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am 31. Juli 2000
This book is profoundly moving and well told. A gritty story of a boy who gleans from his experiences incredible insight and wisdom. The story follows him from his harrowing early years (5-6) to the age of 18. The subject matter is adult, although I would recommend it for the mature college student.The author has a gift of language and uses dialog brilliantly to give insight to his beautifully developed characters. The background, South Africa during WWII, supported the storyline in an informational way--adding depth and magic to the book without being preachy or tedious.
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am 28. März 2000
I liked Power of One even though I found it highly improbable and at times violent. Why is it that the hero for the black South Africans is a white person? I think that's a myth that liberal white readers (of which I am one) like to believe. The reality is that the hero for the black people is another black person. His name is Nelson Mandela. Or Martin Luther King. Or Gandi.
But I accepted this story as a myth and as a myth I really liked it a lot. It has a strong moral of people getting what they deserve which is very satisfying to read, even if not realistic. Also, there is a seminal train-trip which brings our young hero from a life of continual torment to life of enrichment and opportunity, thanks to his new resolve and the sacrifice of a chicken. But as I said, this is a myth.
The Power of One is really the Power of Many; Pekay, our hero is what he is because of all the support he gets from so many people along the way. Support he doesn't get from the institutions, particularly the school, church, police and government, all of which get lambasted in this book.
There's a lot a food for thought in The Power of One. I recommend it highly.
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am 25. Juli 2000
I remember watching the movie version of The Power of One often when I was much younger. In my ignorance I did not realize it was also an amazing work of literature. This novel appeals to one's intellect and spirit. It draws you in "first with the head, then with the heart."
The Power of One questions the limitations of the time and in doing so, causes the rest of us to question our limitations. Why should anyone be persecuted for simply being different? Why do we wallow in our sufferings instead of rejoicing in life? The Power of One is amazing and complex and provides its readers with a sensation of hope.
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am 4. Mai 2000
The Power of One is one of the best books ever written. It's got everything: racism, prisons, boxing, death, schools, and even some vulgar =). It makes you feel you are in the book. I read the book as quickly as possible, wanting to get all down. It intrigues you so much. I've rarely read books as good as this.
The plot of this book is very interesting. It goes through the life of the main character Peekay from the time he was 5 and very weak to when he was about 18 (I forgot the exact number) and became a person determined to achieve his ultimate goal--to become the welterweight champion of the world.
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am 5. Juli 2000
Who can imagine what life would be like in South Africa during WWII? With this book, I was introduced to a whole other culture and way of life. I couldn't stop reading. Bryce Courtney has a talent like no other. This is a book that shows us that we can climb over the Ups and Downs of life and only be smarter and more prepared for our next battle. And of course, what goes around, comes around! I fell in love with it. I recommed this book to anyone who wants to learn more about other cultures and has an open mind. I strongly recommend the sequel, Tandia.
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am 29. März 2000
reading this book began a new chapter in my life. More that anything else, I learned (at age 20) what Peekay was learning at the age of 6: the passion for learning. Since I've read this book I have ran a marathon, attended Oxford University (Teddy Hall to be exact) and have accomplished many other things that I can bet I would not have been as confident and eager to do without having read it. I only wish it was required for ALL children to read in school. All it would do is inspire them (at a much more appropriate age) to like school like it did for me.
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am 6. März 2000
One of the best books I have ever read. As I was reading I was so impressed on how Bryce introduced wonderful mentors to PeeKay. His biological family was not available to him, but adults (& a chicken) helped in supporting him and shaping his life. How different PeeKay would have grown up without these people in his life! It reminded me about how much impact we have on others, no matter if we meet them for only 24 hours, or see them often.
This book was absolutely wonderful, I couldn't put it down. I recommend the book to everyone I know.
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am 11. Februar 2000
I read the power of one when I was 16, and now at 23, I have read it again. What an extraordinary story. By far the best novel my eyes have read. Bruce Courtney magically leads the reader into a young boys world that is filled with so much vivid detail that all emotions are flying at high speed. You wont be able to put this book down. Its story will leave you inspired and emotionally exausted. Peekay, the protagonist of the story, leaves you with an array of assurance that anything is possible.
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am 16. Mai 2000
The Power of One is the greatest book I have ever read. It is the perfect mixture of action and drama. It is so inspirational to see Peekay constantly winning. If you are looking for good quotes, definitely check this out. I'm sorry I can't write this review well enough to make anyone want to read it. Heck, I wouldn't read this book after my review, but I really feel like you would be misssing out if you didn't at least try it.
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am 4. Mai 2000
My Mother gave me a copy of "The Power of One" on an occasion when I had run out of reading material. Since my reading tastes differ quite markedly from my Mother, (Mills and Boon), I fully expected to throw the book away after the first few chapters. What actually happened was I could not stop reading it. In the end I finished it at about 5am the next morning after going without sleep. It is terrific.

The story is set in South Africa as we follow the life of a small English boy by the name of Peekay. As his Mother suffered a breakdown following the death of her husband, Peekay was raised mostly by his native nanny. As a result he eventually learned to speek English, Afrikaans, and Zulu.

At about the age of four he is shipped off to boarding school, where he is not only the youngest boy there but also the only Englishman amongst the Afrikaners. He therefore is subject to much bullying with only his pet Chook at his side for support. Despite a bed wetting problem, which is later solved by a great Zulu medicine man, he makes it through his time at school until his mother moves towns and calls him back to join her.

On his train journey to get there, Peekay meets a man who will become a major influence in his life. He is a fairly successful boxer who gives Peekay a methodology for dealing with life. "First with the head then with the heart", he says. Further more, he fires the small boys imagination and Peekay finds his purpose in life, to be a world champion boxer.

On his arrival into his Mother's town he finds the second major influence in his life, Professor Von Vollensteen, or Doc. Peekay is almost adopted by Doc who acts as a respite from his now born again mother and also teaches Peekay Music, Botany and a love of nature. When world war two starts the Doc is taken to prison as a German and as a result Peekay follows. This is where he meets Geel Piet. A native life term prisoner who gives Peekay a thorough grounding in the arts of boxing.

The remainder of the novel takes Peekay through the rest of his education, a romance, overseas and further towards his lifelong goal of being a boxing champion. I don't want to go into detail for fear of spoiling it for you. The plot whilst important, is almost unnecessary to enjoying this book. The style in which Courtenay writes, is beautiful. It just sweeps you away. I almost feel justified in taking some pride in this Australian Author however Bryce was born and raised in South Africa so they have an equal claim to pride.

Bryce Courtenay is an interesting man. I actually met him once in Hawaii but since this review is about his novel, I wont go into the author any further. "The Power of One" was followed by the sequel "Tandia" which finishes the story. Although to my mind it is not as good as the first. If you are going to read any of the books on this page make the first one "The Power of One".
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