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The Power

by Naomi Alderman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6412152,801 (3.77)279
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.
  1. 10
    Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (sturlington)
  2. 00
    Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years : Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: A book about achaeology giving evidence that common assumptions about gender roles are not borne out by the evidence, and a near future narrative framed as a story told from the far future based on archaeology exploring gender roles and possible far future assumptions about them.… (more)
  3. 00
    Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories by Gwen E. Kirby (Amy_Tector)
    Amy_Tector: A couple of the stories had a very "The Power" feel, but funnier.
  4. 12
    The City & The City by China Miéville (charl08)
    charl08: Both books ask questions about what we take for granted in our everyday realtors..
  5. 04
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (kk1)
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» See also 279 mentions

English (213)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (215)
Showing 1-5 of 213 (next | show all)
The premise was solid enough, but spelling out the satire explicitly felt a bit patronizing to the reader. Didn't care much for the characters, so when things started (very abruptly) to go downhill, I felt nothing. The world-building was fun, though, which made the book a breezy read. Too much Christian mythology for my taste. ( )
  saimaus | Jun 10, 2022 |
What a clever and entertaining book this is. Like a lot of great sci fi, it takes a very simple idea and runs with it brilliantly. I loved it. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
This needs to be a genre. I love seeing roles and expectations flipped on their head. The Power is imperfect and a bit of a slog in the middle, but still utterly worth it. ( )
  Luminous-Path | Mar 26, 2022 |
“All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely” wrote Lord Acton, a nineteenth century historian and this can be seen as the major theme of this imaginative, engrossing and dark novel. Much of the action takes place in a near future, but with the major difference that most women have now developed an internal electrical power that gives them the ability to overcome all men. Naomi Alderman’s riveting writing explores the consequences of how some women use this strength, not only on a personal, but also a political level as the world changes radically – or does it? The world that she depicts is in many ways still recognisable as our own, but with new controllers at the levers of power, but who appear to be driven by the same impulses as now. This leads to an unforgettable novel that calls into question our whole way of life and our beliefs.
  camharlow2 | Mar 3, 2022 |
I really enjoyed the book. It mostly explores what power can do to you. Women start to develop the ability to send electricity out of their hands. The younger generation teaches the older generation how to do it. The power is used for both good and evil. Males become freaked out because they are losing power. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. And the way the only solution is to destroy the world and burn it all down. ( )
  Brendanor | Feb 26, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 213 (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 (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Aldermanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andoh, AdjoaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bre, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burton, NathanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoddard, JustinePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thiele, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
The people came to Samuel and said: Place a King over us, to guide us.

And Samuel said to them: This is what a King will do if he reigns over you: he’ll take your sons and make them run with his chariots and horses. He’ll dispose them however he wants: he’ll make them commanders of thousands or captains of fifties, he’ll send them to plough, to reap, to forge his weapons and his chariots. He’ll take your daughters to make perfume for him, or cook his food or do his baking. He’ll take your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves – oh, he’ll take the very best of those and give them to his cronies. He’ll take much more. A tenth of your grain and your wine – those will go to his favourite aristocrats and faithful servants. Your manservants and your maidservants, your best men, your donkeys – yes, he’ll take those for his own use. He’ll take one tenth of your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves. On that day, believe me, you will cry out for relief from this King, the King you asked for, but the Lord will not answer you on that day.

But the people would not listen to Samuel. They said: No. Give us a King over us. So that we can be like all the other nations. Give us a King to guide us and lead us into battle.

When Samuel heard what the people said, he told it to the Lord.

The Lord answered, Give them a King.

1 Samuel 8
Dedication
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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