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A Creed for the Third Millennium

3.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  750 Ratings  ·  61 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.
197th out of 387 books — 715 voters
1984 by George OrwellBrave New World by Aldous HuxleyThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyAnimal Farm by George Orwell
Dystopics, Utopics, & Apocalyptics
151st out of 254 books — 70 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,207)
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Nov 01, 2009 Mischelle rated it really liked it
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
Mar 14, 2012 Jenna St Hilaire rated it did not like it
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
Jul 30, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it
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
Jan 01, 2011 Katie Q rated it really liked it
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
Aug 26, 2011 Shirley Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 07, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Decades ago I thought Colleen McCullough's "The Thorn Birds" was one of the best books I had ever read. The passion, longing, inner turmoil, and strong personalities were just so intense.

This book is so different yet so similar. No love story. Set in a bleak future, not the past. Continually hinting at something that will happen in the future.

The government tries to find an incredibly charismatic man to give hope to troubled, depressed populace that is facing the harsh realities of an ice age th
Feb 17, 2008 Elisabeth rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 04, 2012 Maggie rated it liked it
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
Oct 20, 2014 Carol Waters rated it did not like it
Shelves: crap
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
Jul 13, 2011 Tracy Walters rated it liked it
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 did not like it
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
Apr 20, 2014 Robert Boyd rated it did not like it
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)
J. Walker
I read this book originally in 1985, when it was new; I was working at WaldenBooks and did an employee-loan to read it. I was already an enormous Colleen McCullough fan, and found myself arguing with the - which, at the time was a good thing.
I picked it up a second time from the library, the last week of April - 31 years later - more for research than pleasure, and find how deeply this book sank into my psyche when I read it the first time.
But that is a tale for another time and place.
The messia
Aug 04, 2008 Kandice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations
Dystopia at it's best!!!!!!
Anna Engel
Nov 11, 2011 Anna Engel rated it liked it
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
Dec 28, 2012 M.A. McRae rated it really liked it
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
Sep 19, 2013 Beth rated it did not like it
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 did not like it
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 N
Aug 26, 2014 Shelly N rated it liked it
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.
Nov 14, 2015 Heather rated it it was ok
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.
Carolee Weber
Feb 16, 2016 Carolee Weber rated it liked it
Kind of a strange dystopian novel, dated because it was written in the 80s and the author didn't really predict some of the internet, digital, cell phone, etc., advances that have changed the world. The symbolism was a bit in your face, but the book kept my interest.
Tara Mcknight
May 30, 2016 Tara Mcknight rated it it was amazing
I have read this book several times and each reading finds more similarities with the situations we humans find ourselves presently in. Environmentally, ecologically, economically, and religiously we are grasping at straws and, even though this book is set in the turn of the Millennium, this book is a mirror held up to the issues of today.
Sep 17, 2012 S.A. rated it it was ok
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 liked it
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
Mary Wheeler
May 23, 2016 Mary Wheeler rated it it was amazing
The most compelling of Colleen McCullough's many novels. Back when it was published in 1986 she predicts a future that is becoming all too real 30 years later.
Erik Graff
Jul 09, 2014 Erik Graff rated it it was ok  ·  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 liked it
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
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Colleen Margaretta McCullough AO (married name Robinson, previously Ion-Robinson; 1 June 1937 – 29 January 2015) was an Australian author known for her novels, her most well-known being The Thorn Birds.

Source: Wikipedia.
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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.” 2 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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