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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

Critic Reviews

"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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs Charlotte Gaeta
  • 02-22-17

Brilliant!

This is a must read for anyone who cares about relationships, human rights and everything in between. What starts off as a fantastic twist of fate which finally sets women on the path to the potential for proper equality gently and systematically turns the tables and shows how the gaining of power can corrupt. A morality tale for the 21st century, highlighting where inequality is still riff in the world and pondering whether if women ruled the world it would be any better? It's also an incredibly brilliant read!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • blewp1977
  • 02-17-17

a clever and provocative narrative

This was an absolute find. Thought-provoking and compelling, I could have listened to this in one sitting.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • jo
  • 12-18-16

Reeling from the power of this book.

I may become a bit evangelical in my wish to share this book... It is astonishingly good. This book makes me feel invincible. (Hope I remember soon that I don't, in fact, have The Power so I'm not!)
Can't say too much in case of spoilers, but it's so clever and thought-provoking and engaging, it's hard to 'put down'. It is blunt in places - the reversal of women using rape as an instrument of war, for example - but some bits so subtle it's almost painful to realise how immune we are to incipient sexism until we hear it reversed in this way. The conversation between the two authors at the opening and closing of the book is a superb illustration, and the final line just says it all.
Honourable mention should go to the narrator who is *phenomenal*. Great dramatic performance AND she's very good at the many different international and regional accents, which is often such an irritation.
Can't praise it highly (or articulately) enough.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • AandL272
  • 02-26-17

amazing

This book is beautifully written; Naomi Alderman has an excellent ear for the voices of her cast. I especially liked her narration which added to the text- no rushed prose and emphasis perfect. There wasn't one point where I could guess what happened next. The characterisation was rich and complex, believable flawed people. What a pleasure to hear.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Raine
  • 12-29-16

Visceral, Stirring and Inspirational

Would you consider the audio edition of The Power to be better than the print version?

I only listened to the audio version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Power?

There were so many moments, but overall the finding of the 'power', as told by several different perspectives, was so intense and made you think so much. It made me reflect on so many issues in my daily life I never would have reflected on otherwise.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

I loved Ally. Her journey and how she changed over the course of the books, leading up to her final realisations of what she had become were incredibly moving and thought-provoking.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely!

Any additional comments?

The narration was the best I've ever heard on an audiobook. Wonderful.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • bookylady
  • 03-27-17

Wow! A shocking, visceral novel.Loved every minute

Any additional comments?

It is hard to do justice in a few lines to the amazing nature of this book. Naomi Alderman's vision of a world where women hold power over men through an astonishing physiological mechanism, is both terrifying and electrifying. The Power is about use and misuse of power, what sexual dominance actually means, how a shift in power can produce world-altering results and how power corrodes humanity and the psychology of relationships. The characters are wonderfully written and the attention to detail is fantastic. The plot is absorbing and full of twists and turns. Every female and male character adds to the story and brings it to a thought-provoking end. This is a novel that made me wince, laugh, cry and feel very uncomfortable at times. But it also held me spellbound, caught in a story I didn't want to end. Interestingly, as a female, I found many of the female characters unlikeable and deeply disturbing and I am still trying to work out why that was. This book will stay with me for a long time and I am desperate to discuss it with female friends.
The narration was fantastic.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • 01-12-17

Great narration and engaging story

Please get Adjoa Andoh to narrate all of the books on audible. Her narration is engaging beyond belief, and she inhabits each character uniquely. With regards to the story itself, I very much enjoyed the idea of turning the genre structure of our current society inside out with the help of a novel within a novel set 1000s of years in the future. Looking forward to more from Naomi Alderman.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-09-17

Okay, yes, oddly stared...

So... I really enjoyed this, but as a whole piece! There were certainly sections that frustrated me, or I did not understand why they were integral to the whole arc of the story- even if they might be interesting . Some of the actors voices also drove me a little mad but overall and for the 'main' characters I found her enjoyable to listen too. As a whole story, as a comment on society and a almost parallel universe idea it was sound and extremely enjoyable. This book did leave me thinking about the world differently which is what all good books should do.
Highly recommend!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Asper
  • 01-26-17

Awesome, in the true sense of the word

Would you listen to The Power again? Why?

Yes. The story is both compelling and well written, and the Adjoa Andoh is easily one of the best narrators I've heard.

What did you like best about this story?

The tenacity of the plot; prologue and epilogue serve as a heady contrast to the main body of the work, especially in audiobook format.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

It's difficult to say without spoling the plot. There are so many viewpoints and reflections of our patriarchal society, it really is something to listen to. This book would be an excellent read for teenagers of both sexes.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Easily.

