352 pages

Published July 4, 2017 by PENGUIN GROUP.

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4 stars (11 reviews)

7 editions

What if women were physically more powerful than men?

4 stars

Naomi Alderman's answer is not a ‘more kind, more gentle, more loving and naturally nurturing’ matriarchy that lets men off lightly. This is a violent, tumultuous tale that sometimes makes uncomfortable reading. But this is not ‘merely’ a list of feminist talking points brutally driven home; Alderman plays a long and subtle game, bedding in the most important and durable perspective changes (at least for this male reader) subtly over the course of the entire novel.

This novel is perhaps a kind of response to the call of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, to which it owes much; from the framing of near-future action within far-future intellectual perspectives, to the presentation of events that appear at first preposterously unrealistic, until one realises that most have actually happened, and in some cases continue to happen, IRL.

It's a gripping, prespective-changing read.

Interesting after watching the TV series

4 stars

Yes, yes, I should read the original before watching the adaptation, but sometimes you can't help it. What's interesting here is the way the TV series tells the story in a much more conventional way than the novel, especially omitting the framing device that allows the novel to speed through many parts. There are times when I wished it would slow down a little and explore ideas a bit more, but it's a good read and raises a lot of interesting questions - and what if our whole existence is just part of a fable to explain the lost history of a distant future?