'She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She'd put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.'
Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - 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, and we look at the world in an entirely new light. What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?
©2016 Naomi Alderman (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
"Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you'll think twice, about everything." (Margaret Atwood)
"The Power is a subtly funny, lyrical and utterly subversive vision of an impossible future. As all the best visionaries do, Alderman shines a penetrating and yet merciful light on to our present and the so many cruelties in which we may be complicit." (A. L. Kennedy)
"Alderman is a fluent and powerful writer." (Sunday Times)
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
"This book should be on the school curriculum"
I adored this book and have no idea why it's not being hailed as a masterpiece. It basically holds up a mirror to the misogyny that's been endemic for thousands of years. Had I a daughter I'd make this essential for reading for her. I have already bought my son a copy. We need to breakdown gender stereotyping now. It's what limits all our children from reaching their full potential.
"Put a gun into my mouth and blew my mind"
I could rave about how amazing this was for days. My thoughts are too jumbled, too skewed to convey how much you should read/listen to this. Read on for a ramble, or just buy the book. (You'll be better off reading the book. )
The layering of narrative, and how every character and event and item is a Chekhov's Gun, it's stunning. it's not just one bang, it's a war where one gun firs and then two more fire and suddenly everything is connecting in a horrifying, enlightening trap that you can't escape. And no character is good or evil, black or white. I loved and hated each one at a time, and made my peace with all of them.
The voice acting is superb. It pressed this book into my mind, it grabbed me by the throat and choked me until I could not think about anything other than listen. I listen to audio books while I work- they're fun. You miss a bit here and there, but you get the gist and enjoy the story. but with THE Power I could not do anything else but listen.
I'm ashamed to say I wrote this off a little because of Atwood's reccomendation. It sounded like a good read but I studied Atwood at A-level and I never liked her work. It seemed a bit 'rape and pity'. But Alderman showed me convincingly and succinctly that I was wrong.
Please read this book.
"Gripping and unexpected"
I really enjoyed listening to this book. Audio books are for when I do chores round the house and our business and I was finding excuses to do extra jobs just to keep listening! The format of fictional manuscript and historical references meshed well together and the narrator was able to transition between characters really well. I found the dedication to rolling the r's of every Eastern European character's lines to get a bit repetitive but only to the point I found it amusing, not irritating. I loved the fact I couldn't see what would happen next coming a mile off and it'd be amazing fodder for a book club or classroom discussion on gender differences. Don't be scared off if you think this is simply a book about female empowerment and that's not for you, there's things in this book that are for everybody and a really good story to boot!
"Fantastic idea, bravely narrated"
The idea that drives The Power is what makes it so gripping - it's a "what if" on a grand scale. In fact, it's the scale of what's being described that give the story and the narration their greatest challenges.
Adjoa Andoh is required to present a Moldovan president, a Nigerian journalist, a Cockney gangster and Americans from a privileged north and a desperate south, frequently together, as the story races around the world at frenetic speed. It's a huge credit to her that she can carry it off at all, though it is undeniably jarring on occasion. It's when she's not in character that Andoh's real gifts as a narrator shine through - though I feel she was poorly directed in the final act, as her tone becomes almost manic.
The story itself had me hooked immediately and throughout. My only criticisms would be the 'frame of reference' wrapped around the story, like a rather unnecessary dust jacket, and an ending that felt a bit like Alderman was cheating: the story builds to an almighty crescendo, the pieces all in place, and then, as we wait with baited breath, the aftermath. There is something incredibly bold about taking readers to a global precipice and then at the last looking away, zooming in to the microscope slide of these few people who somehow shape the world, and their emotions and choices. I would have loved to have seen what Alderman made of the Cataclysm, or at least some of it, the start of it, something!
This all sounds negative, and I don't want people to think I didn't enjoy they title. I did: immensely. It's an idea big enough for a trilogy, a saga, an endless world of books in fact. The characters are crisply drawn and the story pulls you along brusquely, never lingering. It's shocking (sorry) in parts, but never gratuitous. I would love to know what happens next to all these people. Perhaps that's the point.
This might upset some readers, and I hope it does, because like all great Sci-fi this holds up a dark mirror to where we are now, and asks some big questions. It made me cheer revenge scenarios, then choke back tears when things go horribly wrong, in the gym as well, which raises eyebrows.
Read this, and think on.
Truly a genius book.
This is fantastic story. Beautifully written. Wonderfully performed. This would appeal to people who like modern literature as well as people who like sci fi fantasy.
It's a smart fresh classic.
"Powerful commentary on women in society"
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought the gender reversal was a very effective way of shining a light on the role or women in modern society.
The narrator was brilliant, she really bought all the characters to life.
"Excellent, a good read & thought provoking"
A what-if scenario, how much might human beings change?
Will check out other books by the same author
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