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A Creed for the Third Millennium

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  708 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Tomorrow's America is a cold and ravaged place, a nation devastated by despair and enduring winter. In a small New England city, senior government official Dr. Judith Carriol finds the man she has been seeking: a deliverer of hope in a hopeless time who can revive the dreams of a shattered people; a magnetic, compassionate idealist whom Judith can mold, manipulate and carr ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 1st 1986 by Avon Books (NYC) (first published 1985)
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The Stand by Stephen KingThe Road by Cormac McCarthy1984 by George OrwellThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodWorld War Z by Max Brooks
Apocalypse: It's Over, Dude.
195th out of 372 books — 701 voters
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Dystopics, Utopics, & Apocalyptics
144th out of 247 books — 57 voters

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Community Reviews

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Nov 01, 2009 Mischelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Colleen McCullough fans
Shelves: favorites
Excellent novel!! A keeper to read again! It is almost like a Sci Fi novel. Mixed in the future of the world with an old time from centuries away.

Made me search for the real life of Jesus Christ. From what I've read, Christ wasn't his real name. Things got misinterpret by the Greeks. That's a different subject for another time.
Jenna St Hilaire
The difficulty in reading a 1985 sci-fi is that the turn of the millenium was such a big mythic deal leading up to it—but now that we’re twelve years in, it’s just not that different from the nineties. Which were different from the eighties primarily in having smaller hairdos and less neon and not quite so much disco.

That is to say, in 1985 it was comparatively believable that there might be an ice age early in the new millenium. Who knew what that dreaded ozone hole, caused by trillions of cans
I was prepared not to like this book after reading some of the reviews. Some people said it was a "Big Brother" book but I did not find it that way at all. It is a story set in the future and the country is facing the beginnings of an ice age with sections of the population having to be seasonally relocated and facing the fact that soon they may need to be permanently relocated. In order to deal with the strain of increasing population at a time when living space is getting smaller, families are ...more
Anybody else struck in the middle of the face by the similarities between the situation in this book and the current state of things? A debilitating environmental catastrophe (that we're slipping ever further into, no matter that the temperature abnormalities in the novel vs. reality have opposite tendencies), a (formerly) dangerously overcrowded planet, the general sense of downtrodden resignation to the interminable grayness of a darkly fading world, the meteoric rise to prominence of a beacon ...more
Katie Q
Essentially there is nothing wrong with this book - in fact it is very compelling and readable and as such deserves a 4 star rating.

However, in saying that I wonder what made Colleen write about such a religious event but duplicated in the future? It is not offensive in my mind but others who take the Christian religion seriously may see this book as blasphemy.

Others like me who are not so worried will find this an easy and entertaining read that will leave you feeling a trifle sad about the wor
Shirley Brown
I quite liked this book, though it took me a long time to get into it. It has a very thought provoking plot and interesting story. Sort of a new Messiah in the future (2032). Book was written in 1985. Instead of climate warming, which we are experiencing now, the earth has returned to the beginnings of a new ice age. Pay attention to the names of the characters (at least most of them) as their names beome relevant later in the story.
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I'm sorry but I have not enjoyed a Colleen McCullough novel since The Thornbirds. This novel was rather hokey, very slow for the first 180 pages. I didn't like all the religious threads. The story line just seemed rather pointless. I would not recommend this novel. It has been on my shelf for 20 yrs probably. I should have got rid of it sooner.
Carol Waters
Really disliked this one. Other than the heavy-handed religious fervor, compounded by the dismissal of a God who has a role in human affairs (VERY Presbyterian) she just failed the science test. An ice age in one generation? Why can't I just put on a coat... I mean, I go to Alaska every year and they seem to do OK up there with layers of clothing. We aren't scientifically adept enough to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse? And if the one child thing is by choice what is the big deal about having two? ...more
Tracy Walters
Wow.......what can I say about this book.......except that it kept me going......made me sad......made me feel cold......made me feel as though I can survive life no matter how hard it gets. This book brought out a lot of emotions in me. I enjoyed reading it very much!

Mar 12, 2008 Beth rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nobody
I picked this up because I loved two of her other books, but I really didn't like this one. I can't remember the ending, but I do remember hating it so much that I threw the book across the room -- something I had never done before or since!
Robert Boyd
I read this for a religion class this semester in college.

