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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 (4559 )
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4.8 (3225 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elizabeth Portsmouth, RI, United States 04-10-14
    Elizabeth Portsmouth, RI, United States 04-10-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my Top Three EVER!"
    If you could sum up The Power of One in three words, what would they be?

    Inspiring, compelling, riveting


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Peekay, because it is his journey, and he pulled us along for the ride. Truly larger-than-life, yet layered and real nevertheless. Lots of other characters to love, particularly Doc.


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

    First Humphrey Bower's book and it's a home run. In the same class as Simon Vance, one of the great voices in audio.


    If you could rename The Power of One, what would you call it?

    Perfect title, actually. But if I had to rename it, maybe .... Echoes of Africa


    Any additional comments?

    I'm 90% through and am dawdling, since I don't want it to end. Full of memorable characters, each of them layered and real. One of the most heartwarming and inspirational books I have ever read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elise SOMERVILLE, MA, United States 03-20-14
    Elise SOMERVILLE, MA, United States 03-20-14
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    "A modern Charles Dickens"

    The Power of One is the story of a strong willed orphan with everything going against her in Dickensian England except her cunning and amazing ability with an abacus. But behind her rise to success is the equally cunning, but also unscrupulous and miserly Jewish fencer of stolen goods and leader of the underworld, the only one willing to give her a chance. And thus Mary, while pure of heart, must compromise herself to get ahead.

    The intricate story line and depth of characters made for a great read, and Bower's reading captured the author's voice and those of the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirsteen Subang Jaya, Malaysia 03-01-14
    Kirsteen Subang Jaya, Malaysia 03-01-14 Member Since 2017
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    "The characters never leave you!"

    This novel is so entertaining and captivating, I feel as though I have met and had fun with many of the characters! They live on in my head and I hope to meet some again or their relatives in a third book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter E. Hart 01-14-14
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    "Narrator is faithful to the voices of South Africa"

    The story and the vivid characters are so compelling that I found myself thinking about them all during my day. But the virtuoso performance by Humphrey Bower makes the book truly spring to life. I returned from a month in southern Africa having just finished listening to The Power of One and I was amazed at how accurately Bower reproduces the many different voices I heard there.

    I doubt I would have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Schmimmels 12-17-13
    Schmimmels 12-17-13 Member Since 2015

    Mom with an hour commute to work each way. I like books that keep me from falling asleep in the morning and to help me power through chores.

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    "My favorite book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Power of One to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely. This was such a great book... hearing the audio edition really helped bring the characters to life and I loved each minute of it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the sense of empowerment in the book that showed that one person can make such an impact on so many lives. This book makes you feel like you can accomplish anything.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Almost every scene was my favorite... The level of detail is amazing but not so much that it takes away from the story. Each scene gets better and better and it is so hard to put down. If I had to pick just one, I would say my favorite at the beginning of the book when Peekay witnesses his first boxing match. The energy in the scene is addictive and amusing when seen from the perspective of a child.


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

    The book made me laugh and also cry. The book isn't just one genre. It is mostly a drama, but it is also a comedy, horror, and action genre.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Huntington, WV, United States 10-07-13
    Stephen Huntington, WV, United States 10-07-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Best combination"
    If you could sum up The Power of One in three words, what would they be?

    performance adds power


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Bower is terrific at presenting a variety of langauges, accents, ages and genders into a very comfortable telling. He seem to pitch the story perfectly. It is never boring and never hyped.


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

    not really. The memories that it creates are vivid enough that it was always easy to return.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kris 09-04-13
    Kris 09-04-13
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    "Another Human Masterpiece by this Author"
    What did you love best about The Power of One?

    The ability of this author to weave human nature with historical accuracy is compelling, entertaining and at times startling. The narrator is mesmerizing. I listen more than I read these days with such a profound choice.


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

    Paul Theroux' books about his travels in Africa.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Voice quality and ability to key in on accents


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

    Gut wrenching and redeeming.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. CARY, NC, United States 08-13-13
    Dr. CARY, NC, United States 08-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Couldn't Keep Listening"
    Any additional comments?

    Somehow, I loved this book when I read it but I couldn't keep listening to it as an Audio book. It wasn't really the fault of the narrator; it was just that it now seems all so predictable. I found the protagonist's voice a little cloying and his tale of woe, interspersed with kind acts by well-meaning down-and-outers, to be fairly obvious. Honestly, the most interesting thing about this book was the prelude that describes how it was written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    WilliamMinyard Antioch, CA, United States 08-10-13
    WilliamMinyard Antioch, CA, United States 08-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Fades away"
    Any additional comments?

    Overall I guess I enjoyed the book and the reader did an excellent job. My biggest issues revolved around the flow of the story. Very disjointed. I would be very involved and then the story would lose steam. The story started very strong and I really felt engaged and then it would slow down and I had the feeling that a little fast forward would help. Basically, 30 minutes good 5-10 minutes bad. The real problem was the ending. It was unbelievable and left me wondering where was the rest of it. Almost the entire story the main character had one goal and we heard it over and over. He life always seemed to turn back to this goal. Then the story ends on a rather weird scene that did not fit the rest of the book and the goal is left not only unanswered but not addressed in any way. A better ending would help this book immensely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine SPRINGVILLE, IA, United States 08-10-13
    Catherine SPRINGVILLE, IA, United States 08-10-13 Member Since 2007

    dogwalker

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    "Just awesome!"

    Bruce Courtenay is one of the great authors. His stories grip you through out the book, The book is set in South Africa during the mid 1900s. Simply, without any over dramatic hammers, racial discrimination is shown to be the nasty and ugly thing that it truly is. The author did an outstanding job describing the area without boring the listener to sleep with the details.

    I am not quite sure if I would have liked the book as much as I did if there was a different narrartor. Humphrey Bower's voice weaves the story around you like a soft blanket. I cheered, cried and laughed out loud. Hurray for the Tadpole Angel! ( gotta listen to the book for that one!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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