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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 (2849 )
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4.6 (1661 )
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4.7 (1655 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elise Gladwyne, Panama 12-16-08
    Elise Gladwyne, Panama 12-16-08 Member Since 2008

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    13
    7
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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
  •  
    Sherry Redlands, CA, United States 02-19-10
    Sherry Redlands, CA, United States 02-19-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
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    15
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    "Outstanding!"

    Terrific story, learned a lot about South Africa and you can see it with the words, excellent narrator! I highly recommend this listen!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus Jeffery 11-05-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    27
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    "A Pleasure to the End"

    I have been a long time listener of audio books and many I have enjoyed, others I have endured. The Power of One was fantastic. I rate it as the best audio book I have listened to date. The story is compelling and brought to life by Humphrey Bower's excellent narration and characterisations. I can't wait to listen to Tandia

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Loewenstern Colorado 12-24-06
    Karen Loewenstern Colorado 12-24-06 Member Since 2003

    Friend of Woz

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Loved it"

    a great listen; the reader is South African and this enhances the listening experience. The book is funny and sad. One of the best books I have listened to. It may appeal more to men than women.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Chino Hills, CA, USA 10-03-06
    Paul Chino Hills, CA, USA 10-03-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    0
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    "Wow!"

    By far the best story and narrating I've yet to experience in Audible's collection. Bower's makes the listen all the worthwhile. The passion and dialects he's able to banter is exceptional. Although the story is a little far fetched at times, the book left me wishing for more.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Halifax, NS, Canada 08-26-06
    Andrew Halifax, NS, Canada 08-26-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    17
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    "An Incredible Novel"

    Truly great books are centered about archetypal characters you can empathize with and genuinely feel for, and above all they need to tell a great story. The Power of One fits the bill. A genuinely awe-inspiring, powerful story, this is one book I'm ecstatic I bumped into... five stars!!!!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charmaine JOHANNESBURG, South Africa 05-07-12
    Charmaine JOHANNESBURG, South Africa 05-07-12 Member Since 2012

    I have a DLitt and Phil Degree which must imply a level of discernment? I just clocked over at 60. The significance is that I have read a whole lot of books. I'm now revisiting some of my all time favourites - and enjoying some first time round books. Books are my friends. Audible is JUST AMAZING - takes me back to pre -TV days, with my ear pressed to a crackly transistor radio - but now SO MUCH better and more 'classy' from a Kindle!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SOUTH AFRICAN NUANCES AND FLAVOUR"

    Loved the performance of this book - AND the characters. Mr Chook - What a chicken! Peekay did get me down a bit - so clever, so wonderful - and a bit of a goodie goodie two shoes. At times I gagged on his sweetness. Yet, evryone else absoludel made up for the treacly Peekay. Sad that the book ended....

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 02-12-08
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 02-12-08 Member Since 2005

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    364
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    "OK story and Excellent Narrator"

    Like all of Courtney's books, I loved the characters and the story, but it just kind of ended very anti-climatically. I did, however, love the narrator and the story was good, I just was disappointed at the end.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise WINTON, CA, USA 08-10-06
    Louise WINTON, CA, USA 08-10-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    107
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    198
    51
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    "Very Addicting Duo"

    What can I say. After reading Shantaram I had to find other books narrated by Humphry Bower. This is my third Bryce Courtenay novel and next week I get 2 more. Already I have them picked out.
    Bryce is working on a new novel, it may be out now. Surely hope we get it here. Life will be dimmer without his stories and narration of Humphry.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Raleigh, NC, USA 12-08-07
    Craig Raleigh, NC, USA 12-08-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Audiobook, Not so great story"

    The production value of this audiobook and especially the narrator are excellent. It is a captivating read, paced well, and the narrator captures the different characters very well.

    I read the book then saw the 1991 (or 92) film made just after the ending of Apartheid. They are essentially two stories. You can't capture the nuances of this very difficult story on the screen so they essentially created their own story.

    It is important to keep in mind that this is fiction despite the autobiographical statements of the author. Appreciating that allows one to focus on the lessons of the story and not either the tremendously more complex reality of South Africa at the time or the one-dimensional way the Black Africans and to a great extent the Afrikaners are portrayed. I'd be interested in what Black South Africans think about the story.

    Although essentially a story of the emergence of a child from early oppression and tragedy, he is nonetheless a privileged child by virtue of his "race" and nationality so although the idea of the "power of one" as a means to overcome personal tragedies is a compelling one that privilege cannot be ignored.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-30 of 254 results PREVIOUS123426NEXT
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  • Joanna
    Norwich, United Kingdom
    12/28/11
    Overall
    "Great!"

    Fantastic narrator and a great story, even if the hero is too brilliant to be true! Loved it and will be trying more by the same author/narrator combination

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    Chestfield, United Kingdom
    12/11/11
    Overall
    "Epic story beautifully told"

    A real page turner of a book that is loosely based around the authors own experiences as a young boy growing up in South Africa during the second world war. One of the best books I've listened to in ages. Great story, wonderfully narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • bhavnas
    London, United Kingdom
    11/17/11
    Overall
    "Must have a copy of this book"

    Wonderful!! .I enjoyed this book, very positive and very powerful. Superb Reading, narrator really did a great job. I love the book very much and highly recommend this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fran
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    10/29/11
    Overall
    "Wonderful!"

    Having just written a poor review of Brother Fish, I thought I had better do the right thing and write what I thought of this BryceC. It couldn't have been different! A fabulous, engaging novel. Loved the characters, and was so sad to lose them. Rooted for PJ all the way and grew with him. Totally absorbing history lesson at the same time without being hammered home. Story crafted beautifully. Hey, and I don't even like boxing - but those scenes were compelling. One of my favourite listens!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sandra
    Hanwell, United Kingdom
    8/10/11
    Overall
    "A must for every listener!"

    FABULOUS! I found this book quite by accident, having never heard of the author or the story and purchased this book merely on the strength of the personal reviews that I read and I was not disapointed. Quite simply a beautiful story, a hidden gem and one that I would recommend to every listener.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alev
    ulv, United Kingdom
    8/8/11
    Overall
    "very predictable"

    this book is ok. yes, it is a good story but i found it extremely predictable. I kept guessing then all my guesses were right. i have finished it but didnt leave me thinking, from the very good reviews, may be i expected too much and found myself setting the speed to1.5. getting it finished but the end wasn't a suprise too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aileen
    Hermannsburg, Germany
    6/30/11
    Overall
    "A new author to try."

    I found this author when on a trip to Australia- a super read- try "Jessica" also- which I found to be his best work of all! IJessica also available as a film- so should this one!.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    Dromahair, Ireland
    7/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A boy's adventures through a difficult youth"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I was surprised I enjoyed this book so much. Its different from my usual read but had me hooked from the start.


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

    This is basically a boy growing up, both in his own development and his growing awareness of the politics around him. I can't think of a similar book right now.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I loved the meeting between our young protagonist and the guard on the train who first inspires him to become a boxer. Its a lovely, loving and thoroughly moving encounter where two odd personalities forge a deep connection over two days.


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

    Many. We care deeply about young Peekay and all the difficulties he encounters. The loss of his black nanny is particularly awful, unacknowledged as such by the other adults in his life.


    Any additional comments?

    As another reviewer noted, the protagonist wins out a bit too much. Some of the scenes feel a bit too emotionally manipulative. But a thoroughly enjoyable listen with great narration. I will be listening to the sequel too.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-28 of 28 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

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