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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
3,7751511,381 (3.56)223
  1. 70
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (VictoriaPL, sturlington)
    VictoriaPL: Another dystopian tale of a future world dealing with infertility.
  2. 30
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Larkken)
  3. 20
    The Ice People by Maggie Gee (imyril)
    imyril: A dystopian future struggling with infertility
  4. 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.
  5. 10
    The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (ramblingivy)
  6. 10
    The First Century After Beatrice by Amin Maalouf (inge87)
    inge87: Speculative fiction about a future where men can be permanently cured of having daughters.
  7. 10
    The Alteration by Kingsley Amis (devenish)
  8. 00
    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.
  9. 01
    Ark Baby by Liz Jensen (isabelx)
    isabelx: No more babies.
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» See also 223 mentions

English (149)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (151)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
Interesting - this belongs to that tiny category of books whose movie version I liked more. Which didn't mean the book didn't hold me. The premise is great, and unique, and PD James can write. It was as if Graham Greene had decided to write a work of speculative fiction. But James' ladling on the Christianity put me off - Greene, one of the great religious writers of fiction, would never have been so maudlin, nor so nostalgic about fading middle class mores. Meanwhile the film has several things going for it: it wisely shifts the focus to phenomena much more reflective of British reality in 2006 - like terrorism, state repression, and immigration. Clive Owen is much more engaging than James' dislikeable hero, there is no silly love story, and the victory, if there is one, is not his - or England's, for that matter. It's a complete rethinking of the premise, bringing a large and quite different looking world into focus. Three cheers for the movie, two and a half for the book. ( )
  CSRodgers | Feb 8, 2015 |
I love the Children of Men, it's chilling, melancholy and says a great deal about power.

Not a huge fan of PD James (though to be fair I haven't read hardly anything of hers), I picked up this book from my parents bookshelves and delved into it as the blurb fascinated me.

I was enthralled. Theo Faran is not likeable, proactive or attractive, if you're expecting Clive Owen from the badly realised movie, then don't. He is however, well written and strangely relateable. His journey from self-absorbed university professor to protector is beautiful.

The book itself is chock of scenes that has stuck with me for years. A sense of hopelessness pervades the opening of this book and translates beautifully to hope as things progress. I highly recommend it. ( )
  Claire.Warner | Feb 8, 2015 |
The most important thing to keep in mind while reading this book is that it is Not The Movie. They have pretty much nothing in common except for a basic premise.

The premise is good, the characters and world-building are decent, but the narrator is annoying. The diary technique appears to have been done for no reason whatsoever. ( )
  lavaturtle | Dec 31, 2014 |
I was fascinated by the premise of this book(a future in which the human race is infertile and not children are being born anymore), and the way the implications of this are played out across society. But I didn't really care for the characters, especially the cold, stuffy Theo, and the two-timing Julian who finally manages to get herself up the duff, thus heralding the salvation of the human race. Somehow. There are a couple of two-dimensional baddies, Rolf the cuckolded husband, and Xan self-styled "Warden of England" who just happens to be Theo's cousin and childhood friend. P.D. James drags her characters at great speed through a number of plot holes while coincidences fall fast and furiously around their ears. I watched the film trailers and think it is probably a far stronger story in its big-screen incarnation.

But the novel did get me thinking: would it be bad news for the planet at all if the human race disappeared? A good book to read after this is Alan Weisman's The World Without Us. ( )
  bibliobibuli | Dec 29, 2014 |
  jll1976 | Nov 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

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

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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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Book description
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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307279901, Paperback)

Told with P. D. James's trademark suspense, insightful characterization, and riveting storytelling, The Children of Men is a story of a world with no children and no future. 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:45 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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.

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