The Children of Men
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, apa...more
Posted at Shelf Inflicted
I went to the library to spice up my life and came across a display inviting me to go on a blind date with a book. Each one was covered in brown wrapping paper with a big red heart. Underneath the heart was a very brief description. The one I picked up said “Receptive and chilling”.
It was fun driving home with a book I knew absolutely nothing about. I couldn’t wait to get it home, pour myself a glass of wine, strip off its cover, and learn its secrets. To my disappointm...more
I have wanted to read this book for a long time. I loved the movie. I thought it was brilliant, exciting, suspenseful and terrifying all at once. It was everything the book should have been... but was not.
What the book was, unfortunately, was big stretches of yawn interspersed by long-jumps of "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we fucking there yet?" and little bunny-hops of "Oh, that's...more
James tells her tale with third perso...more
Don't get me wrong, it's still a remarkably bleak book. It's set in the year 2021 and the last child born to humankind, twenty-five years previously, has just been killed. Somehow every p...more
The novel is set in a near future where humanity has lost the ability to have children. Worldwide sterility has persisted for so long that an entire generation has grown up without any children at all. England has become a dictatorship ruled by Xan Lyppiatt. The main character i...more
Well, the book and the movie are definitely two separate entities. They even have different endings. P.D. James' book lacks the action and excitement of the film version and P.D. James does go on about things like the decor of Theo's house and the political makeup of her futuristic England. And I would have liked the main character Theo to behave a bit more honorably. But I enjoyed the rendering of a world in which the last baby was born 25 years a...more
The film is so good t...more
1. This was such a beautifully written book, P.D James does a fantastic job of telling this story in a way that makes it so incredibly believable. The basic premise is that all the men in the world have become infertile meaning the last lot of pregnancies become the last generation of children. We follow the story of one man as he struggles with the aftermath of this event and how he attempts to hold onto the fragile strings of his life whilst life in its essence seems pointl...more
The pace is very different; where the movie moves forward constantly, the book inches along, spending chapters and chapters on Theo's internal life and chi...more
In "The Children Of Men", the reader finds a world where the population has become inexplicably infertile and must deal with the stresses of a dwindling population and the psychological angst that results when many realize what's the point of life if it will come to a screeching...more
James has always struck me as being a "cool" writer, one who keeps her characters (and the reader) at an emotional remove. This should work well for this novel, much of which is concerned with the difficulties of social and emoti...more
It's worth noting that the book was written before 9/11 and the film made after it, and all of the important themes that the film explores so thorough...more
I'm not saying it's not interesting to read, though. I polished it off in a day, in exactly the same way as An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. It just never caught fire in my head, never really became a compulsion to keep on reading. The characters n...more
P.D. James’ The Children of Men inspired a really exciting movie, but the novel’s deeper and stronger, more thought-provoking and, in its own way, possibly even more thrilling. While the movie presents a world-wide disaster from the points of view of a few, the novel manages to create both global and intimate views simultaneously. A well-educated protagonist comments on life and influence in his diary, recognizing the needs of the downtrodden even while he blithely seems to ignore them. But his...more
PD James was 72, the mother of two daughters, when she wrote Children of Men. (She’s still writing today at 92.) I would guess that being a mother gave her the ability to imagine a world without children, a race gone sterile. For 25 years, no babies have been born; elementary schools are abandoned and condemned, and playgrounds become graveyards. More importantly, the human race h...more
The setting is the same - a dicactorship of the future where children have stopped being born and mankind is slowly dying out. But whereas the film had chases and action sequences, the book is far more concerned with the nature of man and the nature of power. It all takes place in a far quieter key.
The lead character is...more
P. D. James is the author of twenty books, most of which have been filmed and broadcast on television in the United States and other countries. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Department of Great Britain's Home Office. She has served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. In 2000 she...more