While I certainly thought she had an interesting way to create an allegory, I did not care for her writing at all. It felt like she was trying to force her authorial intent on the reader rather than presenting a story and letting the reader interpret it. For example (view spoiler)
Dystopia at it's best!!!!!!
Anna Engel
I love dystopian novels. I love Colleen McCollough's writing. Merge the two and you have a truly creative, truly believable story. It starts off rather slowly and takes a long time to get moving. It's not an action or romance novel; rather, it's a novel that explores the future and the problems the world's inhabitants face: overpopulation, limited energy resources, climate change (ice age), and global cooperation. It's not so much a story as it is an exploration into the human need for something ...more
M.A. McRae
Not many would remember, but in the 70s and 80s, we were being told there was to be a new Ice Age rather than global warming. This novel was published in 1985, and is set in the future – around 2024, by memory, when the climate has become much colder, areas have become uninhabitable, energy use strictly limited and a universal one-child policy is in force. The climate is still getting colder and life is grim.
New hope is needed and is found in the person of one man, Joshua Christian. Joshua is lo
I usually like Colleen McCullough, but this one really wasn't what I was expecting. The book is set in the near future. The world climate is cooling and most Americans are being relocated to southern states. Unemployment and depression are rampant and most people are demoralized. (I love realistic futuristic books, especially with apocalyptic undertones, so I thought this would be good.) The US government wants to find a inspirational figure who will reinvigorate the people and boost morale. An ...more
J. Walker
This book changed for me, over time.
When I first read it, and got to the part where J.C. is recommended to "write a book", I spurned the entire premise, as if writing a book can change anything, change anyone, can accomplish anything "real". it was the '80s, I was in my 30s, what did I know?
Sometimes the allegory is a little too patently obvious, but she brings everything to the table, and doesn't disappoint.
Nov 04, 2011 Sorcha rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008, dnc
This book has been on my bookshelf for years, and to date I've been avoiding it, but I decided to bite the bullet. Unfortunately it was as difficult as I thought it was going to be and ended up as a DNC.[return][return]The naming of the characters was unsubtle as a brick [the family being referred to as "the Christians"] as was the description of Joshua himself [32 year old male, virtually asexual, still living with his mother and just coming into his prime]. [return][return]By half way through ...more
Shelly Kilbury
Neither loved it nor hated it. Unlike another reviewer, I did not feel compelled to throw it across the room when finished. I think it could have been fleshed out more at the end. I am a believer of Jesus, and I was not offended by the book. But I could tell less than an 1/8 of the way through where this was going. It certainly was no Thorn Birds however.
I read this years ago. I didn't care much for all the religious stuff, but I've never forgotten the premise that the rest of the world had said to the US something like--enough! You've already used your share of resources. Hasn't happened yet, but I sometimes wonder why.
I have had this book for years yet never read it. After reading it, I understood why I avoided it.

The actual writing is extremely strange. I have never read a book where so many people exclaimed all the time. People "roar" or "scream" during conversations. How excessive. If someone can use ten words instead of two, they'll use them. The dialog is stilted and almost old-fashioned, which is odd considering that the story is set in the future.

There were many scenes that dragged in corpse-like sulle
Feb 13, 2010 Nancy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of McCullough
I picked this book up because I've loved McCullough's past books - especially Ladies of Missalonghi. So far I'm not impressed.

The books is based on drastic climate change and 'national neurosis' over the difficulty of life under extreme rationing of heating fuel, forced relocation as the glaciers advance across the north of the country, and the effects of the one-generation old one-child doctrine. A new Messiah is sought, found, and exploited to give America hope in their future. The characters
Erik Graff
Jul 09, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: McCullough fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
I read this because I liked her First Man of Rome, my mother had liked The Thorn Birds and the novel's description made it sound like a science fictional messiah novel. It proved a great disappointment. First, there's no real science. Second, McCullough's writing style is not to my taste. Third, her messiah figure seemed rather hollow and vapid to me.

McCullough herself is a trained neurologist and one might presume that the interplay of the two doctors represents two aspects of herself. If so, i
Jan 17, 2008 Liz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
It's been awhile but I remember that I really liked this book but giving it 3 stars because of how much time has past.

Some say it's a big brother type book and a bit preachy but that didn't bother me. The world is cold and winter is seemingly never going away. People need someone, a saviour, to help them through this tough time. That man is found and he delivers speeches that instill hope and love. Very much a religious type book but I found it uplifting. I remember thinking that I wanted to be
Well written and an interesting concept. Alas Babylon and The Earth Abides are also books that are top notch.
Estelle Munroe
Having read others by the same author I must admit this was a bit of a surprise, I did enjoy it, but it is a rather dark tale and nothing like anything else of hers I had read. Interesting and enjoyable but certainly wouldn't appeal to everyone, especially those who like the more romantic McCullough!
A curious book. In fact I restarted it twice before I got to the end. Very dystopian (it's nothing like The Thorn Birds!) but definitely worth it in the end. In fact I'm sure I've read it all the way through more than once.
James Lopez
I really did not like this book. I thought it would be a good one since The Thornbirds was so good. Not so! I read 180 pages and could not continue further. This is the first book I ever started that I did not finish. Ugh!
This is The Book, my bible, the book I read for the sheer joy of transporting myself into a world of love, compassion an common-sense, If I had to choose one book to take on a desert island, this would be it.
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Colleen McCullough AO (born 1 June 1937) was an internationally acclaimed Australian author, born in Wellington in central west New South Wales to James and Laurie McCullough.

Colleen grew up during World War II. Before entering tertiary education, she previously earned a living as a teacher, librarian, and journalist. In her first year of medical studies at the University of Sydney she suffered de
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“But work used to be the lot of every man, and now it is rapidly becoming an aristocratic privilege. Men nowadays are more often paid not to work.” 1 likes
“Os nossos filhos e os seus filhos e todas as gerações vindouras têm de ser fortes. Têm de ser educados de molde a terem orgulho dos seus próprios feitos e do seu próprio trabalho árduo; não devem ser educados para descansarem sobre os louros dos pais.” 1 likes
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