Book Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

My Rating: 4 Stars

Book & Author: The Power/ Naomi Alderman

Genre: Dystopian fiction

Why did they do this? They did, because they can – from what is remembered from the dialogue between Tunde and Roxy

I read this book as part of my second audible- audiobook buy, while the book in itself was recommended by the OSS group on Goodreads, and I loved it. There was nothing I did not like about the book, so I will just try and put in some of my thoughts on the book and what I took away from it , without spoiling it for readers who are still reading or about to read the book.

The book is written in POV (Point of View) format, and revolves mainly around the stories of the characters- Roxy, Tunde, Ally, and Margo (I hope I’ve got their names right, because I’ve picked these up from the audiobook version:)) There are some additional characters who give substance to the stories of these main characters and obviously a background story.

There are some listeners who objected to the accenting in the audiobook narration, but I didn’t mind it that much, because it helped me keep track of the characters better that way and I don’t really understand the typical accents that much, considering I am an Indian and have what you call an Indian way of speaking English as well. So if that doesn’t bother you much, I’d say, do go for the audiobook version.

The key thoughts I took from the book, that I would love to discuss on this blog, or on another book club forum are these 🙂

  1. Power corrupts
  2. The belief that one type of person (based on gender, caste, race, community, religion, monetary status, political status, etc.) is better than another and will be a better leader or ruler or care giver is utter bullshit. No one is better than anyone else and the only person we can be better than, is ourselves. So if we want to help ourselves or the world, or the society, it begins by working on ourselves first
  3. Please read this book with a pinch of salt and not something that would make you lose faith in humanity. We are still here, because some of us care and are kind. Love and kindness is all that matters in the end
  4. Revenge is useless as well- remember that saying? Dig two graves when you’re going out on a revenge hunt? That’s still valid. Forgiveness is better 🙂 Seriously, how is it going to matter in the long run anyway?
  5. War achieves nothing- literally nothing. It does not give us anything new, it does not produce any new land, it does not produce new beings- humans or other earthly creatures, it does not produce more money or infrastructure- I mean seriously, I could never gather why leaders and people went to war at all! Even the winners lose and even when they win, they’ll always have to keep fighting to protect what they ‘won’ or snatched rather
  6. And finally- we need to believe in respecting each other and trying to strive for equality amongst each other, if we have any hope of peace and happiness in the future

Have you read the book? What were your thoughts on the book? I have to confess that the book started on an exhilarating note for me, when the sufferers got their powers and were able to stop their suffering from that power. But that power slowly became a drug and somewhere, that line of using the power for good versus using the power for selfish reasons and justifying it as good became blurred and I shuddered towards the end, with all the atrocities that were done. I truly believe, that if someone has hurt you, and now you have the power to hurt them, please don’t. It wont achieve anything or make you feel any better eventually. Walking away and using your power to help a person in need, will make you feel much better 🙂

An eye for an eye, will make the whole world blind – Gandhi

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

  1. Gray Gal says:

    How was the audiobook itself (Besides the accent part)? I heard it was narrated by the author. I guess if you were able to get into it, it must have good. At times, when the author reads his/her own book, they don’t have as much energy to it as a trained Voice Over actor does. And therefore it strains the enjoyment for the listener.

    I like how all your points are basically what Eve was about (not Mother Eve, but Eve’s foster mom. I forgot her last name. Montgomery?). She learned not to go after vengeance. To have integrity. And to be better than her previous self. Not to mention her faith was restored when Allie became Mother Eve. That was my favorite part of the book. My brain couldn’t comprehend how I felt about that. I hated Eve Montgomery (I’m just going to call her that) because of what she did. But she honestly believed that was the best thing.

    I think if we all followed the Golden Rule, in general, we’d have peace. It would have been nice to have a religious character who doesn’t know how comprehend the Power. And see her thought records and she tries to figure out what to do with that power, and why she got it, and is it a mark of the beast or a gift from God. That kind of thing. It might have made it more relatable. Being a good person, not trying to get ahead of yourself, trying to stick to your morals regardless of the societal change. Jocelyn was as close as we got to that. Maybe Tunde but he didn’t have powers. Roxy still believed in war, just not to the extent of all the other woman. She was more restraint. But she stayed herself because she would have believed in revenge anyway given her line of family work.

    Like

    • Prachi says:

      I actually enjoyed the audiobook..the narration was fast paced and I didn’t get bored listening to them. The only thing I miss in audiobooks as compared to normal kindle or paper books is that I can’t highlight anything or take notes or come back to a passage I had enjoyed later:) So I’ve decided that its probably better to listen to memoirs or self help books or just stories on audiobooks than books that make you think:)
      You have made an interesting point about not being biased about power and using power just because you have the power to use it. Loved your comment on ‘Being a good person, not trying to get ahead of yourself, trying to stick to your morals regardless of the societal change. Jocelyn was as close as we got to that. ‘

      Liked by 1 person

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