The Children of Men Author:P. D. James The Children of Men begins in England in 2021, in a world where all human males have become sterile and no child will be born again. The final generation has turned twenty-five, and civilization is giving way to strange faiths and cruelties, mass suicides and despair. Theodore Faron, Oxford historian and cousin to the omnipotent Warden of Englan... more »d, a dictator of great subtlety, has resigned himself to apathy. Then he meets Julian, a bright, attractive woman, who wants Theo to join her circle of unlikely revolutionaries, a move that may shatter his shell of passivity. And maybe, just maybe, hold the key to survival for the human race.« less
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This is my first P.D. James novel and I will certainly read another. She spends a good deal of time developing her main character. Kinda getting in their skin.
I saw the movie before reading the book. They are very different. The movie has much more action and ends totally different then the book. The film versions charming Jasper played by Michael Cain has only a very minor part here. Theo's ex-wife also has a diminished role in the book and is merely another law abiding citizen.
Turns out I like both film and book versions because they vary so much. I fact, nothing in the book will spoil the movie or vice versa.
A very frightening, chilling tale about how mankind reacts to the knowledge of its sure extinction. What was most disturbing to me was how quickly the human race devolved into a group of uncaring, bored, apathetic, selfish, savage creatures in such a short time with the horrifying realization that there was no hope whatsoever that humankind would continue to inhabit the earth when the present population was gone. It made me wonder what the tiny thread of hope is that we cling to that keeps us (at least in our own minds) from being no better than savage animals. Is it faith? knowledge? prosperity? For we know that when things such as these are missing (Darfur, for example) we really are savages.
This was the first book I ever read by James, and by far my favorite. Very insightful, much deeper than one might think. I read the book long before seeing the movie. I thought the movie was an excellent adaptation, but had to be changed in order to suit the motion picture medium. Regardless whether you read or watch first, I recommend doing both and expecting the book and movie to be different.
If you saw the film don't let it keep you from this terrific book. The plot revolves around the proposition that the world would be a very different place if mankind lost the ability to have children. James explores some of the changes she thinks would occur. This is a rich complex novel that starts slow but becomes increasingly enjoyable culminating in a satisfying believable conclusion.