Extended Audio Sample

Download The Power of One Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Power of One (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Bryce Courtenay
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (30,634 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bryce Courtenay Narrator: Humphrey Bower Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN:
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Based on the life experiences of author Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One is a powerful book set in South Africa at the height of apartheid. It tells the story of a boy named Peekay, a name that is short for "pisskop," the Afrikaans term for "pisshead." Peekay learns the meaning of violence early on in life when he is sent to a boarding school where he is the only English speaker. The boys at the school bully him terribly for his bedwetting and his circumcised penis. The boy who leads them all is called the Judge and he has a swastika tattooed on his arm. He convinces Peekay that Hitler is planning to lead all the English into the sea in order to free Afrikaners.

When Peekay goes back home for the summer, his nanny calls on chief Inkosi-Inkosikazi to help with Peekay's bedwetting and the chief introduces him to a quiet mental place with three waterfalls. Peekay returns to school with the chief's magic chicken and a strong belief in an independent spirit called the "power of one." After another terrible year which does not prevent Peekay from excelling academically, he is sent to live with his mother at Barberton. Here, he meets a German professor named Doc who helps Peekay develop his musical abilities. Around the same time, Peekay also becomes a champion boxer and earns a scholarship to the Prince of Wales school in Johannesburg.

At the school, Peekay continues boxing and sets up gambling rings. It seems like things are going well until he fails to get a scholarship to Oxford, leading him to return to his beginnings, working in a mine to build his body for boxing and encountering his nemesis, the Judge.

Given that The Power of One has many autobiographical elements, it's not surprising that it has the ring of authenticity. It's also an important piece of history, detailing apartheid in South Africa and the kinds of attitudes that existed at the time. Peekay is an ambitious young boy but you get this feeling that there are certain battles that he just can't win, a fact that lends the book a sense of pathos.

Bryce Courtenay was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and spent his early years living in a small village. He eventually went to England to study and met his future wife, Benita, there. Benita was an Australian and Courtenay ended up moving to Australia with her where they had three sons. Courtenay spent most of his life working in advertising where he was very successful. It was after this that he wrote The Power of One which quickly became a bestseller and launched his writing career. He divorced Benita in 2000 and later married Christine Gee with whom he lived in Canberra. He died in 2012 of terminal gastric cancer.

First with your head and then with your heart. So says Hoppie Groenewald, boxing champion, to a seven-year-old boy who dreams of being the welterweight champion of the world. For the young Peekay, it is a piece of advice he will carry with him throughout his life.

Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie Schmeck | 2/20/2014

    " Well-written. Not the fastest read. Not sure why I didn't love it but appreciated the language. Must not have left a huge impression because I can't even remember how it ended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandy Booth | 2/15/2014

    " At first, I was a bit confused because the author jumps right into the action without much of a backstory. But with each passing chapter, I became more engrossed with Peekay's story. From the age of 5 until 17, I feel that I've watched and experienced him growing up. He goes from a child being bullied by older kids to having the opportunity to face his bully and defeat him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John McKelvie | 2/14/2014

    " Readable, enjoyable! OK, I didn't fully like the ending but it did provide a resolution to a central, then forgotten conflict in the book. However, as a piece of historical fiction, this book provides a great view to pre-Apartheid South Africa. Though not often considered in current discourse on multiculturalism in South Africa which focus on racial divides, the cultural divide between Dutch Afrikaans and British South Africans are still relevant today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim Connelly | 2/10/2014

    " Very intriguing and an interesting read. Did not 'love' the ending but overall, the history and experiences were fabulous! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Becca | 1/25/2014

    " Had to read this for my advanced world lit class. Didn't like it at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/15/2014

    " This one has been on my shelf for quite some time. It was about time that I finally read it! I loved it. I was totally absorbed in the characters, and it left me with so many questions about South Africa and a desire to visit as soon as possible. It was the kind of book, for me, that I was desperate to talk to someone about. The part for me that was disappointing was the last chapter. I felt betrayed by Peekay's actions, and did not find it to fit the vision I had for the character. Otherwise, this was a wonderful book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patti | 1/10/2014

