We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Power of One Audiobook

The Power of One

Regular Price:$27.48
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (4563 )
5 star
 (3357)
4 star
 (869)
3 star
 (208)
2 star
 (71)
1 star
 (58)
Overall
4.6 (3243 )
5 star
 (2422)
4 star
 (595)
3 star
 (141)
2 star
 (48)
1 star
 (37)
Story
4.8 (3229 )
5 star
 (2685)
4 star
 (412)
3 star
 (80)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (26)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Sherry Redlands, CA, United States 02-19-10
    Sherry Redlands, CA, United States 02-19-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "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
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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 2017

    Walter L.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    281
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "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 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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 2017

    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
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    438
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    662
    171
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    49
    3
    Overall
    "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
    141
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    198
    51
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    0
    Overall
    "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
  •  
    MR AJ Moore Magaliessig, Gauteng South Africa 02-17-09
    MR AJ Moore Magaliessig, Gauteng South Africa 02-17-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "Victory Story"

    This life afirming story moved me like no other book before! Excellent.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meridth 04-29-13
    Meridth 04-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    96
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Highly self absorbent author writes overrated book"
    What would have made The Power of One better?

    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.


    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Sadiq
    Northwood, United Kingdom
    3/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a fabulous read"

    found this to be an amazing book, that takes you through the journey of PK

    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
  • T
    Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
    10/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • M. A. Atkin
    brighton, uk
    7/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Epic Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a wonderful book wonderfully delivered.


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

    Shantaram


    Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favourite?

    Humphrey Bowers narration was flawless and superlative. The book springs to life from his delivery.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carmen
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Have always wanted to read this book as I had heard so much about it and was not disappointed, great read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Doc, as he was so proud of pk


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

    Haven't heard him before


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

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    UK
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exhilirating"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Power of One to be better than the print version?

    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!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The fight scene between Peekay and the heir to the Zulu chiefdom


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

    Fight for what you believe in


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
    3/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"
    What did you like most about The Power of One?

    Amazing, accurate account of growing up in South Africa and attending boarding school. Very moving and fantastic in the detail of PKs adventures...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • emma
    Hopwood, United Kingdom
    2/28/13
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • B
    Huddersfield, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.