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The Children of Men by P. D. James
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The Children of Men (1992)

by P.D. James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,8171781,563 (3.56)267
In 2021, with the human race becoming extinct because of the infertility of all males, Oxford historian Theodore Faron is drawn into the schemes of an unlikely group of revolutionaries out to save society.
  1. 90
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (VictoriaPL)
    VictoriaPL: Another dystopian tale of a future world dealing with infertility.
  2. 30
    The Ice People by Maggie Gee (imyril)
    imyril: A dystopian future struggling with infertility
  3. 30
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Larkken)
  4. 20
    The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (ramblingivy)
  5. 10
    The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (vwinsloe)
  6. 10
    Sleep Donation by Karen Russell (bibliobibuli)
    bibliobibuli: Another dystopian read about a world where the human race is under threat - here from the inability to sleep anymore.
  7. 10
    The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (bibliobibuli)
    bibliobibuli: Would it actually be such a bad thing if the human race disappeared? Here's a portrait of a world being reclaimed by nature and gradually erasing all human traces.
  8. 00
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (sturlington)
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    Greybeard by Brian W. Aldiss (Cecrow)
  10. 00
    The First Century After Beatrice by Amin Maalouf (inge87)
    inge87: Speculative fiction about a future where men can be permanently cured of having daughters.
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    The Alteration by Kingsley Amis (devenish)
  12. 00
    Ark Baby by Liz Jensen (isabelx)
    isabelx: No more babies.
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» See also 267 mentions

English (176)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (178)
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
This novel seriously freaked me out when I read it. I actually sat in stunned and depressed contemplation at my own lack of children and the decisions I believed I held dear at the time.

I didn't care to bring children into this world, and at the time, I hated the world pretty much entirely, so I got struck against the back of my head after reading this and I haven't really been the same, since.

The novel took me on a very disturbing ride with the ultimate death of humanity by way of sterility. The most powerful aspect of the novel was the people's reactions, how their worldviews veered off in strange ways.

Suicides were all very well and obvious, but I think I enjoyed the other paths the mind took in reaction.

I still can't believe that the novel had the effect of changing my mind about my life. I like to consider myself pretty well-read and aware, but sometimes a huge kick in the head can come out of nowhere. I changed my mind. I wanted to live. I wanted children. I hadn't wanted children before.

Very big life choice, no? Maybe it says more about me than the novel. I don't really know. It did surprise the hell out of me. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I saw the movie, but it had been YEARS so I had completely forgotten how it ended. So I went into this book pretty ignorant. Told in a mixture of diary entries and third person, The Children of Men, tells the story of a world where no more babies are born. It's been 25 yearss since the last child was born. Schools are closed, playgrounds dismantled, and suicide encouraged as an option for the elderly who know that there is no more "family" to care for them. It's pretty bleak, but people are trying to make due. Theo Faron, a divorced history professor has just muddled along for years, simply existing. That all changes when one day a woman approaches him wanting to use his contacts to the Warden of England. Suddenly, he starts to realize how messed up things are around him, his eyes become open and he wonders if they do have what it takes to turn around the hopelessness. Bleak, depressing, dry at times, but a unique concept that will stick with readers. I definitely want to re-watch the movie now! ( )
  ecataldi | Mar 11, 2020 |
Uneven pacing, particularly in the second half when there is actual plot going on. An unlikeable main character that does not improve. Too many descriptions of leaves.

I liked the start a fair bit - it’s pretty much just describing an entire world in a state of depression and parts of that resonated with me - but once the plot started, it stayed with that same plodding, overly descriptive style which just made it a slog to get through. ( )
  Aug3Zimm | Mar 10, 2020 |
I tried, but I could not get into the book. There was a lot more exposition than plot, and I just couldn't manage it. ( )
1 vote slmr4242 | Oct 16, 2019 |
This took forever for anything to happen, the first part of the book is a lot of endlessly detailed background, and the protagonist is as unlikable as they come. I can't say the rest of the book made up for it, once things started happening, but at least it made it worth reading. The ending was both too lip smackingly gruesome and a little too pat to be satisfying. The author is obviously used to writing a very different kind of book. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Sep 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James, P.D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Biavasco, AnnamariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guani, ValentinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Gli Oscar Mondadori (Bestsellers, 1006)
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Again, to my daughters
Clare and Jane
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Friday 1 January 2021

Early this morning, 1 January 2021, three minutes after midnight, the last human being to be born on earth was killed in a pub brawl in a suburb of Buenos Aires, aged twenty-five years, two months and twelve days.
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The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race.
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