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The Children of Men | [P.D. James]

The Children of Men

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.…
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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))

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (36 )
5 star
 (8)
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2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
3.7 (35 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
3.1 (34 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark ONTARIO, CA, United States 03-10-13
    Mark ONTARIO, CA, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    14
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    2
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    Story
    "Narrator Nearly Ruins the Story"

    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    claire Brooklyn, NY, United States 04-22-13
    claire Brooklyn, NY, United States 04-22-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    5
    1
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    0
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    Story
    "Don't do it."
    What would have made The Children of Men better?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I couldn't listen for long enough to develop a favorite.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Case?

    Patrick Stewart. or Michael Caine. or any actor with a less grating voice, but these are the two that came to mind.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    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.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie WASHINGTON, DC, United States 09-19-13
    Marie WASHINGTON, DC, United States 09-19-13 Member Since 2010

    Professional librarian type, amateur historian.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    68
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    "Needs another narrator"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Hohensee WINONA, MN, US 02-14-13
    Maria Hohensee WINONA, MN, US 02-14-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    4
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    "A must read"
    If you could sum up The Children of Men in three words, what would they be?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Julian is my favorite. She's strong, intelligent, knows what she wants and is not afraid to go for it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final scene with Julian and Theo in the cabin in the woods.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It definitely made me cry.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scooter San Francisco Bay Area 07-08-14
    Scooter San Francisco Bay Area 07-08-14 Member Since 2003

    Go Giants!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    "Narrator Ruins It."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adam 07-14-14
    adam 07-14-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    25
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "I'm 2 hours in, the narrator has killed it for me!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I'm 2 hours in, the narrator has killed it for me!


    How could the performance have been better?

    I'm 2 hours in, the narrator has killed it for me!


    Any additional comments?

    I'm 2 hours in, the narrator has killed it for me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul United States 12-26-12
    Paul United States 12-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought provoking!"

    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.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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