Woman at Point Zero

Narrated by: Laura Hanna
Length: 3 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (152 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

'All the men I did get to know, every single one of them, has filled me with but one desire: to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face. But because I am a woman, I have never had the courage to lift my hand. And because I am a prostitute, I hid my fear under layers of make-up.'

So begins Firdaus' story, leading to her grimy Cairo prison cell, where she welcomes her death sentence as a relief from her pain and suffering. Born to a peasant family in the Egyptian countryside, Firdaus suffered a childhood of cruelty and neglect. Her passion for education was ignored by her family, and on leaving school she was forced to marry a much older man.

Following her escapes from violent relationships, she finally met Sharifa, who told her that 'a man does not know a woman's value; the higher you price yourself, the more he will realise what you are really worth' and led her into a life of prostitution. Desperate and alone, she took drastic action.

Saadawi's searing indictment of society's brutal treatment of women continues to resonate today. This classic audiobook has been an inspiration to countless people across the world.

©1975 Nawal el Saadawi (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

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Average Customer Ratings

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Personal & Universal.

Gripping story of a brave woman's struggle to connect with dignity, love and peace. We are all Fardooz.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A solemn story, but a great one.

Fantastic book, sad at times but that is the reality of the world. Definitely an eye opener. I suggest as many men read this as possible.

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Very Powerful

I picked up this book as a part of my worldbuilding research and as an input to my post last week: Politics, Power, and Women Protagonists. I blew through it. There is so much to say about it that I struggle with where to begin, but my very first response was a resounding WOW!

Summary
The story is one woman’s story. She is a woman condemned to death in and by a culture that (in my opinion) is very difficult for someone raised in the United States to understand or fathom. She has murdered someone and is unashamed of that fact. She tells her story passionately and with conviction and with no regrets, and the entirety of the story is an exploration of the power struggles between genders. Firdaus found her power and in turn, she was feared. This is a feminist piece, but it is also a cultural piece and a very human piece.

Some quotes I found particularly encompassing:
“That love of a ruler and love of Allah were one and indivisible.”

“Each time I picked up a newspaper and found the picture of a man who was one of them, I would spit on it. I knew I was only spitting on a piece of paper which I needed for covering the kitchen shelves. Nevertheless I spat, and then left the spit where it was to dry.”

“They do not fear my knife. It is my truth which frightens them.”

On my blog, I further analyze some cultural aspects, feminism aspects, and the worldbuilding. You can check that out here:
https://susanstradiotto.com/2019/03/02/book-review-woman-at-point-zero/

When all is said and done, I gave this a 4.5 star rating, because there is one aspect that I had to school myself to believe within the story. Out of all the men she encountered, it is hard for me to fathom that there was not a single one with whom we could believe there was any goodness in the gender. That alone felt a bit unreal. In stories, I also look for a ray of hope within the darkness, something that shows the opportunity for change. So, while this is a powerful in almost every way, I have trouble with the thought that all men represent the antagonist.

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Poetic, Tragic, Provacative

This book definitely made me cry. It is written like an epic poem, and yet, so simply, is the story of a woman - of all women in some way. The narrator of this audio book is not my favorite, since she can only perform 2 voices in a story with many characters. But the story itself makes it worthwhile to endure. 5/5 would recommend

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Interesting

It’s very very interesting story it will make you think about many things
Very easy english
I enjoy it !

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Not exactly what I expected...

Would you listen to another book narrated by Laura Hanna?

No, I did not enjoy her performance.

Was Woman at Point Zero worth the listening time?

It took me a very long time to finish because I did not enjoy it that much.

Any additional comments?

I had wanted to read this story for several years now, but in the end it was not exactly what I had expected. The last two chapters were the best part of the book in my opinion. Perhaps I would've had a better experience with this book in the Kindle format.

1 person found this helpful