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The Power Of One School & Library Binding – Apr 1 1992

4.8 out of 5 stars 260 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • School & Library Binding: 518 pages
  • Publisher: Turtle Back Books; Bound for Schools & Libraries ed. edition (April 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0833554255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0833554253
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 3.3 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 260 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"Episodic and bursting with incident, this sprawling memoir of an English boy's lonely childhood in South Africa during WW II pays moderate attention to questions of race but concerns itself primarily with epic melodrama," noted PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


The Power of One has everything: suspense, the exotic, violence; mysticism, psychology and magic; schoolboy adventures, drama in the boxing ring.”
The New York Times --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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!
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