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.
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
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.
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.
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!!!!
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
FIRST WITH THE HEAD, THEN WITH THE HEART
This is a great book that should appeal to several different people. The first reason it will appeal to most is that fact that it is so well written. I am Jim, The Impatient, but I listened to all 21+ hours. It is a coming of age story, history of South Africa, history with references to Hitler and it has lots of boxing. Not knowing that much about South Africa, I felt I learned much. I got some of the perspective of how the Germans felt about the English before the War and I learned about APARTHEID.
EVERYONE IS AN ISLAND AND AT THE SAME TIME, ROBINSON CRUSOE.
Peekay, starts life out fairly rough. He is sent to border school at the age of five. He is the youngest there. A bully makes a habit of picking on him right from the start. Some of the torture this small boy goes through can be hard to take. To help him through it, he has a pet rooster. The first person to really treat Peekay with any kindness is a boxer. Peekay watches this man fight early on and this changes his life. For the rest of his life, his goal is to become welter weight champion of the world. Peekay's tough childhood and the kindness of the boxer, strengthen him and establishes his character. The strength of his character and they strong friendships he makes is the rest of the book. It is all very intelligently written and entertaining.
THE PRESUMPTION OF THE WHITE MAN KNOWS NO BOUNDS IN AFRICA.
This is a real good story on how the blacks where treated at this time. This alone makes the book valuable. Peekay makes friends with several blacks and becomes a hero to the people. I will agree with another reviewer and it did bother me and that is, what a shame that we have a white man hero. I would like to read a book where a black man becomes a hero. The statement of The Presumption of the white man also reminded me of a time in my childhood. When I was in fourth grade I knew nothing about South Africa, then a girl moved to our town from South Africa. One day she showed beautiful pictures of the country and talked about South Africa. She mentioned something about the crime and the worry of blacks raping whites. Only knowing what I had seen on tv about Africa and thinking of all of Africa as one country, I asked about all the naked black women. She commented to me "Everybody knows white flesh is more desirable then black flesh." She said it like I was an idiot. WE ARE OF THE EARTH, THAT IS WHY WE ARE THE COLOR OF THE EARTH.
SHAKE A PAW
The narrator is good and makes the listening better then the reading.
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!
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....
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.
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.
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.
I have a lot of issues with this book, but there are some things that are good, even beautiful about it. Courtenay does a wonderful job of describing the settings and I can feel, taste, smell it as if I were there. Also this book is set in an interesting place with some very important, very heavy themes. He drives home the point of racial equality and the worth of humans regardless of race or religion. The sentiment certainly is noble.
However, the craft of the book is lacking. There is not enough tension in the book (despite all the graphic violence) mostly because it starts off with Peekay being harassed and tortured as a small 5 year old. After his awful experience at boarding school Peekay decides that his destiny is to become a champion boxer and, as soon as he starts boxing, he becomes undefeated with something like 116 fights, he was pretty brilliant concerning music, he speaks something like 5 languages fluently and uses it for the good of mankind, and all his academic pursuits he mostly achieves (no he didn't get the Road Scholarship to Oxford University, but he did get accepted and had scholarships to other Universities). So there was no tension for his character, because after Peekay picks himself up at age 5, he himself is consistently a winner in athletics and academics. His success is a sure bet. Sure people around him have awful lives and some die in horrible ways, but the character seemingly overcomes his early childhood almost as if he were superhuman. It doesn't feel real or accessible to me.
The thing I had most problems with is that Peekay, because of his empathy and his fluency in many languages and the tribal and cultural niceties, somehow becomes the white boy savior of the black people. I think I would have been fine with him doing great things for the black community in an extraordinary way, but the addition to him treating the black people as less than subhuman, changing the prison system so that blacks could get mail from their loved ones, and him starting a school for black people to read and write (all of which are plausible things for an extraordinary character in a historical fiction), but also he became the Tadpole Angel: Zulu spiritual leader of the African tribes of the region. The fact that the blacks in this book regarded him as a magical savior just really seemed overboard for me.
So my basic response to this book was that it was tedious and long and meandered through seemingly a lifetime of this character's experiences, but mostly I found a lot of this novel a little too fantastical for historical fiction. It felt like a lot of wish fulfillment to me.
"A book about a kid boxing? - not my topic"
It was not what I was expecting. I'd read the sequel "Tandia" and felt parts of that story were a bit vague. It spoke of 'Doc' and I just had to read the "Power of One" to learn more.Oh, how I wish I'd read this book first. It was so engrossing and the enjoyment enhanced by the supreme narrator, Humphrey Bower. "Tandia" becomes a better book too as you become reacquainted with familiar characters and vague references become apparent.
Possibly another of Bryce Courtenay' s books, The Potato Factory, when Mary fights her way from the very bottom to the top, overcoming adversity at every step.
When Peekay and Doc found the cave.
I worry about people who cry over books! Laughing I understand.
DON'T be even slightly tempted to watch the film. A waste of time and money and barely resembles the book.
"A Brilliant Book."
I was over the moon when I come across this book as I loved the film.
I really enjoyed the book as there was far more in this book as their was in the film.
The story was so much more in depth as Bryce Courtney's books tell a very good story.
Also unlike the film there was a second second book called Tandia.
I enjoyed the story of South Africa during the Second World War and also the struggle of apartheid.
This book was well read by Humphrey Bower and was just as good if not better than his other narrations.
This book has already a film and his brilliant
A brilliant story from the very start!!!
"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.
"An Epic Story"
This is a wonderful book wonderfully delivered.
Humphrey Bowers narration was flawless and superlative. The book springs to life from his delivery.
Have always wanted to read this book as I had heard so much about it and was not disappointed, great read.
Doc, as he was so proud of pk
Haven't heard him before
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!
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
The fight scene between Peekay and the heir to the Zulu chiefdom
Fight for what you believe in
Amazing, accurate account of growing up in South Africa and attending boarding school. Very moving and fantastic in the detail of PKs adventures...
"One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to!"
The narrator of this audiobook is fantastic and makes it even better than reading the book itself. One of the most interesting and inspiring stories I have ever come across, probably even more so if you are South African. The characters are excellent and there's never a dull moment. I even learnt quite a bit about boxing...
Would definitely recommend.
"I felt the pain"
Such an in depth description of life in South Africa after the Boer war, I learned so much. I have dropped it to 4 stars because I did sometimes feel that the charachter PK was "too good to be true" and glorified in his sucess a little too much.
However you do feel as though you are there, and the narrator very sucessfully modified his accent for the different charachters
Really enjoyed this book so much! Peake has a great story to tell.
The reader does an excellent job of 'doing' all the different character voices, well done!
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