The Power by Naomi Alderman review – if girls ruled the world | Books | The GuardianI had very high expectations for this book. Possibly too high. Teenage girls all over the world suddenly discover they have an inherent physical power which they can wield over men, causing them serious pain and suffering through electrical shocks. From personal relationships to geopolitical drama, there is so much action that draws you in from the very beginning, and the writing is excellent. The Power has all the right ingredients to make it a complex and thought-provoking feminist work, but it never quite gets there. While power is completely shifted away from men to women on many levels - physical, political, military, religious and social - those in power still ultimately abuse it, and sometimes in the cruellest of ways.
Book Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman
Lodged within a strip of muscle running along their collarbones, it can produce a deadly electrical charge that renders them able to zap men at will, enfeebling or exterminating them, or just jolting them for sexual kicks. Given that kind of control, how would they act? Probably not. In her dystopian tale, Ms. Her novel, first published in England, has resonated with American readers. The film version, released last fall, was produced by and stars Rachel Weisz. Alderman is, not surprisingly, given to pondering the alarms her works and others have raised.
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W hat would the world look like if men were afraid of women rather than women being afraid of men? Through exaggeration and reversal, many books have set out to illuminate inequality or open up new vistas of possibility. It starts with teenage girls. At 14 or 15, the age when in our present world girls are waking to an awareness of their own sexuality tangled up in all the ways society will seek to stifle or exploit it, Alderman has them come alive to the thrill of pure power: the ability to hurt or even kill by releasing electrical jolts from their fingertips. The blood is pounding in her ears. A prickling feeling is spreading along her back, over her shoulders, along her collarbone. Footage of girls electrocuting men floods the internet; uncontrolled individual outbursts swell into the knowledge of collective power as more girls learn how to harness this strange new ability, and show older women how to awaken it too.
The Power is a science fiction novel by the British writer Naomi Alderman. President Barack Obama named The Power as one of his favorite books of The Power is a book within a book: a manuscript of an imagined history of the tumultuous era during which women across the world developed and shared the power to emit electricity from their hands. The manuscript is submitted by Neil Adam Armon to another author named Naomi, approximately five thousand years after the power emerges and revolution reassembles the world into a matriarchy. This historical fiction chronicles the experiences of Allie, Roxy, Margot, Jocelyn, and Tunde, as they navigate their rapidly changing world. The Power is Alderman's fourth novel and was influenced by her relationship with Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood.