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David Wen
Entrepreneur, software developer, management consultant. As a kid, he tried to train himself in the ways of the force.
The power of one
The Power of One

Reviewed by David Wen

My favourite book, period. Aside from comic books, it's the only book I remember ever reading three times and still enjoy it each time.

I have a few hypotheses about why I love this book so much. Number one is that I love to hear about people who are close to perfect. Peekay, the main character, is an undefeated boxer, highly ranked chess player, botanist, fluent in multiple languages, and can recite Virgil from memory in its original language. In other words, someone whom I wish to be. There's probably some messed up psychological complex I'm dealing with there, but I think that is why I'm so infatuated. The only thing he's mediocre at is music, which, to my delight, I'm also mediocre at.

Another reason I enjoy the book is how the author weaves in factual historical elements from World War II. He sometimes shows these elements through the eyes of children, which is facinating. You read about how children and adults alike talk about the Boer War and the newly started World War II, and how the latter affects a country (South Africa) so seemingly far removed.

One last reason I love this book I think is because the perfect person, in my mind, cannot have things go perfectly in his life. Without giving much away, that's certainly the case for Peekay as well, and how he deals with it is, well, perfect. It speaks to an inner desire I have as well to just do what he did and be carefree about what others might think.

I'm sure I'll read it again.

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David wen avatar
David Wen
Entrepreneur, software developer, management consultant. He can spin a book for a really long time.