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
" 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

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
Branch Call Number: FIC Alder
Characteristics: 386 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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ETurnb Oct 19, 2017

Top-notch feminist dystopian science fiction.

This deeply thought-provoking read will have you questioning the meaning of gender, its relationship to power, and everything you thought you knew about human nature. Alderman doesn't just deconstruct familiar gender stereotypes, but reconstructs them by flipping the script and exposing the cognitive biases that colour the way we perceive gender. This is a must read for psychology or sociology buffs, or for anyone who enjoys questioning their own assumptions and thinking about the way they think.

I'll give fair warning that this book contains some pretty disturbing scenes and darker moments that may not be for everyone. It's impossible to fully examine the topics of power, gender, and human nature without also examining the nature of violence, which Alderman potrays vividly.

Although I love this book, I do, however, have a couple of gripes about representation. While significant parts of the story are set in the east, Alderman's perspective is unmistakably western, and the geopolitical aspects of the book are lacking in nuance. I also would've liked to see more exploration of LGBT themes than Alderman offered. In a book chiefly about power and gender, it would have been interesting and illuminating to read about a transgender or non-binary character's experience of the societal shift in Alderman's world.

Despite the above missed opportunities, Alderman's prose is masterful, and the language she chooses serves to weave her themes throughout every aspect of the narrative. The pacing is gripping enough that I couldn't put it down, and the subject matter heavy enough that I frequently found myself pausing mid-page to reflect.

I tried to avoid the redundancy of calling The Power "powerful," but that's what it is. It'll leave a lasting impression on you, and I expect it'll spark rich discussion for a long time to come.

Jun 24, 2017

Book review on this link here!

BPLpicks Jun 07, 2017

Winner of the 2017 Baileys Prize for fiction. It's getting great reviews. Check it out.

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