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The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Power (2016)

by Naomi Alderman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,5951026,796 (3.82)214
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» See also 214 mentions

English (99)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Obama was right to put this at the top of his list of novels he read and loved this year. Holy shit is this amazing. Required reading. I loved every page, even the ones that were so tough viscerally to read. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
The teenage girls of the world are devloping powers. The power comes in the form of electricity that they can generate to cause pain or even death to others. The women have a new organ that has developed - called a skein. Soon the power can be given to older women and the balance of the world shifts. The book rotates through 4 main characters - one who becomes "Mother Eve" - claiming to be hearing and doing the work of God. The men become more and more afraid and start to fight back. The tone of the book is one where women are viewed more like objects and now with this new power, they hold the upper hand.

This was a terrible book. I don't want to spend a lot of time reviewing it, because I could hardly make it through it. The writing isn't good, the sex in the book is ridiculous and way out of place in telling the story, and it is overall just not that entertaining. I love dystopian future novels - it is my favorite genre - but I could barely make it through. I should have quit reading.

Don't bother with this book. The idea was a great one - a chance to write about a shift in power between men and women, but it fell flat. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
This is not an easy book either to read or evaluate.
On the surface it is ‘what if’ scenario, common in SF. This time most women suddenly develop a power to hit with static electricity like some fish. This gives them power to protect themselves from assaults and domestic violence. However, as old saying goes, power corrupts. Thus in short his is an attempt to show the wrongness of current male dominance and pressure on women to comply with their inferior status. It terms of manifest for women freedom it is ok.
It terms of exact realization of the ‘what if’ scenario there were too many episodes asking for suspension of disbelief. People are suddenly divided only by sex, their other ties like family became insignificant. The power, while strong cannot be a game changer in the world where firearms are mass produced just like electroshockers hasn’t changed the world in the past. Another major point is that freedom is like toothpaste, you cannot push it back after it is out. The book assumes (mainly in order to put men in women shoes) that it is relatively easy to curb such freedoms and subjugate men – as a rhetoric it is ok, as a plausible scenario it isn’t.
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
I was going to do a full review of this book in my blog, but the longer I let it sit in my “I need to write a review for this for my blog” pile, the less certain I was of what I wanted to say about it. Now it’s been weeks since I read it and I can’t think of much to say.

I initially rated it 4 stars, but now that I’ve thought about it, while I liked the writing, I wasn’t enamored with the book – I wanted to like it more than I did. There’s a lot of hype and it’s pretty topical, but it’s not something I’ll ever reread or encourage others to read. None of the characters really grabbed me (except maybe Roxy) and while I appreciate what Alderman was saying, I didn’t connect.

Here are some quotes I marked:
“It doesn’t matter that she shouldn’t, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.”
“The way we think about our past informs what we think is possible today. If we keep on repeating the same old lines about the past when there’s clear evidence that not all civilizations had the same ideas as us…we’re denying that anything can change.”

I did enjoy the ending line a lot though.

Oh well – passing this one on to someone who will appreciate it more! I’m glad I read it though. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Dec 23, 2018 |
Interesting concept, but the story and the "lessons" are a bit muddled. ( )
  Guide2 | Dec 3, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Aldermanprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
For Margaret and for Graeme, who have shown me wonders
First words
Dear Naomi,
I've finished the bloody book.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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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 ...… (more)

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