After several listens to books by Bryce Courtenay, it strikes me that this author's books, narrated by Humphrey Bower, represent something of the idea..Show More »l in mainstream, audiobook fiction. The stories are vivid, well-plotted, with stirring story arcs. The narration is superb, with Bower handling a variety of accents and personalities and sexes in deft and entrancing form.
Yes, Peekay's accomplishments strain credulity. But only if you stop to add it up in a dispassionate accounting. Swept along by the story, it is not an issue. He is ruled by a genuine sense of humility that saves the day. The story is marked by great struggles to overcome injustices and stiff odds, some perhaps stereotyped villains and saints, but also nuanced and unique characters to balance it out.
There are two early significant characters that I expected might reappear. One, the 'good' one I thought surely should; the other, the 'bad' I thought could. Only one did reappear and it was the latter. I was surprised it was not both. This is not the kind of story to worry too much about convenient twists and turns.
The German character Doc is wonderful, especially the way that Bowers brings him to life. I never tired of his superlative 'absodoodle'. On occasion it brought tears to my eyes. Of all the audiobooks I have listened to in the past ten years, only the Courtenay/Bower combination has done that - and consistently.
I read Power of One several years ago and was a fan of Courtenay already. I found Courtenay on audible when Brother Fish was released and bought that..Show More ». I was immensely impressed with the Humphrey narration and wanted more. Then I discovered this sequel to Power of One and snapped it right up. Having just finished it, I was sorry to have it end. Humphrey's narration of this book was, like that of Brother Fish, superb. The best I have found on Audible. That is important since I try to buy only books over 20 hours for my bike commute. I was moved by this sequel to Power of One and would recommend it to anyone-- although I would strongly recommend reading or listening to Power of One first. There are enough back references that much will be lost without the experience of Power of One. (And the movie is no substitute; not even close. I saw the movie when it first came out and it kept me from reading the book for years. The book is lightyears better than the movie.) In Tandia, I am impressed with Courtnay's ability not to paint all Afrikaaners with one brush, and the same for the South African blacks and the rest of the cast. I am even more impressed with his ability to deal with themes of racial pride, hatred and tolerance; culture; religion; love; and faith without trivializing them. Thank you Courtenay and Humphrey for this wonderful collaboration !!!!