The Children of Men begins in England in 2021, in a world where all human males have become sterile and no child will be born again. The final generation has turned 25, and civilization is giving way to strange faiths and cruelties, mass suicides and despair. Theodore Faron, Oxford historian and cousin to the omnipotent Warden of England, a dictator of great subtlety, has resigned himself to apathy. Then he meets Julian, a bright, attractive woman, who wants Theo to join her circle of unlikely revolutionaries, a move that may shatter his shell of passivity... And maybe, just maybe, hold the key to survival for the human race.
©1993 P.D. James (P)2012 Random House
“Extraordinary … daring … frightening in its implications.”(The New York Times)
“She writes like an angel. Every character is closely drawn. Her atmosphere is unerringly, chillingly convincing. And she manages all this without for a moment slowing down the drive and tension of an exciting mystery.” (The Times (UK))
The Narrator is so unbelievably poor it makes the main character sort of annoying. Who speaks like this? Great story though, read the book for yourself and watch the movie for some awesome visuals to go with it.
A different narrator; this was possibly the worst book recording I've ever listened to. The narration made it unbearable. The reading was, in parts, oddly timed and, at others, too pompous sounding for the storyline.
I couldn't listen for long enough to develop a favorite.
Patrick Stewart. or Michael Caine. or any actor with a less grating voice, but these are the two that came to mind.
I loved the story from the movie, and think the story of the book was far more detailed and nuanced. The narration just took so much from the story, and from Theo (the main character) that I couldn't hold on to the story. really quite sad, because I was very much looking forward to listening to this.
I did this book with Whispersync for Voice, but I found David Case (aka Frederick Davidson) unbearable. I find him to be one of the worst narrators ever. So, I read 99% on my Kindle, but I really enjoyed it.
If you're into the whole dystopian apocalypse thing, you definitely need to add this to the repertoire.
Professional librarian type, amateur historian.
I must agree with other reviewers that the narration could be better. I was too aware of his breathing, pauses and well, him. It's like going to see a play and you're seated where you can see the backstage so well it distracts from time to time from the play.
I saw the movie before listening to the book, so another distraction was the mental comparisons between the movie and the book. The ex-wife plays less of a role than she did in the movie, the government structure becomes more prominent, and the environment gets more rural than urban. Yet, as always the book is far better than the movie.
Another, and this could be annoying, distraction was how the author wrote the book with two voices. One is in the first person of Theo as he fills his diary. The other is written in the third person. At times I had to ask myself and wonder if the book was in diary mode or not.
Though the main character is pretty much an atheist/agnostic the story is dripping with Christian themes and references. There are no perfect Christians in this story, everyone is broken in one way or another.
Overall it is an engaging book, despite the narration.
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. — Andre Gide
I feel the complaints about David Case's narration are entirely unjustified (and no, I have no connection with him).
Theo, the main character, is an Oxford don and much of the first part of the novel is told from his first person perspective -- so it's only natural Case would adopt a hyper-educated, overly posh British accent. Sure, few people talk like this, but that's very much the point: few people are like Theo.
To an American ear (and I'm American) I can understand Case's voice might seem exaggerated and grating -- even to a British ear -- but the whole novel is an exaggeration: it's satire, after all. Listened to with this in mind, the narration clicks right into place.
Case manages the wide variety of characters with such skill it's hard to believe it's always just the one person narrating. The women's voices are particularly remarkable: Julian's insipidity, Miriam's core strength, Harriet Marwood's brittle authority.
If you forget the negative reviews and give Case a chance, his telling of Jame's serrated satire will very likely cut you some good chuckles.
I enjoyed the story however, personally I will avoid future audios by this Narrator. There was never any real emotion in his voice. Worse was the long silenced and sudden pause between sentences causing several times for me to reach for my phone thinking the audio app had stopped working.
I was originally asked to read this for my college English class. I found that thoroughly enjoyed it and have recommended it to friends and family. One of those books that make you wonder if it could really happen.
Julian is my favorite. She's strong, intelligent, knows what she wants and is not afraid to go for it.
The final scene with Julian and Theo in the cabin in the woods.
It definitely made me cry.
If you like being pulled into an interesting world and aren't too hung up on where the story is going, you may like this book better than I did.
Hmm...unlikely. Unless a trusted friend told me it was REALLY good and it had a different narrator.
Let me make a list.
1 - He sounds dismissive, snotty & elitist
2 - He tries to do accents and different voices for people and they are just terrible. One guy just sounds like he's dying.
3 - It's clearly an old recording that needs to be redone. It's fuzzy and you can hear him stop to take sips of water, and whatnot.
I found it to be an interesting idea but I was a little disappointed by the execution. I felt like this was not even close to how people would react in this situation, plus a LOT of nothing happened in this book. A LOT.
I read this as part of a book club and a lot of the ladies liked it better than me, so...that's something!
The book took you through the progression of the main character's evolution very effectively. It started out very bleak and was often difficult to take (intentionally), but if you can continue though it the reward is great.
Say something about yourself!
It could have been read by a different narrator. His voice and the way he read, took me out of the story several times.
I watched Children of Men shortly after it was released onto DVD. Ten years later, I finally listened to the book. Well, ten years later I also discovered it was based from the book. I will be honest and say that the movie's storyline was better. There was a lot more action, and you could love the main character more. I did enjoy the book, nonetheless. (If you could ignore how the narrator speaks, and just listen to his words). I am a huge fan of pre- and post- apocalyptic worlds. It has been 25 years since a baby has been born, and the world needs to cope with the death of the human race. Everyone knows they will die, and many people (like myself), fear death. But there is something crippling to know that nothing will continue after your life ends for anyone in our world. There is only so much a world can do to keep going, with no youth coming into the job forces, etc. It is a great book, where you can think about what you would do in that world, or how you would try to improve it. But if you are like me and accidentally watched the movie first, do not let yourself become disappointed. It still has a strong, hopeful ending, even though it's in a completely different direction.
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