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The Power cover art

The Power

Written by: Naomi Alderman
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh,Naomi Alderman,Thomas Judd,Emma Fenney,Phil Nightingale
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Publisher's Summary

2017 Winner of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

'She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She'd put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.'

Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death.

With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light. What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?

©2016 Naomi Alderman (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What the critics say

"Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you'll think twice, about everything." (Margaret Atwood)
" The Power is a subtly funny, lyrical and utterly subversive vision of an impossible future. As all the best visionaries do, Alderman shines a penetrating and yet merciful light on to our present and the so many cruelties in which we may be complicit." (A. L. Kennedy)
"Alderman is a fluent and powerful writer." ( Sunday Times)

What listeners say about The Power

Average Customer Ratings
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A must read piece of real feminist literature

This is a story about gender inequality that everyone can appreciate. (slight spoiler warning)
At first it seems like a bit of revenge and empowerment for the women in the story, but towards the end there safe becomes clearer: that power corrupts, no matter which gender; that men are not to be directly blamed for gender inequality because if women were the ones holding power they would act the same way. I think that this book can make women appreciate how difficult it is for men to become more egalitarian, and can make men appreciate how important it is that they do so, as well as highlighting how much further we have to go.

The book was also very well written, and the characters really came alive. The narrator was really good, although a few of the characters were made to sound quite whiny for some reason. However that wasn't for very much of the book.

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4 people found this helpful

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This book made me proud to be a woman

This book is phenomenal from start to finish. The characters are what we want to be and what we fear we are. Naomi subverts gender not as a gimmicky plot device but as a truly genius way to dismantle the patriarchy. Also, the voice acting is amazing! Bravo to Adjoa who is obviously a genius as well. I love this book!

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4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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very gritty

this was not the story I was expecting. it was much darker and grittier than I had initially thought it was going to be. I was also pretty disappointed that none of the characters are really ones I could get behind or support or care about. the writing style was also very difficult because it was so repetitive when the characters are speaking it was always then Roxy says this and Eve says that. this feels like a very rudimentary way of writing and because it was always written this way it became monotonous and boring. I think too because it's so dark and so gritty and leaves basically no hope it was a very difficult read during this period in history.

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Intriguing

The concept was so interesting! And the result of how power corrupts no matter which gender has it. (not a spoiler exactly) The discussion at the end from the 2 novelists was fascinating to me. I was completely caught up in the whole story. Several discussion points, gender roles, power, remaking yourself into something, the power of trauma in an individual and how it affects their lives as they grow and change. I also need to mention the narrator. One word, amazing! She really brought the characters to life. Definitely a recommendation to read/listen.

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The yelling in the narrative is HORRIBLE

I had to stop listening to this book with the characters yelling. it was quite anxiety provoking. This is the first book that I have ever had to stop reading and remove from device.

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Outstanding & Infuriating & Brilliant

Wow. If you love dystopia novels, gender-swapping narratives, and can handle some intense violence... go now and read this.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I wanted to like the concept, but I didn't...

I had to take a break from this book for several months because the content was becoming overwhelming. The storyline is somewhat difficult to follow, and there are many disturbing scenes that didn't add much value to the book. I'm disappointed that the woman were portrayed with such violence, acting how some men act now, when they are placed in a position of power. I wish I could have liked this book because it took quite some time to get through it, but I didn't. Do not read this if you are triggered by violence and assault, there is far too much of it to enjoy this novel.

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the BEST book I've ingested in a loooong while.

I can't describe how much I loved this book. the writing is so engaging, and the book gets deeper and smarter as it goes. The narration, too, is exceptional. I highly recommend, and look forward to using it as part of my gender and social justice courses.

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Amazing!

Amazing amazing amazing! The story and the performance are incredible. Every woman should read this book, and for that matter, every man too!

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makes you think

This book turns gender rolls upside down and that makes it strange to listen to. But in that same vein, it shows how gender shapes our world now. Reader (voice actor) is awesome

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  • Tim
  • 2018-01-09

Entertaining story, nice structure, perfect performance

Story flows easily and in an addictive way despite a series of characters (and perspectives) that never meet. Performance is perfect. The different characters come to life, adding richness to the story

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  • Jenny
  • 2023-12-18

Not the story I first listened to

This book has been edited and changed. I first listened to this book a couple of years ago and it was a much grittier look at the battle for the new matriarchal world. Margot’s disaffected son is completely missing, Mother Eve’s murder of the nun who challenged her, and several other important story arcs have completely disappeared. It feels like this is the version sanitised and pruned for the new TV series and it has become a lesser story for it. Still love the premise, and the story ge really- the original was 5 stars. This Hollywood version is not quite up there.

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  • Alesha
  • 2022-05-02

Ok but not for me

This book had a really good concept but it dragged on for too long. There was a lot of symbolism and aspects of this book to be unpicked and unpacked. But I found it quite boring at times.

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  • Kehinde
  • 2022-01-21

Just the very problem with power

Nigerian here. Naomi's Tunde is so spot on, a Yoruba demon they are called nowadays: good natured, handsome, brilliant, ambitious... Casanova. Spoiler, thanks for not killing him.

The book is an interesting take on the early stages of a suddenly matriarch world. The Power had caused a shift in the balance of power and it has corrupted more than a few.

Overall it's a remarkable listen with some great character development. It's easy to become obsessed with a Roxy and to explore the similarities between the motivations of some politicians and religious leaders.

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  • Clarien Luttig
  • 2020-12-27

A thought-provoking read

The Power weaves a compelling narrative from the perspectives of a few characters whose stories we follow. In the process, it raises insightful questions about gender and society.

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  • NurseLisa
  • 2020-09-06

What did I just listen too?

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I can’t decide if this is a feminist masterpiece or a complete train wreck in the way it depicts women’s rise to power in a new world. What would we do if we held that kind of power over men? I’d like to think the world would be more rational but I doubt that would be the case.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-06

WOW

This story was amazing and the performance completely gripping. Thoroughly enjoyed it, didn't notice the time at all!

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  • Zaira
  • 2018-11-02

Mind Blown!

This book really blew my mind and left me feeling emotionally charged at the end. Not just the story but the letters exchanged between Neil and Naomi - really had an impact. The fact that this book was actually written by a man makes it even more interesting! There were parts of this book that were down right gruesome and soo hard to digest - let alone imagine! I wanted to look away but couldn't "move on" with the story without reading every word! This really makes you re-think the way the world works today.. the cruelties, the injustice, the compassion, the peace - we all, male or female, have the power to change things that happen in this world today. Question is do we really want things to change and if so, what do we want the future to look like?

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