The Power by Naomi Alderman Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

The Power

In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who lounges 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
Laura

Aug 13, 2016

rated it
it was amazing

Shelves:
favourites

When a male friend found out I was reading a book in which all women simultaneously develop the power to electrocute people and subsequently seize control of society, he responded “Tch, if that were the other way around, you’d go mad”… NO SHIT SHERLOCK! Damn right, the idea of a society in which one sex is systematically oppressed through the threat (or use) of physical and sexual violence infuriates me. The concept of one sex being disproportionately raped, killed and restricted sickens me. B

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time and it came completely out of the blue. The real genius of it is the way that Alderman turns society so perfectly on its head. The story begins when teenage girls worldwide simultaneously develop a ‘skein’, a strip of muscle in their collarbone which conducts electricity, allowing them to instantly inflict pain and even death. Some girls have more power than others and they are able to wake up the force in older women too. Virtually overnight, the world changes beyond recognition. Women are elected as political leaders virtually everywhere, the army is almost completely composed of women, God changes gender, sex-trafficked women break free from their bonds, and there are scenes in the Middle East which show the true meaning of ‘Girls Gone Wild’. This is not a gutless, saccharine tale of gender equality, it is a novel that unflinchingly holds up a mirror to the horrors of the society we now live in.

While I was reading the first half of this book I felt physically and mentally powerful in a way that I hadn’t felt before. It was exhilarating. But then things begin to go awry, and by the end I felt icky for having felt so good about the first half. Alderman rebuts the notion that women are somehow naturally more kind and caring than men. It shows that power is power, and the way that power is used should always be scrutinised and controlled.

It’s difficult for me to pull out and highlight bits that I enjoyed because it was just so great. It’s masterfully written and razor sharp. You need this in your life.

I see the future and I see a film adaptation, tattoos on palms and a video game (I would play that video game).

*This review is also published at http://theslattern.com/2017/02/18/the…*

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley who provided me with a free ARC in return for an honest review
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Maggie Stiefvater

Feb 01, 2018

rated it
it was amazing

Shelves:
adult,
recommended

Wow.

I finished this novel at midnight last night and after I went to bed, I blinked into my pillow and tried to think of what words I would type into this box on Goodreads apart from that first one: wow. After a few minutes thought, I figured I could add “intelligent” and “uncomfortable” and “thought-provoking.”

The problem with all of those is that they get used so often that we see only hyperbole. This book, like many others, bears a jacket printed darkly with other authors saying great things

I finished this novel at midnight last night and after I went to bed, I blinked into my pillow and tried to think of what words I would type into this box on Goodreads apart from that first one: wow. After a few minutes thought, I figured I could add “intelligent” and “uncomfortable” and “thought-provoking.”

The problem with all of those is that they get used so often that we see only hyperbole. This book, like many others, bears a jacket printed darkly with other authors saying great things about it. New classic! Great! Important! Sure, sure, man.

Believe them.

The hook is simple: the novel begins when girls and women suddenly gain the power to shock and kill others with only a touch; it takes only a second’s thought to imagine how this would turn the world on its head. It’s not the hook, however, that sells this book. It’s Alderman’s searing understanding of power dynamics in relationships, from big to small. With both empathy and remove, she writes about oppression and gender in a clever, disturbing, heartbreaking way.

It’s not a comfort read. It’s not a rich exploration of character. It’s not even a rich exploration of everything there is to say about oppression or prejudice. It’s a single-minded novel in the grand tradition of 1984 or THE HANDMAID’S TALE or BRAVE NEW WORLD. The simple title is brilliant in its accuracy. I saw a few reviews complain that the book offers no answers, but to me, that represents one of its greatest strengths. It’s illuminating but not didactic. Probing but not prescriptive. An exposure, not a screed. There’s no easy answer to the question of how power is transferred and how power corrupts; I would’ve distrusted any book that tried to tell me otherwise. This is all THE POWER tried to tell me: The problem is not men. The problem is not women. The problem is humans. This is why.

I’ve still failed at this recommendation — all of these words really just still mean WOW.

So I guess I’ll leave it there: Wow.
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