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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 (4819 )
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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
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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 2017
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    "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
    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
  •  
    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
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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
  •  
    Stephen 06-20-14
    Stephen 06-20-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A boy's courage as he grows into a man..."

    I wasn't sure what to expect, having already watched the rather cliche and collectivist-oriented movie of the same title based on this novel.

    This book was great! The power of one... there is no collective in the boxing ring, only the individual. It shows everything that needs to be said about the evils of racial hatred and statism.

    The sequel is definitely worth a read too. I'm still working my way through the rest of his books, but I've liked all of them so far.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    Cornwall, England
    6/20/16
    Overall
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    Story
    "Wonderful!"

    Great book and outstanding narration. Absolutely loved it and quite upset I have finished it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah Parris Littler
    Manlleu, Catalunya
    4/24/16
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    "This is a superb book and exceptionally well read."

    The narrator deserves an Oscar. I was amazed by his dominion of accents. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • L du Toit
    Eroupe
    2/14/16
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    "Simply brilliant!!"

    A brilliant and nostalgic peace of work almost poetic at times well worth the listen and exceptionally well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    12/9/15
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    "Epic"

    I read this book when I was much younger and I remember at the time that it made a huge impression on me. Second time round it has lost none of its original impact. Just one great fabulous book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maximusrunot
    9/6/15
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    "Fantastic"

    Best audio book so far. A great story, brilliantly read. Can't recommend it highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    Wolfsburg
    7/30/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "6 stars"

    I would give this book a 6 stars review, I don't have enough words to praise this book enough. The story is breathtaking, so well written, and the narration is just outstanding.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Irene
    3/28/15
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    "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
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    "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
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    Performance
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    "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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