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The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

The Power of One (original 1989; edition 1989)

by Bryce Courtenay

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3,559861,487 (4.26)127
Title:The Power of One
Authors:Bryce Courtenay
Info:Mandarin (1989), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (1989)

  1. 21
    Tandia by Bryce Courtenay (daniellekrista)
    daniellekrista: This is the sequel to The Power of One. While P of O is my favorite book(I have read/listened to it nearly 10 times), Tandia is deeper and darker. This book follows Peekay on his boxing journey and shows the real hate of apartheid in South Africa.… (more)
  2. 00
    A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Semi-comic coming of age story
  3. 00
    The Syringa Tree: A Novel by Pamela Gien (Bitter_Grace)

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Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
A masterpiece actually. Wonderful plot and top notch writing. A character you can really get into. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
I wish I had read this in a class or book club so that I would gain the perspective from the interpretations of others. The writing was lyrical and I will definitely read the next one in the series, even though I feel I don't understand it well. ( )
  KylaS | Feb 18, 2016 |
He certainly tells a ripping yarn, that Bryce Courtenay. It was interesting to read about the difference of opinion between him and Peter Carey - with Carey lamenting the decline in reading serious literary novels, and Courtenay lambasting him for being a snob. Honestly I feel like Courtenay has a point - just because a book has literary pretentions, doesn't necessarily mean it's good.

This was a fun read, some really interesting history - I've read very little about South Africa, or Africa in general. And I was even almost thinking about giving it five stars. Until the ending. Because really? That's the way you want to end the story circle? With revenge? With brutal bloody revenge? That's the person you want him to be after the journey he's had? This is me, muttering with disappointment *mutters* ( )
  evilmoose | Dec 13, 2015 |
Ok so I'm not one of the big believers in this story. It was recommended to me as a wonderful coming of age book about a white South African youth in pre and post World War II. I really loved the central characters as they were so well developed. In particular, I loved Doc and Mre Boxall and Geel Peet.
The first half of the book tells the story of Peekay who lives with his mother, grandfather in a small town and the people who have an impact on his life. While he spends time at a residential boarding school at a very young age, he meets a horrible bully called the Judge. The treatment Peekay faces at the hands of the bully has a major impact on how he handles every situation for the rest of his life. This is where the Power of One evolves. Of course, Peekay survives, grows stronger and smarter and learns how to survive by using his intelligence, leadership, fairness and boxing skills. His ultimate goal is to become the Welterweight Champion.
Ok, so what irks me about the story is the fact that Peekay's success, personal attributes and ability to tackle any task in matter how difficult or complicated, become unbelievable. Peekay never loses, or fails. He finds solutions to every single problem through networking. He can read Latin and Greek at an early age and identify every single fungus and cactus because of his relationship with Doc. He plays chess like a grand master, and speaks several African languages and learns to box like a pro.
Enough... He is a very nice character who abhors racial discrimination and makes good friends easily. As a child, his friends are all adults which I found odd. Perhaps I'm too critical, it is worth reading but the character could have used a few flaws. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Mar 5, 2014 |
Powerful novel of S Africa, focusing on one boy, Peekay. Becomes a boxer, and more... ( )
  DavidO1103 | Jan 18, 2014 |
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Man is a romantic at heart and will always put aside dull, plodding reason for the excitement of an enigma.  As Doc had pointed out, mystery not logic, is what gives us hope and keeps us believing in a force greater than our own insignificance.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034541005X, Paperback)

“The Power of One has everything: suspense, the exotic, violence; mysticism, psychology and magic; schoolboy adventures, drama.”
–The New York Times

“Unabashedly uplifting . . . asserts forcefully what all of us would like to believe: that the individual, armed with the spirit of independence–‘the power of one’–can prevail.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer

In 1939, as Hitler casts his enormous, cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams–which are nothing compared to what life actually has in store for him. He embarks on an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice where he will learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the power of one.

“Totally engrossing . . . [presents] the metamorphosis of a most remarkable young man and the almost spiritual influence he has on others . . . Peekay has both humor and a refreshingly earthy touch, and his adventures, at times, are hair-raising in their suspense.”
–Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Marvelous . . . It is the people of the sun-baked plains of Africa who tug at the heartstrings in this book. . . . [Bryce] Courtenay draws them all with a fierce and violent love.”
–The Washington Post Book World


“A compelling tale.”
–The Christian Science Monitor

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:54 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Story of Peekay, an English boy, living in South Africa during World War II whose dream is to become a winner.

(summary from another edition)

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141304898, 0143004557, 0143204793

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