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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 (3250 )
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4.6 (2023 )
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4.7 (2017 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elise 12-16-08
    Elise 12-16-08 Member Since 2014

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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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
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Walter Loewenstern 12-24-06 Member Since 2014

    Walter L.

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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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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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 2015

    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 2010

    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
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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
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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 2006
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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 288 results PREVIOUS123429NEXT
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  • Sarah
    Grange-over-Sands, United Kingdom
    8/20/06
    Overall
    "Fantastic reading of a great book"

    I first read this book when I was 20, some 16 years ago. It was a powerful read then and I have really enjoyed the excellent performance of the reader here, who brings the characters to life wonderfully. I have listened to hundrends of spoken books, and this is in my top five!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah
    Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
    4/3/09
    Overall
    "The best book I've bought from Audible"

    I bought this book on the recommendation of my brother and I am so glad I did. It moved me to tears on several occasions and I became totally hooked and have spent the last few days with my iPod permanently attached! I'm only sad that I've finished it as I enjoyed it so much. The reader is brilliant and really gets the accents right. I can't wait now for my next book as I've decided to work my way through Bryce Courtenay's entire list. FANTASTIC!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    London, United Kingdom
    5/4/11
    Overall
    "Awesome read"

    Fantastic read. I have really enjoyed this book. Narrator did the great job.
    Recommend this book for Must buy!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Nick (uglyducklin)
    UK
    2/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To sum it up in one word: Brilliant"
    Would you listen to The Power of One again? Why?

    I have the dvd,book but now kindle version (as people whom I lent the book to pinched it) and the audio version as it is a great story that gives you various emotions whilst watching/reading or listening to the story and this version is very well read that my wife keeps asking about my expression or why I am laughing.
    This is easily in my top 3 books and would certainly recommend you give it a try.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Peekay because his life is well written and you do really get into the character and wonder what is going to happen next.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    I like the expression in his voice as really brings some parts to live where as some other audio books just sound like its a computerised voice and boring.


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

    There are a few points but as I wouldn't like to spoil any part of the story I'll say there are a couple of moments I did laugh or others that did get me sad (sorry I love reading and really get into stories)


    Any additional comments?

    When I had the book, I had lent it to a number of people to try and each person enjoyed the book and one person so much they pinched it :( so I bought the kindle version and now tried audible and have this version.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Craig
    Bath, UK
    8/28/09
    Overall
    "Serendipity"

    I came across this book because it had somehow been featured on the Religion and Spirituality page of Audible ? mistaken, I presume, for ?The Power of Now?. However some mistakes are serendipitous and having read the reviews I selected it, and I have to say it is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to. Superbly well read, constantly engaging ? I never found that my mind had wandered and I had to rewind ? and a cracking good story. My only complaint would be to observe that Peekay is a little too brilliant at everything he does to be entirely believable ? but heh, it is fiction after all...

    I will certainly be listening to more from Bryce Courtenay!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Barrie
    Dudley, United Kingdom
    8/13/08
    Overall
    "Life story"

    This is a life story, and although it is fiction, it's very believable, and is drawn from the authors experiences. I really enjoyed it, and it really gives a good view of South African culture in the mid 20th century. It's also a good read without the history if your not interested in that. Reader is great too.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Irene
    3/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Irene"

    This is the first Bruce Courtenay book I have read & it will not be my last. I enjoyed the book from the beginning to the end, story line was good I didn't want it to be over. Narration was first class.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sadiq
    Northwood, United Kingdom
    3/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superbly written...couldn't stop listening."

    The characters were so realistic that it felt like I was physically there
    Hard to stop listening

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mick'sMoll
    2/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book about a kid boxing? - not my topic"
    What did you like most about The Power of One?

    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.


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

    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.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    When Peekay and Doc found the cave.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I worry about people who cry over books! Laughing I understand.


    Any additional comments?

    DON'T be even slightly tempted to watch the film. A waste of time and money and barely resembles the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dave Duddle
    12/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Brilliant Book."
    If you could sum up The Power of One in three words, what would they be?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the story of South Africa during the Second World War and also the struggle of apartheid.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    This book was well read by Humphrey Bower and was just as good if not better than his other narrations.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    This book has already a film and his brilliant


    Any additional comments?

    A brilliant story from the very start!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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