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The Power of One: A Novel [Paperback]

Bryce Courtenay
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)

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Book by Courtenay, Bryce

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Customer Reviews

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
Format:Paperback
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Best read in a long time June 12 2014
By Debra
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Book May 3 2014
Format:School & Library Binding|Verified Purchase
Bought this book for a friend since it's my favourite book, and she loves it as well! It is very well written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favourite books April 25 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
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. It is magical and exotic and at times heart-breaking, but also incredibly uplifting. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a long and deep story set in a turbulent and exotic place and time in history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read Sept. 14 2013
By Cyndie
Format:Kindle Edition
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....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Feb. 21 2000
Format:Paperback
This is quite simply a magical story. I bought the book after accidentally stumbling upon the film late one night on the BBC. (The film is watchable but quite obviously adapted for a very different audience.) Once I had started reading I couldn't put the book down, so compelling is the plot. It wraps love, happiness, fear, suspense and death up into one bundle and can be deeply profound in places. I found myself crying time and again, sometimes with sadness, sometimes with joy, suffering and winning along with Peekay. The descriptive writing allows the reader to be completely drawn in and to feel part of the setting whether that be a small mountain village, an English boarding school, a boxing ring or a Rhodesian mine. I do agree with previous reviewers that Peekay is positively perfect in every way but if they wish to see him exhibit a few human flaws then they should read the sequel, 'Tandia', which I strongly recommend and don't feel is weak as is the won't of many follow up books. As for the criticism that the book presents all Boers as racists, I felt that it was more a case of many Boers being shown to turn a blind eye (as in the case of Gert and Captain Smit.) This theme becomes increasingly prominent in the sequel and I feel is reasonably accurate. Surely this is how a dictatorship flourishes. I think that this would be a great book for older schoolchildren and I note that many American students came across the book this way. However, I feel that because the book deals with some adult issues it will be avoided by schools in Britain and it is a shame that many kids will miss out as a result.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough Already! April 23 2001
Format:Paperback
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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Most recent customer reviews
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. 14 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Words Cannot Express......
Nothing short of amazing. A must read. I loved it from the first page and couldn't put it down. I could read it again and again. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2002 by "daytona509"
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just boxing
This is one of the most satisfying reads I have ever indulged in. I am an avid reader and "The Power Of One" is definitely on my top ten list. Read more
Published on May 23 2002 by "deepocean26"
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great South African Tale
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. Read more
Published on May 14 2002 by Ashley D.
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