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.
Love a good mystery, but don't care much for pure thrillers.
The book was obviously a commercial success, and the extraordinarily high ratings and rave reviews both here and elsewhere show that it connects with lots of people. However, that also is true of daytime soap operas that drone on for decades. The comparison is apt; the characters are stereotypical and one-dimensional. The writing is about as subtle as a 6th-grader's essay, and the language is not much more complex. PK is less like a hero than a superhero; perhaps that is the point. If viewed as a morality tale for early middle school children, the language and story become more acceptable.
This is a case where I have to agree with many of the 1- and 2-star reviews on amazon.com. The 1992 movie version shows the same dichotomy among its audience. If you look at Rotten Tomatoes, for example, 87% of the more than 9300 viewers said they liked the movie, whereas 6 of 7 top critics panned it. The book starts out well, and I kept hoping it would get better. Frankly, I couldn't finish it; I gave up listening after 6 hours. The only thing that kept me going for as long as I did was the quality of the narration, which is terrific.
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
Yes, I absolutely would recommend this book. The characters became part of me. I felt each and every one of Peekay's losses and each triumph. Mr. Courtenay has a way of weaving a story by introducing lots of little stories that come together to make an outstanding read. I also felt that the narration was outstanding.
I enjoyed the first person narration as I felt it gave us a window into Peekay's soul.
The story was extremely engaging. My only comment would be that I felt a bit too much time was spent in the story about the mine, near the end of the book. It was as if the story should have ended earlier. However, the ending was well done and very satisfying.
Every scene with Doc for me was memorable. I loved hearing Doc say "absoloodle"
I would take Doc out for dinner. He was such a fascinating character and he shared my love of plants and music.
This one captured and held my attention. I used to hate boxing but I have a better appreciation for the athletes now. The book was occasionally difficult to read because of the cruelty but it was worth reading!
I am a massive fan of Bryce Courtenay, but his books are quite long and indepth. Listening to them on audiobook allows you to really be into the story the entire time. Humphrey Bower is also fantastic in this edition, as with all of this performances, so yes this audio edition is better.
If one book is better than the Power of One, it is Tandia, the sequel. It is a very complex book that deals with political and racial issues on a global and country-specific level, backed up with an interesting story and fascinating characters that displays the diversity of Courtenay's ability as an author.
He has a real way of doing particular characters and voices that really puts the scene of the book in your head. He always does a fantastic performance.
Head and Heart
Read this book! You will fall in love with it.
Never Give Up
Doc, just his down to earth look at life.
The sense of being there
When Doc passed away
I am loving all of Bryce's books. As a fellow adman I am jealous and appreciative of his command of storytelling. Nice mix of moral, interest and, of course, all the wonderful Aussie and S. African turns of phrase and expressions. Makes me feel dumbs a box of hair :)
Humphrey Bower is the new king of narrators.
He rivals and surpasses in some ways Scott Brick and John Lee.
Amazing with accents, characters and emphasis
The Courtenay books are the best I have listened to in years! And I have 2 accounts listening to about 5 a month while super commuting.
You will love
Bryce's book keeps you from the very beginning until the end. The story just keeps you interested.
The storytelling is steady. It keeps you wanting to hear more.
His talent of changing voices for each character is unbelievable. His voice brings the characters more to life.
Doc, was such a positive influence on Pekays life. His optimism overflowed to the other characters. He helped Pekay have a joy for learning.
I hope the 2nd book on Pekay is turned into an audible book very soon. I am ready to listen to the last chapter of Pekay's life.
Yes, the reader (Humphrey Bower) is terrific in every sense. I will look for other books read by him.
Humor, sensitivity, angst....this story has it all.
Every single scene was just great!
(The headline is a quotation from the book). I'd like to start with the heart and say that I loved listening to this story, often with tear-filled eyes and lump in throat because its so close to home. I didn't want it to end, so immediately ordered the follow-up, Tandia, as well. I loved the extra effort put in by the producers, such as the Zulu music at the intro, etc. The Courtenay/Bower combination is indeed powerful. Mr Bower is a brilliant story teller, and although his accents are off the mark, he brings the characterisation to life wonderfully.
Now "with the head" ... Clearly, Mr Courtenay knows how to spin a tale. And how to make it sell! While writing from a secure seat within a runaway bandwagon, he appeals unashamedly to popular opinion, and leaves thinking to the intelligence of his readers/audience. Sweeping generalisations. prejudices, and over-simplifications are the marks of an advertising man, such as Mr Courtenay is (to my knowledge). Without its gripping storyline and intermittent pepperings of realism, the characterisation would almost become caricature. This book is about popular appeal. However, i believe that Bryce Courtenay could write good literature if he focussed more in that direction.
In the meantime, i'm quite happy to enjoy the "soap operatic" stories he churns out. They really are FUN! :-)
I can still hear the voices in my mind. One of the better read books, because you can picture the characters through the voices. Powerful book well worth reading
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