderfully delivered.


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

    Shantaram


    Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favourite?

    Humphrey Bowers narration was flawless and superlative. The book springs to life from his delivery.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carmen
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Have always wanted to read this book as I had heard so much about it and was not disappointed, great read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Doc, as he was so proud of pk


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

    Haven't heard him before


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shane
    UK
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exhilirating"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Power of One to be better than the print version?

    As a South African, this book would probably hold more reference to me than most people who read/listen to it. The Power of One is an outstanding listen in understanding the psyche of someone who lived during the apartheid regime and felt like pretty much most anyone else about the abhorrent nature of that time. This is a story of courage, of weak vs strong, David vs Goliath and most importantly, right vs wrong. Told in a mostly colloquial sense, I simply could not turn it off. Read it now!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hoppie Groenwald - his influence on Peekay's early years clearly defines the boys character for later life. His intolerence of racism, coupled with his deep-hearted perservernece inspires Peekay to become the man he does


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The fight scene between Peekay and the heir to the Zulu chiefdom


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Fight for what you believe in


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
    3/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"
    What did you like most about The Power of One?

    Amazing, accurate account of growing up in South Africa and attending boarding school. Very moving and fantastic in the detail of PKs adventures...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Natalie
    Rickmansworth, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "A scary truth set in a powerful story"

    A great book.. The reality of apartheid set in the story of a young white boy. His simple innocence and the terrible world in which he lives shows a unique portrayal of the issues. This book will have you laughing, then crying and desperate to read the follow up book Tandia to find out what happens next. I couldn't stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • emma
    Hopwood, United Kingdom
    2/28/13
    Overall
    "One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to!"

    The narrator of this audiobook is fantastic and makes it even better than reading the book itself. One of the most interesting and inspiring stories I have ever come across, probably even more so if you are South African. The characters are excellent and there's never a dull moment. I even learnt quite a bit about boxing...

    Would definitely recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • B
    Huddersfield, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "I felt the pain"

    Such an in depth description of life in South Africa after the Boer war, I learned so much. I have dropped it to 4 stars because I did sometimes feel that the charachter PK was "too good to be true" and glorified in his sucess a little too much.



    However you do feel as though you are there, and the narrator very sucessfully modified his accent for the different charachters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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