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Afterland

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3.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,657 ratings  ·  539 reviews
Children of Men meets The Handmaid's Tale in this "bowstring-taut, visceral, and incredibly timely" thriller about how far a mother will go to protect her son from a hostile world transformed by the absence of men.

Most of the men are dead. Three years after the pandemic known as The Manfall, governments still hold and life continues -- but a world run by women isn't always
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Hardcover, 411 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by Mulholland Books (first published May 15th 2020)
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Average rating 3.31  · 
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Jeffrey Keeten
”’And you’re returning to South Africa after your vacation?’

‘Yes, that’s where we live,’ proud of the fact of it. Away from everyday Nazis and school shootings so regular they were practically part of the academic calendar along with prom and football season, away from the slow gutting of democracy, trigger-happy cops, and the terror of raising a black son in America. But how can you live there, people would ask her (and Devon, her American husband, especially), meaning Johannesburg. Isn’t it da
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Gerhard
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Broken Monsters was Lauren Beukes’s great Clive Barker novel, then Afterland is her great Stephen King novel. By the way, I personally hate it when blurbs state breathlessly that if you loved ‘x’ by ‘y’ … then this is JUST the book for you because it is MORE of the same!

Beukes has carved a niche for herself as one of the most innovative speculative-genre writers at work today, on the same level as Clive Barker and Stephen King. I deliberately use the term ‘speculative’, as opposed to the more
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Matthew
Afterland is an okay dystopian story. Somewhat of a rehash of the graphic novel series Y: The Last Man. How much knowledge Beukes had of that story or if she was influenced by it at all, I cannot say. But it is the same basic idea and premise. A virus wipes out all (or most) men and this is the aftermath as women inherit the earth. I enjoyed the graphic novel story a bit better, but this one will serve anyone looking for a dystopian fix.

I have read a couple of Beukes previous novels (The Shining
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Tania
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
"You can’t imagine how much the world can change in six months. You just can’t."

Except that, now, of course we all can...

3.5 stars rounded up to 4. I’ve read all of Lauren Beukes novels and my favorites are Zoo City and The Shining Girls. The thing I love most about this South African author is her knack for wildly inventive plot-lines – criminals who gets assigned animal companions or time travelling serial killers. That said, I thought the story line for Afterland was the most “nor
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Andrew Smith
I was worried about picking up a book centred on a pandemic, I mean the timing is interesting isn’t it. But two things quickly became clear:

1. The pandemic here is different - it only kills men
2. The whole thing feels completely tongue-in-cheek and is impossible to take seriously

Cole and her son Miles escape a camp in California set up to protect and exploit some of the few remaining males - semen is gold. We’re not yet clear on the details but it seems that during the escape Cole may have kille
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Bradley
By now, a lot of us have read a lot of dystopias featuring sexual politics, often accompanied with some major disaster that leaves women a huge minority (The Book of Etta) or (The White Plague) or any number of bigger named modern authors.

This one flips the script. Men are seriously endangered.

The few men left must deal with the patriarchy of women. :) Yes, patriarchy. Because let's face it, patriarchies are learned.

All told, I loved the worldbuilding. There are a lot of great easter eggs and
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Sonja Arlow
3.5 stars

I have read most of Lauren Beukes’s books and loved all of them.

She has always had this undefinable element to her stories that made them stand out. From the bizzaro world of Zoo City to the creepy thriller The Shining Girls. The fact that she is a fellow South African made reading her unique books even more of a treat.

With this latest installment however, I struggled to get completely lost in the story.

There is not one glaring specific thing that bothered me just a few things that nig
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Michelle
Unfortunately this book was not for me. I almost DNFED it at 25%, 50%, and again even at 75%. As you can probably tell I do not like to DNF books, I think I owe the publishers and authors more than that. Even if I’m not enjoying a book I torture myself in hopes that the ending will blow me away—this HAS happened. But, alas—this was not the case here.

