Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the power of one

Remember this hysterical college essay? It's better than this book. The Power of One is told autobiography-style by a South African Englishman who names himself Peekay (you never know his birth name, he's too good for it). I think the story is meant to be an uplifting coming of age story about courage and friendship in World War II and Apartheid South Africa, but it is really one of the most egocentric and shallow books I have ever read. From Peekay's Nazi-fighting childhood to genius IQ to champion of the black African prisoners to perfect boxing record to becoming the-best-ever-miner-that-ever-was, the boy makes it seem like the whole world was against him and he prevailed through all his hardship. But let me remind you, he was a white man during Apartheid with a full scholarship to a prestigious English boarding school and a mean left hook. Plus, every adult around him catered to his every need and THREE people died for his self-absorbed butt. No pity party there. Peekay even gets a little preachy -- just believe in yourself, the power of one! And the ending was, hmmm, so dumb! I still can't believe that's how it ended. So yeah, that's how I felt about this book. No recommendation here.

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