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review 2017-11-29 23:20
The Power - Naomi Alderman

Naomi Alderman’s latest bestseller is an intriguing and highly inventive piece of speculative fiction that dares to ask the question: What would happen if women were suddenly granted strength through their genes, thus flipping the societal power structure?


Seen through four points of view — a Mayor, a a Nigerian boy with aspirations to be a reporter, a British girl borne of crime, and a mixed girl from an adopted family that isn’t what she expects — this narrative unfolds at a brisk clip, and Alderman expertly gives the reader a sense of the sheer magnitude of this power, these changes. Revolutions begin. Wars are fought. Regimes fall, only to be replaced with new ones. All the once seemingly permanent rules of society are rewritten. And it’s breathtaking to bear witness to.


A fitting read for the current global political climate, this is an enthralling and important read. I couldn’t put it down, and I suspect you won’t be able to, either.

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text 2017-11-12 17:25
Turning The Tables On The Patriarchy
The Power - Naomi Alderman

Witty, provocative and disturbing, Naomi Alderman’s dystopian vision of a future in which a mutation in the human DNA means that women now possess the ability to generate electric shocks feels a bit like Margaret Atwood meets John Wyndham. It’s a page-turner but it’s also an acutely intelligent examination of attitudes towards the patriarchy and assumptions about gender.


Eschewing naïve idealism, Alderman shines the spotlight on power itself, the way it inevitably lends itself to abuse, the unthinking way that people fall into line behind that abuse, and the pointlessness of the transaction. Everyone against whom power is used is defined and trapped by it but so is everyone who enjoys power.


In a narrative that somehow manages to be highly entertaining she highlights, through the simple but effective trick of role reversal, the terrible ways in which male power has been and, still is, used against women. But she’s  too keenly aware of human nature and too good a writer to be optimistic about a world in which the tables are turned. This is an important novel and one that deserves to be read widely.


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review 2017-06-11 21:24
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Power - Naomi Alderman

I apologise for taking so long to write a review. I’ve been so caught up in local politics that everything has taken a back seat these past few days.


I read The Power for a feminist book club that was meeting in Belfast last week. Unfortunately the book club was cancelled, so you’ll only get my thoughts. Sorry! I’m still glad I read it, though, as I found it an eye-opening experience.


The book charts the time when women from across the globe acquire a power that gives them the ability to electrocute or even kill others. It ends up being directed at men and used to attain positions of power.


We’re introduced to several characters from varying regions, such as London and Nigeria, and learn how the power has effected their lives.


What I really liked about the novel was the uniqueness of the story and directions I could see the world going in if something like this did happen. What I’m saying is, what I simultaneously liked about the novel was also it’s downfall. The fact that I could imagine a more interesting turn of events to what was depicted is a pretty big fail on the part of the author. If the book had been scaled back and described how the power affected just a couple of people in one corner of the globe I think it would have been better. The author took a much larger approach and set out to give us a kind of Rise and Fall overview of events, which diminished her ability to make the reader truly connect. The story was just too big for me. In relation to this there were several characters who I felt were unneeded and failed to add much. This idea of failing to add much was a common theme as I felt it just about everywhere. It felt like a novel that wasn’t very well planned, like all of the pieces didn’t really add up and were there largely for filler.


It’s worthwhile to mention that there are pockets of violence that are quite extreme, so bear this in mind if you pick it up. I felt like the violence achieved its goal well by illustrating the depths to which the world had fallen, but I also think it could have been achieved in a more creative and less jarring way.


The aspect I really enjoyed were the letters between the author and a friend that framed the beginning and end of the book. That gave the book a layer of intrigue that was lacking from the actual narrative.


All in all a great idea with mediocre execution.


I read this for:

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text 2017-06-04 19:30
Reading progress update: I've read 286 out of 321 pages.
The Power - Naomi Alderman

This just got really disturbing. I'm glad I'm near the end.

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review 2017-06-04 12:48
The Power
The Power - Naomi Alderman

What happens when women all of sudden develop a power, which makes them physically superior to every man on earth? That is the premise of The Power and it´s surely a fast-paced and action-driven read. But this book disappointed me in certain regards.


But first the things that I liked: I liked the idea behind the novel. What kind of influence would a shift in power between the sexes have on the society / the world? It really makes you think what you would do in a situation like that. Would you use your power for something good or would abuse your power? Are women better people and morally superior to men?

The novel begins with an email correspondence of two authors, who are having a discussion about a book that one of these two has written. Said book is the actual novel "The Power". The framed narrative poses some interesting questions in the end and it is especially this framing device that made the novel in the end a decent read for me.


I simply felt that this novel has been to short. Told from the perspective of four different characters, located in different parts of the world, Alderman tries to give a sweeping overview what happens to the world if a shift of power should occur. And she tries this in 340 pages. There is not enough time to develop the characters, which led me to feel absolutely nothing for them and there is at least one character that doesn´t add anything substantial to the storyline. 

There is a lot of violence in this book and as the story progresses, the story gets more and more violent. I know that Alderman uses the violence to emphasise the central theme of her novel, but I felt like she was shoving her message down my throat by it. So I´m not a big fan of the way that Alderman has written her novel, especially since she builds up to a big climax in the end and then the book just ... kind of ends. The ending (of the fictional novel) was quite disappointing.


This book was ok, but I certainly didn´t like it. I read this novel for the Booklikes-opoly Adventureland 27. The initials of Naomi Alderman´s name is found in the word "Tarzan".


Page count: 340 pages

Money earned: $3.00


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