I really did not enjoy this book. For two people that are running from the law, there was zero excitement whatsoever. I didn’t even fear for them.
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Eli
Jul 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
With transmisogyny fundamentally baked into the premise, and apparently a long history of cissexism before this, the author's presumed insights into gender, power and humanity are nothing but a trainwreck. ...more
Crystal
Jul 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Hmm, sounds promising. I LOVE The Handmaid’s Tale, and this book said it would focus on a different type of dystopia, one where men were the rarity. Unfortunately, this book failed to live up to its promise.

The relationships between the characters is affected by a very cavalier way of describing their communications. Their deepest emotions are constantly trivialized with an odd, impersonal attempt at humor through unending pop culture references. In one passage, a woman comes to a realization ab
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The Captain
Jul 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this dystopian thriller eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

This be me fourth book by the author.  I adored her shining girls and thought it was one of the best time travel books I have read.  I also very much enjoyed zoo city cause who doesn't want a giant sloth? 

This is a dystopian thriller where a plague has wiped out most of the men.  The remaining men are locked up for their own protection.  A mom, Cole,
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Justine
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
3.5 stars

My first book by Buekes! She's clearly a talented writer, and this was very good, just not a perfect fit for me at the moment. A little more gritty realism than I was looking for right now.
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Deb
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No recommendations

This book was so unoriginal. There are old movies about this subject line. Lots of lengthy nonsensical drawn out descriptions of events and particular characters. The mother is an idiot making mistake after mistake which were so obvious. The reason I read the entire book as hard of a time as it seemed I dredged through, is I kept hoping it would get better and I like to read to the end. Don't waste your time as there is so much more out there to spend your time reading.
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Bob/Sally
While I liked and even admired parts of Afterland, as a whole it was largely unsatisfying. That may say more about me than the book, so take my reservations with a grain of salt, but let me explain.

First off, this was a book that largely ignored the half of the story I’d hoped would be its focus. This is largely Cole’s story, the story of a mother on the run with her child, desperate to get home and just as desperate to avoid dealing with her violence against her sister. All of that is fine, and
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Ashley Daviau
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Who knew a book about the apocalypse would ever hit so close to home? It was eerie reading this with everything going on in the world right now, it was just a little too close for comfort. I definitely wasn’t expecting to be so creeped out by this! It was a bit of a slow go at first and I was finding myself wishing it would just got on with it and that’s part of the reason why I had to dock a star. Once it did get going though I couldn’t get enough of it and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough ...more
Sarah
Turns out it's not particularly enjoyable to read about a fictional global pandemic when you as a reader are in the midst of one.

The pandemic in Afterland is one which only affects men, and we find out that Cole has lost her husband to it, had some kind of altercation with her sister, Billie, as a result of the pandemic... and has a 12 year old son who has somehow survived unscathed by whatever this disease is. To protect Miles, Cole has him pretend to be a girl (Mila), and they go on the run to
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SheLovesThePages
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I just loved the idea of this book. A new virus has taken over which causes men B's boys to develop a fast acting prostate cancer. It then invaded the bones. A small percent of males are left over in this world. The book is told from 3 POVs. Cole (the mother), Miles (the son), and Billie (his aunt).
The book started out great, a page turner, and then it just lost a lot of steam for me around the halfway point. I didn't really enjoy any of the characters. I kept waiting for Cole to be vulnerable a
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Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)
QUICK TAKE: I am a huge fan of post-apocalyptic stories, and I was really looking forward to this story about a woman and her son trying to return home in a world where a majority of the male population has died off due to a mysterious disease. While I enjoyed the family relationships, I would have loved a little more world-building; as it was written, the story is a bit insular. That being said, if you're a fan of the genre, I think there's a lot that you will enjoy. ...more
Polly
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it's probably impossible to talk about this book – a book with a 2020 publication date that is about a global pandemic – without reflecting heavily on the current real world situation. So many of the small details of this story hit so much harder than the author could have possibly imagined while writing it.

“You can’t imagine how much the world can change in six months. You just can’t.”

This would be a powerful quote in any context, but it stood out starkly while reading it with *gesture
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Stacey
Jun 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
DNF @ 61%

I was provided an e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

This book is well written and interesting, it just isn't my cup of coffee right now. I'm trying not to force myself through books I'm not enjoying, as that will only bog down my overall reading and make it a chore to do so.

