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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 (3145 )
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  •  
    Ann Chittum 04-03-08
    Ann Chittum 04-03-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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    5
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    "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
  •  
    10-29-07
    10-29-07 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Ear Pricking"

    With no doubt a great book that confirmed the Bryce Courtenay and Humphrey Bower combo is a winner. Enjoyed it very much. Thank-you

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vmcg Long Beach, CA, US 09-13-07
    Vmcg Long Beach, CA, US 09-13-07 Member Since 2003

    Love to travel, love to read and those two go well together! Audible has broadened my reading horizons and I enjoy finding new books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a well written book"

    I had read this years ago and loved it. Reading it again through an audio book brought back all the joy and pleasure I experienced the first time. A well written book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J K Evatt 09-01-07
    J K Evatt 09-01-07 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good"

    The narrator was great of course and the book was very good. I dont know alot about boxing but I found the boxing parts very interesting. I do not automatically give 5 stars just because I like a book, I reserve that rating for the very best. But I do recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marius Irene, South Africa 08-22-07
    Marius Irene, South Africa 08-22-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Powerful"

    A powerful book, somewhat spoilt by extreme characterizations drawn by Bryce Courtenay, otherwise a truly gifted story-teller. The book is set in that shameful period when South Africa moved into institutionalized Apartheid, and its strong anti-racism message is inspirational. However, the author’s near-universal portrayal of Afrikaners as moronic, sadistic and fanatic Nazis blemishes the book. The truth was bad enough without this extreme exaggeration. The large number of Afrikaners killed fighting against Hitler’s Germany and the leading roles played by Afrikaners such as Smuts and Reitz to counter the South African right-wing indicate complexities Courtenay chooses to ignore. Courtenay also tends to patronize black South Africans, who, according to his story, relied on the mysticism of belief in a little white boy, Peekay, rather than in their own rising leaders, this in a country that spawned many great leaders, including Gandhi, Luthuli and Mandela! Given that the author describes this tale as largely autobiographical, this indicates a spectacular ego! A more mundane note: his portrayal of Afrikaners as invariably being unable to understand black languages (in contrast to Peekay) is peculiar – in my experience, in rural areas (where Courtenay and Peekay grew up) young English and Afrikaans kids all had a reasonable grasp of the local black languages, and some were very fluent. Many (like Peekay) were raised by black nannies, and many (unlike Peekay) played with young black kids, until they went to all-white schools. Anyway, enough of that rant! The narrator, Australian Humphrey Bower is excellent in capturing the pathos of the story - however, his bizarre rendition of South African accents jars. Some illustrations: Murray (for Marie) biscuits, Teeekee (for tiekie), and daaaga (for dagga). A great pity a talented SA narrator was not used – perhaps Paul Slabolepzy or the late Bill Flynn. Having said that, a great listen!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karl Washington, DC, USA 07-30-07
    Karl Washington, DC, USA 07-30-07
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    "it was a movie?"

    OK, i didn't know that until later, but now i don't feel i have to see it. I'm sure the book was better. It is a nice read and the narrator did a fantastic - and i mean a fantastic job.

    Great story, amazing character development, very believable in a "story book" way and I honestly just loved the witting style of the author.

    My one dig is that it could have been just a bit shorter and we wouldn't have missed anything - but still, i's a great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IthacaNancy 06-21-14
    IthacaNancy 06-21-14
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    "Seemed Like Fiction"

    I just didn't enjoy this book. I did appreciate the presentation of the history of the area, but it was just not that interesting and definitely did not feel like an honest memoir of this person's early life to me. I listened to it a couple of years ago, so I'm sorry I can't say more about it, but I remember it as being pretty self absorbed, macho, and unrealistic. As a first novel, maybe it is fine, but I couldn't give it the enthusiastic reviews I've read from others.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 11-24-13
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 11-24-13 Member Since 2014

    coachwrite

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    "One of my all time favorites!"

    Before this listen, I knew next to nothing about South Africa and loathed boxing as cruel, stupid, and graceless. Now I know more about SA and can appreciate the intricacies of pugilism, although I still have no interest in watching a match. The narration, plot, characters are "turn the page" excellent, and my routines went by with lightening speed as well as being able to look forward to exercise, chores, and other mindless activities so I could find out "what happens next". I've purchased the book for my grandsons who could use some insight into man's inhumanity to man all over the world...as well as some awareness of cultures outside of their own suburban utopia.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gaye pine creek, Australia 08-13-12
    Gaye pine creek, Australia 08-13-12 Member Since 2010
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    "More powerful than the written word"
    What did you love best about The Power of One?

    Great story, narration excellent and a compelling mixture of the goodness versis brutality


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything!


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Humphry Bower is a wonderful actor.; he brings the characters to life and I'M thrilled that Bryce Courtenay and Humphry Bower have formed a calloraboration. He manages to transport you to a time and place with his wonderful grasp of all accents.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Power of One and why?

    PK & Doc for their pure and strong characters


    Any additional comments?

    I love all of Bryce Courtenay's books and especialley narrated by Humphrey Bower

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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