The Power of One

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The Power of One
AuthorBryce Courtenay
GenreBildungsroman, Historical novel
PublisherHeinemann (Australia)
Random House (US)
Publication date
21 February 1989
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages576 pp (UK hardback edition) & 518 pp (US paperback edition)
ISBN0-434-14612-9 (UK hardback edition), ISBN 0-345-35992-5 (US paperback edition) & ISBN 0-14-130489-8 (children's adaptation)
Followed byTandia 

The Power of One is a novel by Australian author Bryce Courtenay. It was first published in 1989. The story takes places in South Africa during the 1930s and 1940s. It tells the story of an Anglo-African boy. Through the course of the story he gets the nickname of Peekay. (In the movie version the main person in the story is Peter Phillip Kenneth Keith. It is different than the book. The author identifies "Peekay" as a reference to his earlier nickname "Pisskop": Afrikaans for "Pisshead.")

It is written from the first person perspective. With Peekay telling the story (as an adult, looking back) and trusting the reader with his thoughts and feelings. He does this instead of a detailed description of places and account of actions.

A film adaptation was released in 1992.

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