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The Power of One: A Novel Paperback – September 29, 1996
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From the Hardcover edition.
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Author Bio: Bryce Courtenay was born in 1933 in South Africa. He arrived in Australia in 1958 and a year later became an Australian Citizen. He is married to Benita. He also has three sons with her. Courtenay began an advertising career at age twenty six and within five years, he had become Australia's youngest creative director. He retired full time in 1993 to become a writer. Power of One was his first novel and became an international bestseller. The book is translated into eleven different labguages. The book has sold over two million copies. Courtenay also wrote a book, April Fool's Day, in which it was wrote about his youngest son who died in 1991 from AIDS.
Evaluation: I was fist introduced to Courtenay's book when I saw his movie in the seventh grade. Four years later, I decided to read the story behind the movie in this novel. There is no comparison. The movie is a amended summarization of the book and although it is very inspirational, it is not as life changing as the book. I was enthralled in the hardships of Peekay's life as a growing boy in South Africa. He faces many obstacles in racial discriminations with the Afrikaaners since he was English. It is astonishing to see how this boy not only survived his childhood; he also made a tremendous impact on South African society by using the power of one. Peekay meets many people along his journey that only flavors the soup pot. This book was a life changing event for me. Not only did I feel like crying and helping Peekay with his mission, I felt like I have to make an impact on society today. This book receives my highest rating and I can not wait to begin reading it again.
The book begins when a five-year-old boy is being sent off to boarding school. He's small for his age, white and of English descent. His name is Peekay and he lives in South Africa. Up to this point in his life he's known only his family and his beloved black Nanny. Now, he's forced to take care of himself and survive under the most brutal of circumstances. The time is World War II and Peekay spends years in a boarding school where he's the only English student among Afrikaners who are sympathetic to the Nazi cause. He's beaten, tortured and treated as a "prisoner of war" by the older boys. The Afrikaners are the descendents of the Dutch and there has been a great deal of conflict between them and the English settlers who came to South Africa at a later period of time.
When I first started reading this novel, I wasn't sure if I could handle the passages about the brutal treatment of the little boy. However, I quickly learned that Peekay is a spirited survivor and would make it through that horrible period of his life. On his vacations from school, he meets several people, both black and white who really influence him and teach him to work hard in order to fulfill his dreams. I found an uplifting joy in every success that Peekay experienced.
This is a big book, but I looked forward to my reading sessions every day and I'm sure that part of this story will remain in my mind forever. The character of Peekay is very inspiring.
Next, I plan to read the sequel, TANDIA.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This may be my new favorite novel of all time. It's so good that although I could read the fat book in one or two sittings I am intentionally taking time to savor each scene. Read morePublished 4 days ago by MyzD
One of the best books I've read! The story will keep you riveted and you'll find yourself pulling for "PK" the protagonist. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Chubaca
Conformity is such an overwhelming element of society that individuals will undoubtedly find themselves in its grasp. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Megan Quinn
I loved this book! It's been a long time since I have felt so strongly about a read. A few reviews mentioned a bad ending... I thought that the ending was perfect! Read morePublished 1 month ago by B. McAdam
See review on Audible titled: "Highly self absorbent author writes overrated book". Agree completely.