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The Power of One: A Novel [Paperback]

Bryce Courtenay
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brililant Feb. 24 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book for the first time back in 1991 whereupon I actually bought the book by looking at its cover. The old cover was a beautiful sunset view of the African dessert with a giraffe.
Nevertheless, the book engrossed me immidiately and within the first 20 pages it had made me laugh out loud and cry - no book has ever done that to me with such intensity before or since.
One complaint I have is with the back cover of the new editions of this book. Mr. Courtenay or the publishers have changed the name of one of the most crucial characters! On the back, it mentions a friend, Hymie, when in fact his name is Morrie. I was bitterly disappointed to read Tandia to find that the tone of the book has changed, and Mr. Courtenay decided to changed Morrie's name to Hymie without so much as an explanation.
Aside from that matter, the book is my all-time favourite and I have given it as a present to all my friends throughout the years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story June 13 2003
By mhnstr
The Power of One was recommended to me by a friend who has made the book required reading for his high school English class. I must say that the recommendation was a good one and I found myself alternatively amazed and distressed by the story. I must admit that I was under the wrong impression when I read the cover of the book which refers to The Power of One as "the classic novel of South Africa." I expected the protagonist to be African struggling perhaps against Apartheid. I leaned my mistake on the first page when I learned that the protagonist is an English boy named Peekay who finds himself as an outcast at the early age of five. Early childhood smiles very rarely on the boy, but when it does it is in the form of the love and generosity of adults who give selflessly to the boy, leaving an indelible impression in a world otherwise filled with distress. I would say this book is not necessarily a story of triumph, but of perseverance. A story of belief in ones self and ones dreams as well as self determination at any cost. The later is perhaps Peekay's one greatest character flaw.
The story is well written and will hold your heart and mind despite the occasional unbelievable coincidence. Overall, a very good book and I have not hesitations in passing along my friend's recommendation to you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough Already! April 23 2001
This book was recommended to me by a friend as her "all time favorite novel". I started it and was pleased to become immediately hooked. The writing is beautiful and the characters are endearing. Little Peekay stole my heart for the first half of the book. It had me laughing one minute and crying the next. I've never cared much about boxing, but the fight scenes were riviting. About halfway through the book something changes - our little Peekay becomes so full of himself that I'm beginning to wish some more bad luck would come his way just to bring him back to the status of a mere mortal. He is constantly in awe of his own intelligence and prowess as a boxer and a scholar. While in total command of thousands of African prisoners, he muses to himself that he "has become a legend". Now enter his new buddie Morrie - the two of them CANNOT LOSE. Everything they touch turns to gold. They are admired by all and cannot imagine life not turning out exactly as they wish it. YES, Peekay did have some terrible times as a young boy, but after that he becomes the chosen one and I for one am sick to death of him. I've got a third of the book left to read and I'm not sure if I can stomach any more of the tadpole angle. Maybe I'm being a little harsh, beause I really did enjoy the first half of the book. Peekay does make quite a few attempts at false modesty, but a little true humility would have made me continue to care about him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great South African Tale May 14 2002
I think this book is an excellent book. It is a book for those who like to learn while they read. This is not a true story, but it is based in a time that really did happen. It is the story of a boy growing up in South Africa. He is not included, because he is English, so he finds friendship with the Blacks living there. He finds his place in boxing as well. He soon discovers that not everything is perfect as well. The Blacks are being mistreated, and when he sees that, it touches him. He knows he must do something about it. He grows up to be a smart student who has the potential of doing anything he wants, and uses that to help the Blacks. I thought I could relate to some of the parts in the book. I've been picked on and made fun of before. I think we all have. He discovered this inner courage and strength through boxing, we find our strengths everyday in what we do. This story is just very moving. It really shows the injustice of the South African blacks. I think it also helps us be more aware of what did really happen in South Africa. Some people may not have known that this injustice was happening, so this book could help them understand. I knew I had a small idea of what had happened before I read this book, but when I read this, I knew more about the situation down there. Some parts are more graphic than what you want, but it is still an excellent book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The power to inspire!... April 4 2002
I have to admit that this is one of the best books I've ever read. I happened to pick it up one day at a bargin store. It was in the middle of a bin full of books on sale for half price. The title caught my eye and I decided to buy it after reading the description inside the dust cover. Boy am I glad I did!!
I couldn't put it down. I read the whole book cover to cover in two days. It was amazing!! The characters are so beautifully descriptive. Peekay becomes so real, you feel like your right there with him. You will cry and laugh with him and cheer for joy when he succeeds.
He learns some pretty hard lessens early in life and yet he still treats everyone, no matter what color or background, with equal respect (this should be a guide for us all).
He battles through adversity and every challenge and refuses to let it dampen his will to accomplish his ultimate goal. First with the head and then with the heart...!!
I know that some might say that this book is unrealistic, some might even call Peekay selfish. I, on the other hand, took the romantic viewpoint and saw the story of a small boy who grew into a forward thinking youngman that saw through racial blindfolds and followed his heart to fullfill his dreams.
Please do yourself a favor and READ THIS BOOK!... You will not regret it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book.
Published 1 month ago by abbylane
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps In The Top Ten Books Ever Read
A pure delight from the start; a mindblowing riveting tale by a masterful historian and philosopher of epic proportions. I will be forever changed by the beloved Peekay. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ally Alias
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read in a long time
Bryce Courtenay is one of the most gifted story tellers today. His books are must reads for anyone who enjoys reading. Thank you once again Mr. Courtenay.
Published 4 months ago by Debra
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Book
Bought this book for a friend since it's my favourite book, and she loves it as well! It is very well written.
Published 5 months ago by Nick Schwaiger
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favourite books
I read this book fifteen years ago and it remains an all-time favourite. I absolutely fell in love with the main character as well as Bryce Courtenay's story-telling style. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Faith Seekings
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
The book was inspiring, entertaining one that I did not want to see end. Peekay is a gem and other characters are well developed. You just become hooked....
Published 13 months ago by Cyndie
5.0 out of 5 stars special to me
I read this book at the age of 18 after a co-worker at the bookstore I worked at recommended it to me. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2009 by Zenobia
4.0 out of 5 stars The Power Of One
The Power of One by Bryce Courtney is a novel about a young white boy growing up in aparthied South Africa. At 500 slow but captivating pages, it took almost 5 hours to read. Read more
Published on Dec 18 2006 by J. Estill
5.0 out of 5 stars Power of one
"Power of One" has changed my life. The emotions from this book involving PK's traumatic inhuman times to the extreme happy times have touched me greatly. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful look at the true nature within us all.
This is the first book I have read from this author. He is a truly gifted story teller. This story is a look into the audacious nature within each of us.
Published on Sept. 12 2002 by David F. Labutte
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