The Power

The Power

A Novel

Book - 2017
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One of the New York Times 's Ten Best Books of 2017 A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2017 One of the Washington Post 's Ten Best Books of 2017 An NPR Best Book of 2017 One of Entertainment Weekly 's Ten Best Books of 2017 A Bustle B est Book of 2017 A Paste Magazine Best Novel of 2017 A San Francisco Chronicle B est Book of 2017 Winner of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

One of President Obama's favorite reads of 2017
" The Power is our era's The Handmaid's Tale ." --Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Novels based on premises like the one at the core of The Power can quickly become little more than thought experiments, but Alderman dodges this trap deftly -- her writing is beautiful, and her intelligence seems almost limitless. She also has a pitch-dark sense of humor that she wields perfectly." --Michael Schaub, NPR
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
An Amazon Best Book of 2017
**WINNER OF THE 2017 BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION**

What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power?

In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
Edition: First North American edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780316547611
0316547611
Branch Call Number: SCIENCE FICTION ALDERMAN
Characteristics: 386 pages : illustration ; 22 cm

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From Library Staff

[Read a book set in the future] This COULD be classified as dystopian but, as the author recently said on NPR, "only if you're a man." See what queen-of-feminist-speculative-fiction Margaret Atwood is raving about!


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TechLibrarian Oct 15, 2018

If women were in power (and the author imagines, literally, that women possess an electromagnetic charge they can use to injure and kill) would they create a more just and equitable society? Or, would it be just as corrupt and horrific? This is the premise of The Power, a smart, fast-paced book told through intertwining points of view. The Power is thought-provoking and suspenseful, but not necessarily something you'd want to read before bed!

c
CarleeMcDot
Sep 18, 2018

I swear, I should probably just the first few sentences of my synopsis on loop... This is yet another one that I don't remember where I got the recommendation from, but have been on the wait list at the library for a long while now. I didn't know anything about the book going in and I guess I didn't know what to expect. After seeing some of the reviews, I thought the comment that mentioned it was a mix of Hunger Games and Handmaid's Tale was pretty spot on. The premise of the novel is that females develop the power to electrocute people and subsequently seize control of society. The idea of a society in which one sex is systematically oppressed through the threat (or use) of physical and sexual violence seems outrageous, until you realize that is the society we live in on the daily. I really liked how all of the characters' stories eventually intertwined. At the beginning of the book I felt emboldened for being a woman and by the end I was scratching my head and wondering if in fact women would let power corrupt them just as much as men have. I know this is just a fictional story, but overall it was powerful and thought-provoking. There were a few parts that left me confused (who the end package was mailed to, why the author kept the letters at the beginning and end of the story, etc), but overall I really enjoyed it. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

JessicaGma Sep 11, 2018

I see why comparisons were made to Margaret Atwood's dystopian fiction, because it's our society turned upside down and inside out. It does make you wonder if the women would succumb to the draws of power as described because that's what the powerful do, or that's what powerful men have done.....At any rate, it's very well done and thought provoking, especially the front and end frames around the story, hence why it made various lists for top books of 2017.

t
Timmers75
Sep 03, 2018

I have to agree with all the reviewers who found major strengths, but felt the book ultimately came up wanting,

t
talk2terih
Jul 26, 2018

I am of two minds about this book.
First, I found it very difficult to sit down and read. I found myself getting up to do some chore every few pages. Since being engrossed in a book is usually my litmus test of its quality, I can't say I cared much for it. I had to "assign myself" 50 pages to read per day, just to slog through it.
Second, there is some great writing craft here and some interesting concepts. The way author Ackerman shows us the progression of her characters as they incorporate their power into public life is deft and chilling. It takes virtually no time at all for Roxy to transform into a capo de capi gangster mastermind, for Allie to become a televangelist, tailoring her "cures" and messages to the revenue they can bring, or for Margot to embrace the role of corrupt, cutthroat politician, willing to steamroller everything in her path.
Soon men began to act as women had - fearful of assault and rape, anxious to please the women in their world and loathe to go against them.
All of that is handles seamlessly. You see the progression through the endless temptations that measurable power can provide. You can see how easy it is slip over the line.

j
JLMason
Jul 14, 2018

I agree with uncommonreader’s comment below. I will add that the most striking part of the book is the fictional letters between the female editor “Naomi” and the book's male author, written in the female dominated society of the future. The gender reversal in their conversation - the condescending tone, stereotyping, historical context of roles - is a mirror of our society. It’s quite jarring.

u
uncommonreader
Jun 22, 2018

This speculative fiction won the Bailey's prize. While it is quite readable, in the end, what did it have to say? That people exercise power because they can? I did not think that Alderman knew how to end the story.

r
Ratonai3
Jun 12, 2018

The premise was good as is the writing. I could not bring myself to care about the characters.

m
mckenzieseaux
May 30, 2018

The Power has an intriguing concept and I could not put it down for the first half. However, the ending felt unfinished and underwhelming. It was good but it definitely had potential to be enthrallingly excellent, and did not quite live up to those expectations. Otherwise, seeing the various effects of the societal power shift from patriarchy to matriarchy was fascinating.

p
PearlyBaker
May 13, 2018

I guess it just came out okay for me. Maybe it was just a weird time in my life. A transition period where my mind was flying 1000 different ways at once with ageing friends facing chronic illness, biotoxins, chronic pain or autoimmune disorders. Or maybe, unlike all my like my break-up excuses, it really wasn't me but the fault of the book (ie girlfriend) and I'm just trying to soften the blow on the author because I don't want to hurt their feelings and certainly don't want, as a constant reader them to ever, ever, ever stop writing. I don't know. It's a tough call but Obama liked this one I'll take his word since he and I were about the only two people I knew who didn't believe Colin Powell's fear tactics regarding Iraq on the weaponized media that included NBC, Fox News and NPR with the nightly sound bite, "What if the next terror attack is a mushroom cloud in New York City?" So I'm going to say it really was me baby, and this book was awesome.

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