'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)
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"Reeling from the power of this book."
I may become a bit evangelical in my wish to share this book... It is astonishingly good. This book makes me feel invincible. (Hope I remember soon that I don't, in fact, have The Power so I'm not!)
Can't say too much in case of spoilers, but it's so clever and thought-provoking and engaging, it's hard to 'put down'. It is blunt in places - the reversal of women using rape as an instrument of war, for example - but some bits so subtle it's almost painful to realise how immune we are to incipient sexism until we hear it reversed in this way. The conversation between the two authors at the opening and closing of the book is a superb illustration, and the final line just says it all.
Honourable mention should go to the narrator who is *phenomenal*. Great dramatic performance AND she's very good at the many different international and regional accents, which is often such an irritation.
Can't praise it highly (or articulately) enough.
"Really cold, unengaging and hard to read"
No one, although the many reviewers seem to like it based on its concept alone. I prefer a book I can emotionally engage in, rather than a 10+ hour overview of a situation.
Everything is described as if from a distance, like a traffic report. There is zero chance to emotionally engage or empathise with the characters. The whole book is based on one feminist premise, which is actually a good idea, but the writing is very poor, well, maybe not the writing so much as the perspective. It's like the stories kids write at school: 'and then this happened, then this happened, then this happened.'
The narrators were ok and did what they could with the material. They had a slight edgy anxiety to their reading which I suppose was meant to match the pace of the story, but it just made me annoyed because the story was so boring.
I'd give the manuscript back to the writer and tell them to change it to first person and put emotions and thoughts of the characters in it, rather than just a great long description of a situation.
Pretentious, badly drawn up. Good premise. The reviews in the press and on here make me wonder how many journalists Naomi Alderman knows personally.
This is a must read for anyone who cares about relationships, human rights and everything in between. What starts off as a fantastic twist of fate which finally sets women on the path to the potential for proper equality gently and systematically turns the tables and shows how the gaining of power can corrupt. A morality tale for the 21st century, highlighting where inequality is still riff in the world and pondering whether if women ruled the world it would be any better? It's also an incredibly brilliant read!
"One of the greatest and most inspiring, thought provoking texts I have ever read."
What a sensation. Do not ponder upon reading/listening to this book, do it immediately. This should be required reading for school children across the country, if not world. Beautifully written, the characters carefully crafted to be no more easily loved than hated. The style/form of the book is so incredibly clever that it leaves you open mouthed.
I could not recommend this more highly, it is a must read. I will be recommending it to everyone I know.
"Visceral, Stirring and Inspirational"
I only listened to the audio version.
There were so many moments, but overall the finding of the 'power', as told by several different perspectives, was so intense and made you think so much. It made me reflect on so many issues in my daily life I never would have reflected on otherwise.
I loved Ally. Her journey and how she changed over the course of the books, leading up to her final realisations of what she had become were incredibly moving and thought-provoking.
The narration was the best I've ever heard on an audiobook. Wonderful.
"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.
This book is beautifully written; Naomi Alderman has an excellent ear for the voices of her cast. I especially liked her narration which added to the text- no rushed prose and emphasis perfect. There wasn't one point where I could guess what happened next. The characterisation was rich and complex, believable flawed people. What a pleasure to hear.
"a clever and provocative narrative"
This was an absolute find. Thought-provoking and compelling, I could have listened to this in one sitting.
"Awesome, in the true sense of the word"
Yes. The story is both compelling and well written, and the Adjoa Andoh is easily one of the best narrators I've heard.
The tenacity of the plot; prologue and epilogue serve as a heady contrast to the main body of the work, especially in audiobook format.
It's difficult to say without spoling the plot. There are so many viewpoints and reflections of our patriarchal society, it really is something to listen to. This book would be an excellent read for teenagers of both sexes.
Alderman takes a subject currently under much discussion - that of whether gender is innate, or even an undeniable factor in how people are in themselves, and how they treat each other; or if we are all people, some of the female sex and some of the male, all capable of the same highs and lows.
I am so very glad this book didn't trek down the well travelled road of females being more nurturing, more caring; that a matriarchal society would be inherently better. After all, the sex of ones brain is not biologically discrete from the rest of ones body; and although society likes to think so, men and women are only physically different. The most compelling thing, for me, were the many moments of 'what if' triggered whilst listening to this.
"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.
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