The Power

The Power

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
9
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When a new force takes hold of the world, people from different areas of life are forced to cross paths in an alternate reality that gives women and teenage girls immense physical power that can cause pain and death.
A rich Nigerian boy; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. When a vital new force takes root and flourishes, their lives converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls and women now have immense physical power-- they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And everything changes.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2017
Edition: First North American edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780316547611
0316547611
Characteristics: 386 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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OPL_ErinD
Jan 22, 2018

This book kind of shook me to my core. With a narrative that examines and flips the power dynamic of men and women this book felt like an incredibly timely read right now. Naomi Alderman took the idea of a women-lead society to a place I haven't seen before.

i
IMStrong59
Jan 20, 2018

SPOILER ALERT!!!

k
krsbozo
Jan 20, 2018

I really liked this book, and finished it in three days which is fast for me given my schedule. It felt somewhat like "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card in some respects, with a story that focused on individuals who play major roles in the future of the planet. It doesn't paint a pretty picture of men OR women when given power over others. I liked the framing conceit of the story, which implied (to me) that we are destined to live out a horrific future, and that horror is cyclical: build, fail, destroy, repeat...

DPLjennyp Jan 16, 2018

Great storytelling and so very topical right now.

r
ronandlynda
Dec 19, 2017

One of the New York Times Best 10 Books of 2017

#8 on Entertainment Weekly's Best Books of 2017

r
rsoccer70
Dec 18, 2017

I picked this up b/c I found it on a number of "Best of 2017" lists. It was interesting and engaging, but not really a thriller or an intense "page turner." The genre is one that I like - our recognizable universe, but with a twist - women have an innate power to electrically shock men and cause them great pain or pleasure (or both together.) Reading this in light of the #metoo movement adds a dimension of realism about the complicated gender relationships which arise in the world of the book where women have all of the power. And like the famous quote: Absolute power corrupts absolutely as the book's world of literally empowered women becomes as violent and cruel (albeit in slightly different ways) as our own.

I am confused though by the framing device of the story being a fictionalization of events that happened in the distant (?) past. I could have done without the correspondence between the male author of the "historical fiction" within the larger novel and his female editor as this didn't add anything to the overall story for me.

ETurnb Oct 19, 2017

Top-notch feminist dystopian science fiction.

This deeply thought-provoking read will have you questioning the meaning of gender, its relationship to power, and everything you thought you knew about human nature. Alderman doesn't just deconstruct familiar gender stereotypes, but reconstructs them by flipping the script and exposing the cognitive biases that colour the way we perceive gender. This is a must read for psychology or sociology buffs, or for anyone who enjoys questioning their own assumptions and thinking about the way they think.

I'll give fair warning that this book contains some pretty disturbing scenes and darker moments that may not be for everyone. It's impossible to fully examine the topics of power, gender, and human nature without also examining the nature of violence, which Alderman potrays vividly.

Although I love this book, I do, however, have a couple of gripes about representation. While significant parts of the story are set in the east, Alderman's perspective is unmistakably western, and the geopolitical aspects of the book are lacking in nuance. I also would've liked to see more exploration of LGBT themes than Alderman offered. In a book chiefly about power and gender, it would have been interesting and illuminating to read about a transgender or non-binary character's experience of the societal shift in Alderman's world.

Despite the above missed opportunities, Alderman's prose is masterful, and the language she chooses serves to weave her themes throughout every aspect of the narrative. The pacing is gripping enough that I couldn't put it down, and the subject matter heavy enough that I frequently found myself pausing mid-page to reflect.

I tried to avoid the redundancy of calling The Power "powerful," but that's what it is. It'll leave a lasting impression on you, and I expect it'll spark rich discussion for a long time to come.

s
singidunum_25
Jun 24, 2017

Book review on this link here!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDK4tm6lqv-kVuClga1-thA

BPLpicks Jun 07, 2017

Winner of the 2017 Baileys Prize for fiction. It's getting great reviews. Check it out.

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