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First with your head and then with your heart . . .

So says Hoppie Groenewald, boxing champion, to a seven-year-old boy who dreams of being the welterweight champion of the world. For the young Peekay, its a piece of advice he will carry with him throughout his life.

Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

Reviews

The ultimate international bestseller.

New York Times

Bryce Courtenay's first novel is a triumph.

Sunday Times (UK)

The story will not disappoint the thinking blockbuster fan.

The Age

That rare phenomenon, a novel actually as good as it is cracked up to be ... A charming and engrossing first novel.

Canberra Times

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143004554

    June 5, 2006

    Penguin

    640 pages

    RRP $24.95

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742280691

    June 5, 2006

    Penguin eBooks

    636 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Extract

One

This is what happened.

Before my life started properly, I was doing the usual mewling and sucking, which in my case occurred on a pair of huge, soft black breasts. In the African tradition I continued to suckle for my first two and a half years after which my Zulu wet nurse became my nanny. She was a person made for laughter, warmth and softness and she would clasp me to her breasts and stroke my golden curls with a hand so large it seemed to contain my whole head. My hurts were soothed with a song about a brave young warrior hunting a lion and a women’s song about doing the washing down on the big rock beside the river where, at sunset, the baboons would come out of the hills to drink.

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