Friday, January 05, 2018

The Power by Naomi Alderman

This is going to be another one of those book reviews in which I confess to being the odd reader out. The Power has so many things going for it. It's a favorite of President Obama! Margaret Atwood wrote a positive blurb! It won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction! It's dystopian!

And, I confess to loving the first 100 pages. It was gripping, unique, the writing is sharp, I was fascinated by the characters. I could barely put the book down. Then, it began to slip and here is probably where my opinion diverges from that of a lot of people who know and appreciate good writing. I didn't like the direction it took. It's not that the writing became any less tight or exceptional. Naomi Alderman is an excellent writer. But, the book didn't fulfill my personal hopes for a world in which the patriarchy is subdued by the sudden acquisition of physical power on the part of women. So, I acknowledge that The Power is an excellent piece of writing but one I grew to dislike because of the direction the author chose to take. It's a taste thing, not a writing thing.

Neither recommended or not recommended - Since I think the one thing I disliked about this book was its direction and the violence that came of the choice on the part of women to abuse power when it came into their hands, I would never tell anyone not to read The Power. But, it wasn't for me.

Incidentally, I decided to skip the synopsis because this one is everywhere, but I'd really like to know what my readers think about how I normally handle reviews. This is something I ponder, now and then (especially at the beginning of a new year). I like to write a brief synopsis -- admittedly, I am often not as brief as I'd like to be -- because when I go to a blog to read someone's thoughts, I don't necessarily know anything about the book they've opted to review. You, the blogger, may be my introduction to a book. I want to know what the story is about before you tell me your thoughts about it. Like everyone else, I hate spoilers. So, when I write a synopsis, I try to avoid them, but I've occasionally been informed about my failures.

Opinions? Thoughts?

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  1. Interesting. I’m curious about this one.

    1. It's freaky. I loved that first 100 pages and I confess it's more that I disliked the direction she took the story that turned me off than anything else. I wanted it to be something it was not. But, the writing is excellent.

  2. Anonymous8:54 PM

    I personally like a bit of a synopsis on a review...if I've read the book, I like to figure out what plot points seemed important to other readers, and if I haven't yet, it's usually helpful to decide if it might be something I want to read

    1. Oh, good, thanks for answering, Gabby. I've seen a lot of comments (mostly on Facebook or Twitter, not really people I know) in which people have said they don't want to see a synopsis in a blog review *at all* lately, but I personally prefer some kind of info about the plot because I don't want to have to dash off to look up what a book's about if I don't already know. Thanks for the response!!! Much appreciated!


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