If the blurb of this one looks good, I'd recommend giving it a try. It'll hit the right chords for someone, just didn't for me this time around.

#ItsNotYouItsMe
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Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
First of all, Afterland has one of the most beautiful covers I've seen this year!

Afterland was a fascinating read! Basically an illness has caused the majority of mean nd boys to die from prostate cancer and women are left to rule the world. Rad--right? Welll, not exactly because the US government wants to put all remaining men and boys in camps and keep an eye on them and do sketchy stuff like possibly harvest their sperm. Afterland tells the story of a mother and son stuck in the US and tryin
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Melissa
I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for a review. Mulholland Books has also advised me that a positive review requires me to disclose that I received the book for free from them and since I generally mean three stars in a positive way, there we go. Thank you Mulholland Books!

Cole flees across the U.S. with her son Miles in Beukes's apocalypse, which features a highly contagious flu that mutates into prostate cancer and has killed off an estimated 3.2 billion carriers of the XY c
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Rhiannon Johnson
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.




“You can’t imagine how much the world can change in six months. You just can’t.”

A couple months ago I read The Mother Code and I’ve got The Gunslinger and Severance on my current TBR. I’ve loved pandemic and post-apocalyptic fiction for years and I am not shying away from it despite current events. I was especially excited to read Afterland because I loved @laurenbeukes 2013 release, The Shining Girls. I was not l
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Diane S ☔
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thoughts soon.
Tracy Robinson
Jul 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: tbr-wishlist
AFTERLAND is certainly a surreal read given the current landscape we find ourselves in. Granted the virus and the subsequent fallout in this book is more drastic than Covid-19, but I found myself finding quite a bit to relate to. Add that to my love of one of Beuke's previous books, Broken Monsters, plus my love of all things apocalyptic (in fiction), and this book had all the makings of something I could love.

I enjoyed the characters Beuke's created - they are well developed and the act/react i
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Karen’s Library
I love the dystopian apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic genres so reading the description of Afterland as a Children of Men meets The Handmaid’s Tale, I was all-in!

In Afterland, we meet Cole, her 12 year old son Miles, and her psychopath sister Billie. 3 years before the book takes place, a plague hits which ends up killing 99% of the men. Parts of this story was very prescient with hand sanitizer and other supplies running out.

Told in current day and flashbacks, Cole and Miles were taken by the
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Caitlin Gutilla
Jan 22, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ugh, book-club
DNF @ 54%. I am so bored and Billie’s chapters are so frustrating to read and there is no real plot direction and I’m not connected with anyone. Real cool idea, very poor execution.
Kristenelle
I've never been so happy to be finished with a book! This has been holding my Kindle hostage for a couple months now.

This was simply boring. The set up is a very near future where all the men have died in a pandemic except for a mystery few who seem to have immunity. Fun, right? The story dumps us right into a situation where something dramatic seems to have happened and we have to put the pieces together to figure out what.

The prose is note-worthy. It is very edgy and colorful...to the point
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Sarah
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
3.5 stars rounded up.

Afterland is about the Manpocalypse. How could I not pick up a book about the Manpocalypse? (And yes, they really call it that in the book.) Anyway, we follow a mother, Cole, and her son, Miles, across the country as they attempt to flee back to their homeland. They are being chased by Cole’s crazy sister Billy, who wants to sell Miles’s boy-specific-body-fluids on the black market, and the goverment, sort of. I say sort of because the goverment, disappointingly, doesn’t com
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Mt. Lebanon Publi...: Afterland by Lauren Beukes 1 9 May 29, 2020 12:49PM  
Expected publication: May 1st 2020 1 17 May 29, 2019 04:32PM  

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Lauren Beukes is an award-winning, best-selling novelist who also writes screenplays, TV shows, comics and journalism. Her books have been translated into 26 languages and have been optioned for film and TV.

Her awards include the Arthur C Clarke Award, the prestigious University of Johannesburg prize, the August Derleth Prize, the Strand Critics Choice Award and the RT Thriller of the Year. She’s
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