The Children of Men

The Children of Men

Book - 1993
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Baker & Taylor
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

Blackwell North Amer
The year is 2021, and the human race is - quite literally - coming to an end. Since 1995 no babies have been born, because in that year all males unexpectedly became infertile. Great Britain is ruled by a dictator, and the population is inexorably growing older. Theodore Faron, Oxford historian and, incidentally, cousin of the all-powerful Warden of England, watches in growing despair as society gradually crumbles around him, giving way to strange faiths and cruelties: prison camps, mass organized euthanasia, roving bands of thugs. Then, suddenly, Faron is drawn into the plans of an unlikely group of revolutionaries. His passivity is shattered, and the action begins.
The Children of Men will surprise - and enthrall - P. D. James fans. Written with the same rich blend of keen characterization, narrative drive and suspense as her great detective stories, it engages powerfully with new themes: conflicts of loyalty and duty, the corruption of power, redemption through love. Ingenious, original, irresistibly readable, it confirms once again P. D. James's standing as a major novelist.

& Taylor

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. 125,000 first printing. $125,000 ad/promo. BOMC Alt. Tour.

Publisher: New York : A.A. Knopf, Vintage Books, 1993, c1992
ISBN: 9780679418733
Branch Call Number: FIC JAM
Characteristics: 241 p. ; 24 cm


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CRRL_MegRaymond Feb 09, 2018

The last generation in the world are now adults. Infertile. There is no future for anyone. But one tiny band of revolutionaries may have the key to survival.

Dec 14, 2017

a rather decent film was made from this, starring, among others, Michael Caine.

Jun 12, 2017

It was a fair if shallow piece though I related to the narrator. When you've been through trauma that litcherally steals your face right off your head it can dull your senses to the point where there's nothing left to do but smile. Which is why I'm no longer allowed to sit next to my brother at funerals. Once Dust in the Wind played from a raggedy ghetto blaster so he leaned over his wife to whisper, "You're My Boy Blue." It was the 3rd funeral in a row I inappropriately laughed loud and long. And when Hallelujah comes on do not look at my ex wife/fiancée because she'll be giggling too.

Mar 29, 2016

(This is a review of the movie rather than the book). To me this is clearly a Christmas story about the birth of hope in a world where hope has died. The nativity scene in the "fugee" camp is incredible. I think this movie takes an action movie into a new dimension. I love it.

Apr 18, 2014

British author P.D. James is best known for her mysteries, but her dystopian sci-fi novel is well-worth reading. While I liked the movie, it diverges quite a bit from the book. This is less an action story and more a grim look at a childless future that explores politics, tyranny and religion. You might also like Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale."

jaybarksdale Nov 17, 2012

Still remember this book, at least parts of it: poor crazed women perambulating baby-carriages with dolls inside, how everyone is moving, slowly, to live together, how the clinics discovered the catastrophe first. The opening paragraph, how the youngest person in the world, killed himself, sets you up for a grim read.

Jun 21, 2012

serious reading, save for another time

Jean-Pierre Lebel
Jan 19, 2012

Children of Men is a well written book that paints a clear landscape of feeling and emotion. What would the world be like without any children, with mass infertility? P.D. James typically writes murder mysteries, so this book is really different for the author. Having seen the movie I would have called it Science Fiction, but the book doesn't have that technical analysis that is typical of the genre. Generally comparisons between books and related movies are useless and unhelpful. It is especially true with Children of Men. The script for the movie was completely rewritten and bears little resemblance to this book. That turns out to be a good thing as each of the story variations have their own voice and something interesting to say. I can heartily recommend both the book and the movie.

hermlou Aug 06, 2011

The first half of this book is rather grim, as P.D. James explores what the world would be without children. There is no hope for the future, and cities crumble. Women have their kittens baptized instead of babies. I almost gave up on the book but am glad I didn't. The second half of the book is full of action, as a rebel group begs Theo to join them, for one of their members has been arrested. I enjoyed the book, and the characters stayed with me for days. James always expands my vocabulary: a "pustulous" road.

Oct 08, 2009

In The Children of Men, author P.D. James images another future in which birthrates have plummeted. In fact, there hasn?t been a single baby born for nearly twenty years. Children are not the future, and civilization has ground to a halt. War rages, borders are closed, refugees are persecuted, mass suicides are encouraged, desperation is the order of the day. Theo Faron is one man in this barren future, a depressed, ineffectual history professor who happens to be the cousin of the dictator-like Ward of England. Due to his connections, Theo is approached by an underground rebellion called the Fishes, a group that still hopes for a promising future because one of its members?a woman named Julian?is miraculously pregnant. Soon Theo finds himself thrown in with the Fishes as Julian fights to keep her pregnancy secret from the ruthless government. P.D. James is best known for her series of mysteries starring Detective Adam Dalgliesh; The Children of Men and its science fiction tones are a distinct departure for the bestselling writer. But even fans who long for Adam?s return should stick with Theo and Julian?after a slow, deliberate start that chronicles the harsh realities of this futureless future, the drama and the pace pick up, and new issues are brought to light. Fans of books-turned-movies should watch 2006?s Children of Men, starring Clive Owen as Theo, Julianne Moore as Julian and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The film takes some interesting liberties with the plot and breaks new ground cinematically, and is a fine companion piece to the novel.


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