Customer Reviews


253 Reviews
5 star:
 (224)
4 star:
 (19)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brililant
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...
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by gozilla queen

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough Already!
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...
Published on April 23 2001 by Lori J. Shelton


‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brililant, Feb. 24 2004
By 
gozilla queen (Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Power of One (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story, June 13 2003
By 
mhnstr (Christchurch, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough Already!, April 23 2001
By 
Lori J. Shelton (Silver Spring, Maryland USA) - See all my reviews
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Great South African Tale, May 14 2002
By 
Ashley D. (West Des Moines, Iowa) - See all my reviews
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Active Book, Jan. 8 2002
By 
Aaron Tawes (Taipei, Taiwan) - See all my reviews
The Power of One is an active book about a boy who faces many challenges in his life. The timeline of this book is only until the main character, Peekay, reaches the age when he is ready for college. The setting of The Power of One is in South Africa. Living in South Africa automatically creates challenges for Peekay because he is a white boy while World War II is also taking place. Peekay is a very active boy who always has something to do. Whether it is learning about plants to gambling to boxing. Boxing is introduced to Peekay at a very young age when he coincidentally meets a famous Welter Weight boxer on a train. This man then becomes his idle and he trains from the age of seven to become the Welter Weight Champion. While boxing is a main part of the story, you never find out if he fulfils his dream of being the Champion, which is disappointing to me. Although I felt that the book touches lots of aspects of a teenagers life. The Power of One also connects with the lower class of Africa, which is a good learning experience for the reader and the character. Peekay learns to box in a prison and in known as a good person because of things he does. Word of this travels trough parts of Africa, which makes Peekays life harder and easier in ways. This is one of the few books that I couldn't put down, I was itching to see what happened next, and I'm sure you will too!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars THE ABSOLUTELY BEST BOOK, AND SOUNDTRACK IN THE WORLD!!!, Nov. 25 2001
By 
Gretchen "Theatre Lover" (Fairfield County, CT USA) - See all my reviews
I just want the ENTIRE WORLD to read this amazing book, and its astounding sequel "TANDIA" {if you can find it}. I first saw the movie in April 1994, and I did not move for the entire movie, I was so awestruck with the story. In the End Credits, I saw that it was based on a book, and that the author had credits both as Author, and as Project Consultant... The fact that it was originally a book, made me take note to look for it in a bookstore as soon as I possibly could. Within the next week, I was in a bookstore, and they had a copy. Oh, Joy! Oh, Rapture! That was the beginning of a delightful friendship, as Bogart said in CASABLANCA... :-) I think that I read the entire 518+ pages in record time, even for me, as I know that I read fast. I JUST COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!!! From that moment, I purchase at least one copy of this book a year for myself - I wear out the spine of the book- and give several as gifts. When I start to dream sequences of this book, I know that it is time for me to re-read, yes! RE-READ! this ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDING BOOK! I believe that I have read this book at LEAST 20 times; and I get more out each time I read it... I now even have about 5 people at work reading this book because of me, and I am ecstatic about this! I think that this book should be in EVERYONE'S LIBRARY, just because it is a great book! I listen to the soundtrack periodically, but only if I want a really good cry, as the gentleman who did the instrumental music, HANS ZIMMER, also did the same for Disney's THE LION KING (which I BAWL during)... I now no longer can listen to music without my heart and soul knowing when HANS' music is played... I was crying when I heard FAITH HILL's song from 'PEARL HARBOR' -"THERE YOU'LL BE", and then I found out that it was written by Mr. Zimmer... Do check out the *LOOK INSIDE* feature that Amazon is now featuring with this book, and I guarantee you that the 24 pages that they show WILL NOT BE ENOUGH!!! For those who have read the book, and want more of Bryce's books available in the USA, please drop me a line.
For some odd reason, this is the only book of his which is published here, and he has since written at least 11 others that one can only get in Australia, which includes "TANDIA", the astounding SEQUEL to "THE POWER OF ONE"...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A harsh world through the eyes of a child, Nov. 24 2001
