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July 2018: Dystopian > The Power by Naomi Alderman - 4 stars

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message 1: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 4593 comments The Power by Naomi Alderman - 4 stars

Science fiction dystopian novel that follows the lives of four primary characters to show how the world might change if women were physically stronger than men. In this dystopian future, women have a skein near their collarbones that enables them to conduct an electrical current, capable of inflicting great harm or even death. This novel provides one view of the impact of such a change on religion, politics, crime, education, social mores, families, and culture. It is cleverly concealed in the format of a “book within a book.”

I thought the author came up with an extremely creative premise. I found it engrossing, especially Tunde’s story, which was the only segment from a male character’s perspective. I thought the characters were rather thinly drawn, and the writing style very straight-forward.

The extreme violence against men in this book can be shocking until one realizes that these men are being treated in the same manner that females are currently treated in the real world. Content warnings include: descriptions of slaughterhouse processing, extreme violence (murder, rape, assault, torture), a profusion of profanity, and a variety of sex-related topics.

I found it extremely thought-provoking, though I would not classify it as a pleasant reading experience. Recommended to fans of dystopian fiction and book clubs, as I imagine it could engender strong opinions and interesting discussions.

A role reversal dystopia that provides a rather grim view of human nature.

Link to my review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I’m still thinking about it nearly a year later! I’m glad you found it to be a worthwhile read.


message 3: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I absolutely agree with everything you said! I finished this book over a week ago now, and I still haven't written a review. I just don't know how to sum up how much I loved it.

It was definitely a hard read, and I can't say that I enjoyed it, but damn if it didn't make me think. It was compelling, thought-provoking, and brilliant.

It was in IRL book club selection and many people had the same initial response as you did: the extreme violence was shocking and almost too much. But, then we had a great discussion about how those things happen to women every second of the day and how we have become desensitized to it. And, if not desensitized, then it is necessary to shut down just a little bit in order to not be overwhelmed by the bleakness of it all. Switching the gender roles brought the issue to the forefront again. I actually think it was very powerful.

One of the book club members mentioned that the early violence didn't bother her too much. In fact, she was rooting for the women and thought that if there was violence against their male oppressors then those women deserved some retaliation. But, then she was shocked that it spiraled out of control.

Man, this was a great book club discussion. I can't stop talking about this book. In fact, just today I had lunch with a book club member who was unable to come to the meeting but really wanted to discuss the book!

So glad you appreciated many of the aspects that I did :)


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I’ve got this on my list to read this month. After reading your review I’m excited.


message 5: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 4593 comments Susie wrote: "I’m still thinking about it nearly a year later! I’m glad you found it to be a worthwhile read."

Thanks, Susie. I didn't know what to make of it at first, but ultimately found it very worthwhile.

Nicole R wrote: "I absolutely agree with everything you said! I finished this book over a week ago now, and I still haven't written a review. I just don't know how to sum up how much I loved it.

It was definitely ..."


Nicole R, sounds like we had similar thoughts! I need to find an IRL book club.

Rachel wrote: "I’ve got this on my list to read this month. After reading your review I’m excited."

Looking forward to your thoughts, Rachel!


message 6: by AJ (new)

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 830 comments I have not read this book, but I may consider doing so after reading your review. Your description made me think of the book Noughts and Crosses, also a dystopian in which black people are superior to white people... think South African apartheid in reverse. I think reading things in a reverse perspective can be super thought provoking.


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