Nope, not for me, overt feminism in a surface level only way

The PowerThe Power by Naomi Alderman

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Not for me. A clever idea which I can appreciate but the narrative felt detached, way too preachy and a lot of – oh look isn’t this horrible/shocking/perverse and yet men do this to women “all the time” – kind of over the top feminism.

The story jumped too much, I think perhaps it would work better in a visual medium as it had a reportage style to it and I would just get interested in one person’s story before it would then switch without warning to someone else. In addition, I didn’t find all of the character’s stories compelling, I found the male viewpoint more interesting – perhaps that was a deliberate choice – and some of the others were just tedious.

In another review, the author of that has likened this to reading like the script for a TV series box set and I’d have to agree with that.

I’m also reminded of the scenes where the women in Saudi Arabia, possibly one of the world’s most repressed in a patriarchal society, gain The Power and suddenly embrace all of what’s generally considered to be the freer “Western world” culture by going out and having sex with strangers. It felt a little bit insensitive and perhaps misunderstanding of the Islamic culture to make an assumption that it is only male repressive behaviour which stops them from going out on a “free love” kick. I suspect that’s not the case at all.

The book raises questions and then lets the reader draw their own conclusions which is, on the one hand a tried and tested method of writing, but at the same time is increasingly frustrating when a narrative ends with no conclusion. The affectation of having the book “wrapped” as a manuscript being sent to someone else and it all being from a male perspective also just rubbed me up the wrong way.

I think, like this author’s mentor Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale, The Power is a case of “it’s probably not the book, it’s me” as I felt absolutely no desire to pick it up and continue reading it but as it was my book club’s choice to read, I dislike not finishing a book.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s