The human race is almost extinct due to unexplainable infertility that leaves no corner of the world untouched. Britain lives under a totalitarian govThe human race is almost extinct due to unexplainable infertility that leaves no corner of the world untouched. Britain lives under a totalitarian government ruled by the warden of england as the population dwindles.
I read this whilst on holiday in the sparsely populated northern highlands. The way James had portrayed the upcoming extinction of the human race is really quite superb and preyed on my mind as i was in probably the least populated area of the uk. Quiet desperation is the English way as pink floyd put it and PD James has captured it perfectly.
I saw the film of this first and loved its bleakness and raw portrayal of Britain under a ruthless dictatorship. It's glaringly obvious as you start to read children of men that the book inspired the movie with its themes and character names only. The book for me mainly portrayed how the final generation of humans would live on this island, what they would ignore and have as their price for a trouble free existence until the end.
This is how Theo the main protagonist is portrayed early in the book. The book switches at first between the bleak journal he writes to document his Demise and a straight forward narrative that moves the story along, shakes up his life and those around him.
This was better then the first book. I thought PJF had probably developed as a writer a lot more when he wrote this and I didn't find it as clunky asThis was better then the first book. I thought PJF had probably developed as a writer a lot more when he wrote this and I didn't find it as clunky as To your scattered bodies go. I had fond memories of this instalment as Sam Clemens(Mark Twain) reluctantly teams up with King John(yes, the dastardly lion in the disney film Robin Hood) to build a Riverboat to travel to the headwaters of the Riverworld. Although I enjoyed it a littel more I didn't think it was great, there are still no lead female characters, the book is littered with misogyny and at one point there is even the phrase "Firebrass(the engineer) moved into the cabin with his woman". Who says Sci Fi isn't completely sexist when it needs to be.
There were also some laughable characters. Hacking, the leader of the fantastically named soul city wants to create an all Black state. I couldn't help but imagine him as a cross between the jive talking passengers in airplane and Hooper X from Chasing Amy, I kept expecting him to yell "Black Rage!"
In all its quite an enjoyable romp but the main thing that lets this volume down for me is the staggeringly obvious plot turns of betrayal. At the end it was a case of Sam yelling - "curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal, that I've been expecting all through the book and have mentioned many, many times but haven't really planned for or watched out for". He deserved to have his boat pinched.
I will read the rest of the books eventually. Although I do remember Gods of Riverworld being a bit crap.