Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Club Report: The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

When I downloaded this to my Nook, I wasn't aware I was getting the Young Readers Edition, so I was quite surprised to get to the end of part 1 and find an author's note telling me that if I wanted to read the whole book, I should buy the print version!  This same thing happened to another book club member, so a lot of our discussion concerned the differences between the adult print version, the young readers eBook edition and the movie (two members watched the movie instead of reading the book).

Short summary:  Peekay is only 5 years old when he is sent to boarding school, a harrowing experience that shapes his life to come.  This book, set in South Africa during WWII, is part semi-autobiography, part myth.

The group's verdict:  Despite all the different versions we were going off of, everyone enjoyed reading about Peekay's adventures.  Granpa Chook, Peekay's pet chicken, was a favorite character and everyone got a kick out of Peekay's friend Doc, especially his sayings.  I think we probably would've had a better discussion if everyone had been on the same page, so to speak, so if you're thinking of reading this one for your book club, make sure everyone has the same version!

Up next:  Summer break!  Everyone was asking when they could read MY book for book club.  And that struck me as kinda weird.  Do authors discuss their books with their own book clubs?  I don't think I've ever heard of any examples of this, have you?


Zibilee said...

I have heard that this book is very sad, but it's something that I have been wanting to read for such a long time. And I don't think it's that weird that your book club wants to read and discuss your book. Though it probably doesn't happen all that much, I think there are a great many people out there who are very anxious for this book to be in their hands! I know that I can't wait to see it!

bermudaonion said...

Wow, it's rather strange that they have so many versions. I do think it would be weird to have your own book club discuss your book.

Alyce said...

I know I've seen this book somewhere before, but I really didn't know what it was about.

I'm sure the author bringing their own book to book club is a rarity, but if I were you I'd be flattered. I think it's fine as long as everyone else is asking you to do it. I second what Zibilee says - a lot of people are anxious to see your book! :)

heidenkind said...

I read this book in high school. It is sooo great! I didn't expect it to be, but it really is. As you mentioned, the characters were wonderful. The part I always remember is the kid sneaking things into prison--books, I think?--in cigar boxes. Towards the end he decides to work for a few years in a diamond mine. Fascinating!

Jeane said...

I've read the full version and it was fantastic. One of my favorite books. There's a sequel and I've been thinking for a long time about reading that one, too. I think it's called Tandia. And I've seen the film. Good, but they changed quite a lot in the storyline and I (of course) prefer the book.