By 
This book is truly a great work. For those of you who have loved the movie, starring Morgan Freeman and Stephen Dorff, you will notice some significant differences throughout the novel. But those differences in NO way detract from the power of the story.
Peekay is an English boy growing up in South Africa during World War II. He grows up attending a boarding school run by the other white tribe of South Africa, the Boer's, who are pro-Nazi and hate all things English. Perhaps because he's a small child, or because he faces such hatred at school, Peekay develops an iron will to become a winner. His best weapon being the "power of one", which he defines as the power to believe in oneself, which goes above and beyond any strengths which are readily apparent. And throughout his life, Peekay demonstrates over and over again just how believing in himself helps him through life's greatest dangers.
The book is very real. It is written from Peekay's viewpoint, as he witnesses first-hand death, loneliness, friendship, hatred, and all the emotions we all face every day. Set in such an explosive time and area, these emotions and the events that shaped them are all the more apparent. At times, I cried. Others, I was fuming inside at the injustice done to Peekay, and the Black South Africans he befriended. Other times, I could not help but burst out laughing. I hope that many others will take the chance to read the book and enjoy it as much as I did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of One, Nov. 12 2001
In Bryce Courtenay's The Power of One the author describes a world where one small boy can make a difference. The author's stellar uses of literary terms help bring this world to life. The book starts out with the main character, Peekay, in a small boarding school where he is picked on almost everyday. Courtenay uses a very descriptive tone of writing which makes the book flow really well. This adds to Peekay's adventure by describing each adventure, which makes the reader not want to put the book down. One of the best features of the book is the antagonist. Peekay is always faced with adversity, so it is adversity that plays the role of the antagonist. Either it be a lose of a loved one or being forced to make a change Peekay handles the problem exceptionally, even at a young age.
The way Courtenay writes portrays Peekay as a young boy who is very advanced for his age. The book is written in a first person through the view of Peekay, which enables the author to use large vocabulary words, and in depth thought because of Peekay's high intelligence. Courtenay is able to show Peekay through a time of innocence and show how much Peekay learns from the surrounding characters by his style of writing. Throughout the novel it becomes more and more advanced as Peekay learns.
Courtenay also uses good local color. He is constantly using African words to further implicate the setting. He also uses local tradition to tell his story of Peekay.
This is easily one of the best books I have ever read and if you have not read it you should. Who knows maybe you will be inspired by The Power of One
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars An Upifting Story of Triumph over Adversity, Sept. 4 2001
By 
Todd Erskine (Issaquah, WA United States) - See all my reviews
Bryce Courtenay has written a thought-provoking page turner in "The Power of One". The book follows the journey of a young boy through the trials and tribulations of WWII era South Africa. The reader is introduced to the main character with an intimate insight into the mind of a child subjected to almost unbearable hardship and torture by his boarding school classmates. Starting from a base of terrible abuse and neglect, Courtenay takes his readers along for the ride as his hero, Peekay, navigates the river of life. The reader can little help but take pride as Peekay discovers boxing, and develops his craft with both passion and skill. Running throughout the work is the persistent use of boxing as a metaphor for life. Jabs, crafty footwork, lightning fast combinations, and more come to symbolize the approach to life taken by the young Peekay. With admirable finess and cunning, Peekay manipulates the system to his every advantage, while in his mind ring the words of an early mentor, "first with the head, then with the heart." This book is an outstanding, insightful treat to read. One caveat: In his zest for a clean end to the work, Courtenay seems to me to abandon many of the principles that guide Peekay through the first several hundred pages. One may question the author's chosen conclusion, but in spite of any disagreement I may have with it, I still wholeheartedly endorse this book as one of the finest works of fiction I have had the pleasure to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Power of One
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (Mass Market Paperback - Oct. 8 1998)
Used & New from: CDN$ 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews