Most helpful critical review
A book Forrest Gump!(Pity sarcasm doesnt translate to print)
on January 1, 2001
Note to all writers: NOT ALL PITHEE STATEMENTS ARE SMART! SOME ARE INCREDIBLY DUMB! Unfortunately Bryce Courtenay did not take this into consideration when writing his "deep"(although its nothing more than dimestore) novel.Characters are about as well thought out as a children's film.The good guys are great.The bad guys are super evil. (Courtenay picks Nazi's as opponents,so hey, he's fighting for Jews as well!)
Now keep in mind I'm not one to trash a good adventure tale.The boxing scenes are the only saving grace of this novel. But when an adventure tale acts as if it's the Gospel on the ways of the world, people, and pretty much anything else that can be mutilated through syrupy melodrama,it just comes off as grating.(Two of my favorite escapism films, Rocky and Raiders of the Lost Ark, both aspire to be nothing more than what they are: Very well done b-movies.Would you actually want a Rocky armed with mercurial wit? Bryce Courtenay thinks so.)
This book is so horribly flawed that there's no way I could come up with a list of grievances(EVERYTHING is bad, "Patch Adams" bad). Rather, I'll list what is good about the book. 1. The book's early boxing scenes.
But then again, you might like this book, despite that its terrible. Other readers compared the book to "Forrest Gump"(their reviews were favorable). I think thats a very succinct way to pur it. Critics noted that the book "Forrest Gump" differed greatly from the film, most notably that cynical satire was replaced with schmaltzy oozing sentimentality. I've never seen "The Power of One" movie, but if the film version changed the same way Forrest Gump did, I'd bring some air freshener to eliminate the putrid stench of gooshiness that might exude from the screen. A bad book. Avoid.