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The Power (2016)

by Naomi Alderman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0231963,302 (3.77)274
Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed.
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» See also 274 mentions

English (192)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (194)
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
The thought experiment around power as an absolute corrupting force was interesting but execution was subpar. Here, gender inequality is merely a byproduct of physical power (e.g., if women were more powerful than men, they’d rape and subjugate just the same. Equality!). This point could’ve been made more artfully; it’s hard to imagine the flip happening overnight, with women embracing stereotypically male chauvinism the second the tables turn. The ending was a copout with no nuance. ( )
  jiyoungh | May 3, 2021 |
I don't really want to go into my thoughts because I can't without spoiling it. Just want to say if you pick this up READ ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, especially the letters at the beginning and the end of the book. ( )
  afrozenbookparadise | Apr 22, 2021 |
I was disappointed in the way this book handled the concept. In the long run, the “change” of dominance between men and women had women simply becoming the worst versions of men rather than really looking into how things may have gotten better or how things could have changed. It’s the only thing I could really take away from this book and it still sticks with me long after reading it. ( )
  The_Literary_Jedi | Apr 19, 2021 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The brutal illustration of the idea that power corrupts, the slow toppling of gender norms into a perfect reversal, and the gradual realization of the timeline of the book were all highlights for me. Parts of the book were hard to read for their violence, but at the same time I felt that none of the violence was gratuitous. It was horrifying because it was horrible. ( )
  duchessjlh | Mar 25, 2021 |
I read this as a book club selection and was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. It's a work of speculative fiction, "What if women had the natural strength and power instead of men? What would life/society be like?" The plot moves along with several compelling if not somewhat shallow, archetypal characters and eventually weaves their stories together. It's a very thought-provoking book and perfect for a book club discussion.

I had a few issues though.
a.) the extremely western portrayal of middle eastern/muslim women's lives nd genre roles. I didn't disagree with it but it could have been dealt with in a more nuanced and sublet way.
b.) the romance. It seems the author is saying that love can't happen unless everyone is on equal footing in terms of power. I think I agree but I would have like to see this thread pulled and explored more.

Overall, a quick enjoyable read.
( )
  technodiabla | Mar 16, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
Alderman [...] imagines our present moment — with our history, our wars, our gender politics — complicated by the sudden widespread manifestation of “electrostatic power” in women. Young girls wake up one morning with the ability to generate powerful electric shocks from their bodies, having developed specialized muscles — called “skeins” — at their collarbones, which they can flex to deliver anything from mild stings to lethal jolts of electricity. The power varies in its intensity but is almost uniform in its distribution to anyone with two X chromosomes, and women vary in their capacity to control and direct it, but the result is still a vast, systemic upheaval of gender dynamics across the globe.
 
Alderman has written our era's "Handmaid's Tale," and, like Margaret Atwood's classic, "The Power" is one of those essential feminist works that terrifies and illuminates, enrages and encourages.
added by melmore | editWashinton Post, Ron Charles (Oct 10, 2017)
 
The novel is constructed as a big, brash, page-turning, drug-running, globetrotting thriller, one in which people say things such as: “It’s only you I’ve blimmin come to find, isn’t it?” and “You wanna stand with me? Or you wanna stand against me?” But it’s also endlessly nuanced and thought-provoking, combining elegantly efficient prose with beautiful meditations on the metaphysics of power, possibility and change.
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Aldermanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andoh, AdjoaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bre, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thiele, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Gli anziani andarono da Samuele e dissero:

"Dacci un re che ci governi".
E Samuele disse loro: "Questo sarà il diritto del re che regnerà su di voi: prenderà i vostri figli per destinarli ai suoi carri e ai suoi cavalli, li farà correre davanti al suo cocchio, li farà capi di migliaia e capi di cinquantine, li costringerà ad arare i suoi campi, mietere le sue messi e apprestargli armi per le sue battaglie e attrezzature per i suoi carri. Prenderà anhce le vostre figlie per farle sue profumiere e cuoche e fornaie. Prenderà pure i vostri campi, le vostre vigne, i vostri oliveti più belli e li darà ai suoi ministri. Sulle vostre sementi e sulle vostre vigne prenderà le decime e le darà ai suoi cortigiani e ai suoi ministri. Vi prnederà i servi e le serve, i vostri armenti migliori e i vostri asini e li adopererà nei suoi lavori. Metterà la decima sulle vostre greggi e voi stessi diventerete i suoi servi. Allora griderete a causa del re che avete voluto eleggere, ma il Signore non vi risponderà".
Il popolo rifiutò di ascoltare la voce di Samuele e disse: "No! Ci sia un re su di noi. Saremo anche noi come tutti i popoli; il nostro re ci farà da giudice, uscirà alla nostra testa e combatterà le nostre battaglie". Samuele ascoltò tutti i discorsi del popolo e li riferì all'orecchio del Signore. Il Signore disse a Samuele: "Ascoltali: lascia regnare un re su di loro".
1 Samuele 8
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For Margaret and for Graeme, who have shown me wonders
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Dear Naomi,
I've finished the bloody book.
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Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed.

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Book description
In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there's a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.
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