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The Power
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December 2017: Social Issues > The Power - Naomi Alderman 3.5/5

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Nicole D. | 1482 comments I think you can pretty much count on this review to be spoilery.

There are a lot of pros and cons to this book. When I first started it I was all yeah, girl power, sisters are doing it for them m'fing selves, you go girl, etc. And then it went a direction and while it was at times very clever, I was disappointed in the direction it went.

Which begs the question - does gender matter? Or is Power alone the issue. This book has it at Power and because of that, as a woman, I felt less empowered. Which will only make sense for those who have read it, I guess and ruin it for everybody else. Haha. I did warn you. Though this book was relatively the anti-Handmaid's Tale, ultimately both books left me feeling the same.

The structure was clever, particularly the end. The author nailed condescension. I liked the museum interludes, though I was at times perplexed about when this was supposed to take place. It felt futuristic, but there was mention of iPads and such, so I'm assuming it was now and the "cataclysm" was 1000-2500 years ago?

I would have liked to have seen a book where the women didn't ultimately just become men, and see how that would have turned out. Would definitely have been less clever, but perhaps we could feel a bit more hopeful at the end of it.

Great fodder for discussion.

I listened to this and the narrator drove me up a tree. She's actually a great narrator, but there were just TOO MANY ACCENTS god, woman, I get it, you think you are good at all accents. Well, I have news for you, you sound like caricatures not characters. I keep walking around my house doing her "Russian" accent and am now driving myself nuts.

Worth reading for sure. Thought provoking, but ultimately left me feeling hopeless.


Susie | 4488 comments Ha! I loved the narrator! I suppose I took it as a commentary on what it would be like if women behaved as men do (yes yes, not all men, I know), rather than what we would ACTUALLY evolve in to if we had all of the power.


Nicole D. | 1482 comments Susie wrote: "Ha! I loved the narrator! I suppose I took it as a commentary on what it would be like if women behaved as men do (yes yes, not all men, I know), rather than what we would ACTUALLY evolve in to if ..."

OMG you loved the narrator? Even her cartoonish Russian Accent? haha.

the women behaving as men was very clever, but still upsetting. (some men, blah blah blah haha)


Susie | 4488 comments It would be nice if she’d portrayed us as rising above.


message 5: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen | 1545 comments When I first finished this book I was disappointed because I didn't like the direction she took (focus being on power as the key element) but the more time that passes, the more I find myself thinking about this book.

I do think power corrupts and changes the way that people behave. Would women do better? It would be nice to think they would be less violent, less competitive but the truth is probably closer to what the author envisions. Also from an equality perspective, seeing gender as a social construction, one might presume that the behaviors would be similar if the power balance were tipped b/c the constraints put in place would be reversed.

Anyway, I found this to be a very interesting book that I didn't love when I was reading it but it continues to be one that I think about and over time I feel probably has gone up in my rating.


Tracy (tstan) | 1194 comments I’m not sure if women would be any better or more fair with all that power. I think it depends on the personality of the person.
I did love the concept of this book, and I keep thinking about it, too- it was one of my favorites this year.


Susie | 4488 comments I can’t stop thinking about it either!


Susie | 4488 comments Did anyone else find themselves guffawing (I don’t know if I’ve ever used that word to be honest! ;-)) at little additions, like the male news reader not being allowed to present anything other than ‘special interest’ stories? The attention to detail was quite something.


Anita Pomerantz | 6423 comments Wow, you didn't hate this book, and I STILL loved your review . . .but are you sure I shouldn't read this? You made it sound really interesting, and since I won't be doing audio, I won't be plagued with Russian accent hangover.

Your reviews are just the best. I'm like a fangirl. Have you ever thought about trying to write a novel? . . .I'm completely serious.


Nicole D. | 1482 comments haha writing a novel much harder than writing reviews.

And Susie, yes ... I laughed many times at the clever sexist digs.

Maybe my disappointment isn't with the book but with humanity. Great discussions for sure, i don't know Anita - give it a go.


Susie | 4488 comments I am on the fence about you and this one Anita. There’s only one way to find out!


Susie | 4488 comments And I agree that Nicole’s reviews are the best! Especially the books that she doesn’t like.


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