The Power

The Power

eBook - 2017
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"The Power is our era's The Handmaid's Tale." --Ron Charles, Washington Post "Novels based on premises like the one at the core of The Power can quickly become little more than thought experiments, but Alderman dodges this trap deftly -- her writing is beautiful, and her intelligence seems almost limitless. She also has a pitch-dark sense of humor that she wields perfectly." --Michael Schaub, NPR **WINNER OF THE 2017 BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION** What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power? In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.
Publisher: [S.l.]: Little, Brown and Company, 2017
ISBN: 9780316558372
Characteristics: 416 p
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary

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c
conniemaas
Nov 04, 2018

The Power.. Good book, fact read.. However if women had the power they would not treat men with so much disregard as described in the book. I don' t think sex plays as big a part in women's need for power. Women don't often use power to get sex. The man who wrote the book doesn't understand biology.

k
KatG1983
Oct 31, 2018

This book is an illustration of what it would be like if the power dynamics between men and women shifted and men were treated the way women are today. In the story women develop an organ that creates electric power that they can exert over others. What's interesting is that so many people have described how disturbing certain events in the book are; when in reality these disturbing acts are perpetrated onto women every single day. Women have to put up with the violence and oppression constantly, and yet the book is declared as 'so disturbing' the moment the script is flipped and men are the victims. The author is not actually saying that the world would devolve into violence if women were the ones in charge - it examines why society is so accepting of the violence that occurs when men are in power. Anyway, it's a super well written book and a compelling read. Worth your time.

m
mnack_0
Oct 25, 2018

This was a REALLY disturbing read!! As one commentator noted - not one you want to read for bedtime. It will haunt your dreams. But I am SO glad I read it! Definitely thought-provoking. As is famously said: "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely!" Chilling!! And somehow so apropos of our current times.

Banks_SusanC Oct 23, 2018

There is a lot of feminist dystopian fiction being published right now, but I think that this is the one that will stand the test of time. The premise is so carefully continued through the whole novel and the social commentary is so spot-on! I hope that someday we won't get the point of this novel, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

TechLibrarian Oct 15, 2018

If women were in power (and the author imagines, literally, that women possess an electromagnetic charge they can use to injure and kill) would they create a more just and equitable society? Or, would it be just as corrupt and horrific? This is the premise of The Power, a smart, fast-paced book told through intertwining points of view. The Power is thought-provoking and suspenseful, but not necessarily something you'd want to read before bed!

c
CarleeMcDot
Sep 18, 2018

I swear, I should probably just the first few sentences of my synopsis on loop... This is yet another one that I don't remember where I got the recommendation from, but have been on the wait list at the library for a long while now. I didn't know anything about the book going in and I guess I didn't know what to expect. After seeing some of the reviews, I thought the comment that mentioned it was a mix of Hunger Games and Handmaid's Tale was pretty spot on. The premise of the novel is that females develop the power to electrocute people and subsequently seize control of society. The idea of a society in which one sex is systematically oppressed through the threat (or use) of physical and sexual violence seems outrageous, until you realize that is the society we live in on the daily. I really liked how all of the characters' stories eventually intertwined. At the beginning of the book I felt emboldened for being a woman and by the end I was scratching my head and wondering if in fact women would let power corrupt them just as much as men have. I know this is just a fictional story, but overall it was powerful and thought-provoking. There were a few parts that left me confused (who the end package was mailed to, why the author kept the letters at the beginning and end of the story, etc), but overall I really enjoyed it. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

JessicaGma Sep 11, 2018

I see why comparisons were made to Margaret Atwood's dystopian fiction, because it's our society turned upside down and inside out. It does make you wonder if the women would succumb to the draws of power as described because that's what the powerful do, or that's what powerful men have done.....At any rate, it's very well done and thought provoking, especially the front and end frames around the story, hence why it made various lists for top books of 2017.

t
Timmers75
Sep 03, 2018

I have to agree with all the reviewers who found major strengths, but felt the book ultimately came up wanting,

t
talk2terih
Jul 26, 2018

I am of two minds about this book.
First, I found it very difficult to sit down and read. I found myself getting up to do some chore every few pages. Since being engrossed in a book is usually my litmus test of its quality, I can't say I cared much for it. I had to "assign myself" 50 pages to read per day, just to slog through it.
Second, there is some great writing craft here and some interesting concepts. The way author Ackerman shows us the progression of her characters as they incorporate their power into public life is deft and chilling. It takes virtually no time at all for Roxy to transform into a capo de capi gangster mastermind, for Allie to become a televangelist, tailoring her "cures" and messages to the revenue they can bring, or for Margot to embrace the role of corrupt, cutthroat politician, willing to steamroller everything in her path.
Soon men began to act as women had - fearful of assault and rape, anxious to please the women in their world and loathe to go against them.
All of that is handles seamlessly. You see the progression through the endless temptations that measurable power can provide. You can see how easy it is slip over the line.

j
JLMason
Jul 14, 2018

I agree with uncommonreader’s comment below. I will add that the most striking part of the book is the fictional letters between the female editor “Naomi” and the book's male author, written in the female dominated society of the future. The gender reversal in their conversation - the condescending tone, stereotyping, historical context of roles - is a mirror of our society. It’s quite jarring.

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