Any additional comments?

Alderman takes a subject currently under much discussion - that of whether gender is innate, or even an undeniable factor in how people are in themselves, and how they treat each other; or if we are all people, some of the female sex and some of the male, all capable of the same highs and lows.

I am so very glad this book didn't trek down the well travelled road of females being more nurturing, more caring; that a matriarchal society would be inherently better. After all, the sex of ones brain is not biologically discrete from the rest of ones body; and although society likes to think so, men and women are only physically different. The most compelling thing, for me, were the many moments of 'what if' triggered whilst listening to this.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Caroline
  • 12-23-16

Really cold, unengaging and hard to read

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

No one, although the many reviewers seem to like it based on its concept alone. I prefer a book I can emotionally engage in, rather than a 10+ hour overview of a situation.

What was most disappointing about Naomi Alderman’s story?

Everything is described as if from a distance, like a traffic report. There is zero chance to emotionally engage or empathise with the characters. The whole book is based on one feminist premise, which is actually a good idea, but the writing is very poor, well, maybe not the writing so much as the perspective. It's like the stories kids write at school: 'and then this happened, then this happened, then this happened.'

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrators were ok and did what they could with the material. They had a slight edgy anxiety to their reading which I suppose was meant to match the pace of the story, but it just made me annoyed because the story was so boring.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Power?

I'd give the manuscript back to the writer and tell them to change it to first person and put emotions and thoughts of the characters in it, rather than just a great long description of a situation.

Any additional comments?

Pretentious, badly drawn up. Good premise. The reviews in the press and on here make me wonder how many journalists Naomi Alderman knows personally.

44 of 58 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • J. Bird
  • 08-28-17

Great story

Nice job of turning gender bias and inequality on it's head. Captivating storyline and well narrated. I'd recommend this to anyone.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilary
  • 09-21-17

Next Big Thing

I loved this book. Genuinely gutted when it ended. The characters were fascinating, the premise was well thought through, the story was performed with flair and drama. It felt more like a play than an audio book. Totally recommend.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Juan Carlos Torres
  • 05-15-18

I wish there was a way to un-listen this book

A story written by a 6 year old author who mixed all the known dystopian ingredients while adding the gender debate to spice it up!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs Bronwyn E Leonard
  • 05-09-18

Brilliant

Possibly the most thought-provoking audio book I've listened to. No cliche to call it powerful.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shannon
  • 04-13-18

Performance is exceptional

I’m not sure I could have got all the way to the end of this book, had the performance of the narration not been as incredibly spectacular as it is. There are sections in this book that I literally had to hit pause on and walk away from because they were too much for me to process. However, the perseverance was worth it. It is a difficult book to read on multiple levels; a challenging symbolic exploration into our actual past rather than any kind of dystopian warning of the future.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ariane
  • 04-08-18

A Compelling Thought Experiment

What made the experience of listening to The Power the most enjoyable?

I hardly have the time for 'fiction' these days. However, The Power certainly grabbed mine! I was utterly fascinated by how such a complex thought experiment could still be pitched the early adolescent reader. To my mind, what Alderman presents is not a Matriarchy but rather a Patriarchal system ruled by females. The qualitative difference is an important one which speaks to the heart of, indeed, 'power' structures. I'd love to speak to other readers about on this topic.

Thank you Naomi Alderman!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • K. Chong
  • 04-06-18

A alternate reality

I listened to this book just as the #metoo wave was beginning to gain momemtum and this book felt like our world had been turned on its head, but not in a way that was any better. The story is compelling, creative, and sometimes a little silly. As much as I couldn't put it down, I also felt that the author couldn't quite decide what to make of her idea, and that half way through it strayed from being 'Handmaid's Tale' like to more straight up fantasy. Adjoa Andoh's narration is excellent and makes the book even more worthwhile.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-28-18

Great concept but lacked depth

Some great passages, and a great exploration of the concept. Would love to hear what happened next. Some chapters were a little tacky or too dramatic, particularly conversations.
The big downer was the accents - they were pretty bad and detracted from storyline.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gemma
  • 03-17-18

wow!

An epic scale speculative fiction that is thrilling to read. Absolutely loved this book.
I came for the what-if-I-could-zap-that-scary-guy-harrasing-me-on-the-way-home, and then stayed, watching open mouthed as the world was thrown into chaos and the best and worst of people drawn out as the sky was falling. I loved the different perspectives, and especially the sting of the last chapter.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-14-18

A future classic

This novel is a masterfully written and thought provoking dissection of gender and power. A must read.