The Power


The Power NYT Notable Books 2018

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  • I've Got the Power!

    5 out of 5

    Written by , Posted on at 5:14:45 PM

    “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, First Baron Acton This book reads like a prequel to Gerd Brantenberg’s “Egalia’s Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes”. Both books question the notion of what men and women’s proper places are or their inherent natures. Both question whether the world really would be better if women were given exclusive rights to leadership roles. Ms. Alderman’s novel depicts a violent, ugly world—the one of men—that gives way to a scary reversal as women discover an inner force that allows them to wield lightning that can debilitate, manipulate or kill. With this ability in their hands, beleaguered women around the world rise up against their tormentors, captors and enslavers. But Lord Acton’s famous words prove all too prescient as the women swiftly turn into dictators as cruel and monstrous as the men who formerly enslaved them. Men find themselves tortured, raped, brutalized, restricted or murdered as the women seize control…but the male sex isn’t giving in without a fight. The novel is bracketed by letters of a man who claims to have written this novel as a history of what happened thousands of years ago before women came into power. He is writing to a woman who is skeptical of his accuracy and agenda; their correspondence shows the gender reversals as uncertainty, apology, condescension and indecision seep through the polite lines. “The Power” is a terrifying treatise filled with memorable characters, horrifying scenes of ferocity as Bacchante-like women roam the streets and visionary in its scope of societies in turbulent flux. For those who dream about a land of female rulers, this novel is a cautionary look at just what a world may entail.