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The Power of One Audiobook

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 (3872 )
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Performance
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  •  
    MidwestGeek 08-27-12
    MidwestGeek 08-27-12

    Love a good mystery, but don't care much for pure thrillers.

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    "Trivializes racial conflict. Patronizing soapopera"

    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.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 08-09-12
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 08-09-12 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

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    "Why didn't I listen to this earlier?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every scene with Doc for me was memorable. I loved hearing Doc say "absoloodle"


    If you could take any character from The Power of One out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would take Doc out for dinner. He was such a fascinating character and he shared my love of plants and music.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn S. Daugherty Duluth, MN United States 08-09-12
    Kathryn S. Daugherty Duluth, MN United States 08-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Inspiring"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary Taylors Lakes, Australia 07-30-12
    Hilary Taylors Lakes, Australia 07-30-12
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    "Amazing!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Power of One to be better than the print version?

    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.


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

    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.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    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.


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

    Head and Heart


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book! You will fall in love with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frans Australia 07-24-12
    Frans Australia 07-24-12
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    "Very Powerful Book"
    If you could sum up The Power of One in three words, what would they be?

    Never Give Up


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Doc, just his down to earth look at life.


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

    The sense of being there


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

    When Doc passed away


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael 07-21-12
    michael 07-21-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Great , passionate story"

    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
    Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Tarver 07-16-12
    C. Tarver 07-16-12 Member Since 2015

    Wayne

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    "The need for a 2nd book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of One the most enjoyable?

    Bryce's book keeps you from the very beginning until the end. The story just keeps you interested.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The storytelling is steady. It keeps you wanting to hear more.


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

    His talent of changing voices for each character is unbelievable. His voice brings the characters more to life.


    If you could take any character from The Power of One out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Doc, was such a positive influence on Pekays life. His optimism overflowed to the other characters. He helped Pekay have a joy for learning.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Lamb 07-08-12
    Denise Lamb 07-08-12
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    "INCREDIBLE story!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Power of One to be better than the print version?

    Yes, the reader (Humphrey Bower) is terrific in every sense. I will look for other books read by him.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Humor, sensitivity, angst....this story has it all.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every single scene was just great!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vira Pretoria, South Africa 05-03-12
    Vira Pretoria, South Africa 05-03-12 Member Since 2015
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    ""First with the head, and then with the heart...""

    (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! :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Chapin Minnesota 05-01-12
    S. Chapin Minnesota 05-01-12 Member Since 2014
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    "This one will stay with you"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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