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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 (2969 )
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Story
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Performance
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  •  
    Caren Basking Ridge, NJ, United States 05-28-09
    Caren Basking Ridge, NJ, United States 05-28-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    5
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    0
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    "Is there a sequel?"

    I was sad when this was over. I really enjoyed the characters and the narator. I have enjoyed all of this authors books that I have listened too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 05-10-09
    Amanda Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 05-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    78
    18
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    "Simply Amazing!"

    Im sad that I read this book for my first experience with audible; because it was so good, im worried i will find a hard time finding something to top it. The writer, remarkable, the narrator, amazing! I didnt want the book to end but i knew it had too.. although I found it a bit cliche, i was completely satisfied and utterly thrilled with this wonderful book. I can hardly wait to read his next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronan new york, NY, USA 05-06-09
    Ronan new york, NY, USA 05-06-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    3
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    0
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    "Inspirational"

    An inspiring yet somewhat fanciful story that has tedious stretches

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 10-02-08
    Brad Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 10-02-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    58
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    "I usually listen to sci-fi but..."

    ...I thought I'd try something different for a change. I saw the movie more than a decade ago and it has stuck with me and the book is amazing. The audiobook version is superbly done, the narrator brings each character to life with perfection. This is one of the best recordings I've listened to in a long time. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sylvia Tucson, AZ, USA 08-05-08
    Sylvia Tucson, AZ, USA 08-05-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "The Power of One"

    This is one of the best books I've listened to. He related the feeling of the times so well. I felt like I really got to know the characters. The reader was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Canton, MI, USA 07-16-08
    Donald Canton, MI, USA 07-16-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    9
    3
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    "Outstanding"

    This was one of the best books I've listened to yet! I found the story of Peekay complex and engaging and the naration was outstanding. Bryce Courteney is superb as a story-teller and I felt transported to Africa. He does a fantistic job of painting a clear picture through both his historical knowledge and the emotional experience of the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Sibole 06-14-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    8
    2
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    "Wonderfully written"

    This is not the type of book I usually listen to, but I'm so glad I did. The book is sometimes difficult to listen to because often the events which shape the young character's life are cruel. The author does not sugarcoat the racism and cruelty which existed in that time and place. He uses these extreme events to shape the life of the main character and move the book forward to a well earned conclusion. This book is worth the effort. It is beautifully written, thought provoking, expertly read,and thoroughly entertaining. I enjoyed all of it and hated to see it end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary j aboughadareh 05-13-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    188
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    348
    89
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    "Three cheers!"

    It has it all. Made me laugh, cry and want to shout with joy. Now, I go around saying 1st with the head, and then with the heart. It applies to everything. This one has put Courtenay on the top of my list as well as Bowers. I already listened to the Potato Factory trilagy and was doubtful he could do anything I would like as much, but here you have it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Chittum 04-03-08
    Ann Chittum 04-03-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    24
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    "One of the top books of all time"

    This book grabbed me. It is fascinating from beginning to end and I only wish we could have a second book to continue the story. Don't be put off by the material--boxing is not my favorite sport, but it does not detract from the story. I loved every minute of it and hated to have it end. Listen to or read this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan from Michigan 02-10-08 Listener Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    "Very engaging"

    A great story told in a gripping way. From the moment you start to listen, it's hard to stop. The characters come to life, the story is well told and the glimpse into the pre-aparthied South Africa is fascinating

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 211-220 of 258 results PREVIOUS121222326NEXT
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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!

    10 of 10 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!

    3 of 4 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!

    1 of 1 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.

    2 of 3 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!

    2 of 3 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.

    2 of 3 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
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