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The Power of One Audiobook

The Power of One

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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 (4305 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Craig Raleigh, NC, USA 12-08-07
    Craig Raleigh, NC, USA 12-08-07 Member Since 2006
    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
  •  
    Marge 05-25-14
    Marge 05-25-14 Member Since 2008
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    "IT'S NOT ABOUT BOXING, A great listen!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Power of One to be better than the print version?

    Although I haven't read the print version, this is a book that is perfect for audio. Set in South Africa, the reader does an excellent job separating the multiple characters in a beautiful accent.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is an inspiration, riveting tale of how a young boy finds his way in life despite multiple hardships. It also does a wonderful job of exploring racial issues in South Africa from multiple perspectives.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    He is able to switch back and forth seamlessly between characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This is a story to savor and I was sorry to come to the end of the tale. An example of excellent storytelling.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a recommended book or I would have never found it. Whether truly a depiction of the author's childhood and life as a young man or just pure fiction, it was a delightful and thought provoking novel. Highly recommended

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 11-06-13
    Kimberly 11-06-13 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

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    Story
    "I Can't Believe..."

    I can not believe I never written a review on this book. I listened to this in 2011 and I loved it enough to happily purchase other Bryce Courtney's books. I just recently 'revisited' this wonderful book and have every intention of introducing it to my grandson.

    It is unbelievably cruel - and optimistic, and it is very inspiring. It is fiction and the prelude does say it is Bryce Courtney's 'story' I understand it is every underdog's dream; and fiction. It is still a really good story.

    Every underdog child should read/hear this. It is hopeful in a time of bullying and painful reminders of missteps. (Everything is recorded and replayed!!) It is the ultimate survival story that we all need. Everyone needs to find a passion, an inspiration, and a truth. This book has lived on for many years - first published in 1989 - and has lived in many hearts to this day.

    The message? Do not discount others due to prejudices. Be passionate about something. Do not give up. Do not worry about what others think. Know what you know. Never quit learning - and do not forget to start learning.

    I don't believe my little note will not mean much but I had to submit my opinion. Definitely worth a credit or two.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-12-13
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-12-13 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Be true to yourself, even under fire"

    This is a remarkable story of a young English boy in Africa being raised by his black nanny, whom he adores. His father is dead and his mother has had a nervous breakdown. As WWII breaks out, he is sent to boarding school at the tender age of five, where he suffers at the hands of the older boys as well as the head master. But what he learns there stays with him the rest of his life, good and bad. The narration is perfect, capturing the German accent of Doc, who is sent to prison during the war, as well as the English and African languages. The listener can close their eyes and "see" the landscape of Africa through the detailed description of the mountains and plants, and can feel the spirit of the African people by their singing. Peekay's journey is most unusual, frightening, and he becomes a man long before the age of "manhood". The lessons and his journey hold much for all of us, and make us question, "am I still wearing the camouflage"?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Beaton Eureka, CA 01-08-12
    C. Beaton Eureka, CA 01-08-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Best Author and Narrator Combination Ever!"

    I read the "The Power of One" years ago, and thought it was one of the best novels I had ever read. I don't usually read novels unless they are set in another country or era that I can learn more about. I never forgot this book. When I listened to "Shantaram" I was so impressed with the narrator, Humphrey Bower, that I checked to see what else he had narrated. There was "The Power of One"! I instantly downloaded it and was not disappointed. Bower is the best narrator I have ever listened to. I enjoyed listening to this book even more that I did reading it. Bower gives each wonderful character in the book a distinct voice and personality. He can speak in almost any accent convincingly and with great emotion. This is a book that would probably be considered a book for men, as most of the characters are men, and boxing and considerable violence are embedded in the story. I hate boxing and violence, but as a female who loves a good listen, I would give this book/narrator combination ten stars if I could! Perfect!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Halle Scott 06-02-10
    Halle Scott 06-02-10 Member Since 2016
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    "Good"

    A great read. I like dialogs, so occassionally it was a tad bit too descriptive for me. Overall, very good book. I do recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken DeForest, WI, United States 11-06-07
    Ken DeForest, WI, United States 11-06-07 Member Since 2005
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    "Well Written"

    Another great production by Bryce. I guess this was the first, but it was not the first I read. The author really brings together a great historical sequence of life and the trials and tribulations of the main character, PK. Interesting ending, very different than I was expecting, but I'll say no more on that so as not to spoil it for others.

    This is a great read especially if you like other Bryce Courtenay books and if you ike a great life drama, with a little humor sprinkled in this is a book for you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared Provo, UT, United States 09-12-07
    Jared Provo, UT, United States 09-12-07 Member Since 2009
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    "amazing!"

    jumped to the top of my all time favorite books (for sure in the top 5, probably closer to #1)...amazing narrator -- i loved listening to his voice as he narrated...perfect in every way -- i'm off to listen to the sequel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Western Canada 01-06-07 Member Since 2009
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    "Outstanding production"

    This is a 'must listen' audio book for a wide range of audiences. The superb narration and a excellent story make this an outstanding production.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 01-26-11
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 01-26-11 Member Since 2016

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "In the tradition of Bryce Courtenay"

    As always, nicely written and incredibly narrated. More boxing and coming of age like Four Fires. I liked the book and had no issues with the book as some others have had with a transforming white person in a culture of color. If you are a fan of the author, he will not disappoint you here. The characters are rich and the story perfectly narrated by the gifted Humphrey Bower.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Steve
    SHIFNAL, United Kingdom
    12/30/11
    Overall
    "ERGH!!!!"

    Reason for ERGH is that I've finished it - wow I loved this book - some of the sentences are life changing quotes. As Peekay says "with the head and then with the heart".

    Use your head and buy this book and with your heart you will love it forever.

    Can't wait to listen to Tandia.

    P.S. Humphrey Bower's reading is superb my congratulations to him

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
  • Alex
    5/24/11
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    From the outset this was a great book. History lesson and life lesson all in one. What a fabulous narrator.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • bhavna
    London, United Kingdom
    5/4/11
    Overall
    "Great book"

    Fantastic read. I have really enjoyed the excellent performance of the reader here, who brings the characters to life wonderfully. I have listened to lots of spoken books, and this is one of the best.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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