    " Overall a very enlightening experience to travel through in my mind as I read about Peekays adventures and adversity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sazz | 1/1/2014

    " ONE OF THE MOST AWESOME BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbi | 12/29/2013

    " This is one of my favorite books of all time! I love the characters and the author's ability to describe the setting. I was absolutely transported to this place and time. This book is exciting, sad and empowering. It looks long, but reads quickly. I recommend it to all kinds of readers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/8/2013

    " I listened to this book through audible.com. What a treasure! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William Faure | 11/21/2013

    " Truly on of my all time favorite books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 11/19/2013

    " Not bad, I enjoyed the book and recommended it to my wife. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie Walner | 10/27/2013

    " Loved this book even the second time around! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tanvir Muntasim | 9/30/2013

    " Though it has dubious views on South African politics, as a read it's great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Butch | 8/5/2013

    " Without a doubt this is one of the best books I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harriett Milnes | 7/3/2013

    " enjoyable, I'm always interested in books written from a child's point of view. However, I was disheartened to find out that it was a "young adult" condensed version I read!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chaunci | 4/17/2013

    " One of my favorite books. Ever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dorabuo | 1/20/2013

    " I liked the story, but towards the end it got a little boring and lengthy. I did read this book in my teens, so I may have to give it another go to fully appreciate the book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hayden | 12/11/2012

    " Outstanding! This is the first of many of Bryce Courtenay's books that I have read and it will remain with me for a long, long time. Courtenay combines wit, humor, drama, suspense and intrigue with impeccable research. He should be better known in the US. I am a huge fan! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rod | 11/7/2012

    " My favourite book ever, always have a copy (on my 4th one, one fell apart from too many years of regular reading, the other 2 were loaned out). Like an old friend with a captivating story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 9/21/2012

    " Excelleht. Inspirational and kept my attention throughout "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth Mavros | 8/24/2012

    " This is one of my favorite books. I love the story and Peekay is such a great character. The sequel is also a great read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alicia Wasley | 9/20/2011

    " Such a wonderful story! A great tale of one little boys life. So amazing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sophie | 9/14/2011

    " It was interesting and kept my attention but the ending was disappointing for me. The main characters actions do not reflect the progression of his character development. It was more than just a choice of the authors, it just contradicted the message of the story. But I still enjoyed reading it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fay | 7/19/2011

    " This book could be my son-in-laws auto biography. He is wonderful, just like the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jared | 7/8/2011

    " One of the best books I've ever read. Fond memories of reading on the bus as we travelled with mum and dad in their choir down to Pipiwai. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristy | 6/24/2011

    " A very long story, but boy what a story! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsti | 6/23/2011

    " This is an inspiring coming-of-age story of a young boy who fights for the heart and soul of a unified South Africa. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kimberly | 6/16/2011

    " A long winded, self-involved book about boxing and life lessons. The end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bruce | 6/13/2011

    " One of the best, especially for young men, regardless of their age. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 6/12/2011

    " The only reason this book should not be mandatory reading for everyone is that the mandate would take so much of the joy of reading it, and the message, away. Artful use of language and a meaningful tale make this story complete. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 6/12/2011

    " A great book, and a very moving story. Would have been 5 stars if it hadn't ended so abruptly! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa | 6/12/2011

    " One of my all-time favorite reads. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 6/11/2011

    " My other favorite book along with the alchemist. About a boy who grows up in harsh circumstances, yet despite all around him, he excels and reaches his dreams. There is some language in it, so probably for an older audience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mitch | 6/10/2011

    " This book made me interested in becoming an English major. Breathtaking in every sense of the word. A great story on what it means to be an individual. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maddie | 6/5/2011

    " Read for summer book before Mattessich Honors English as a sophomore...I actually remember loving it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 sydney | 6/1/2011

    " I would have given this 4 stars for being readable and vivid and entertaining, AND THEN I GOT TO THE END. Seriously? Excessive and violent and gross. Ruined my overall perception of Peekay and left a disappointing impression about the book as a whole. Oh well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 5/31/2011

    " it was a very intreresting story for me i hadnt even heard of it ever my mums friend gave it to me ive reead over and over again "

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