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Publisher's Summary

"The End of Men is a fiercely intelligent page-turner, an eerily prescient novel, at once thoughtful and highly emotive." (Paula Hawkins, number-one internationally best-selling author of The Girl on the Train)

Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: What would our world truly look like without men?

Only men carry the virus. Only women can save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland - a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic - and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien - a women's world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus' consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the "male plague"; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal - the loss of husbands and sons - to the political - the changes in the workforce, fertility, and the meaning of family. 

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird turns the unimaginable into the unforgettable.

©2021 Christina Sweeney-Baird (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Science Fiction Books of the Year

“[A] chilling dystopian debut thriller...Sweeney-Baird’s look inside the heads of these and other shocked, desperate characters and her portrait of a bizarre new world are both thought- and fear-provoking. Readers will either wolf this down or elect to stay miles away from it, but controversy moves titles off the shelf. A top choice.” (Booklist, starred review) 

"Philosophically sweeping and emotionally intimate.... [The] personal politics and gender dynamics are spot-on, and readers will feel connected to the main characters’ struggles and resilience. Sweeney-Baird is a writer to watch.” (Publishers Weekly

"So much speculative fiction amounts to nothing more than just that: idle what-iffing, spitballed at the reader with little conviction and even less imagination. But The End of Men, like only a very few novels published since The Handmaid's Tale - think Naomi Alderman's The Power, think Children of Men by P D James - builds an alternate reality so persuasive, so confident, that it soon evolves from intriguing fiction to you-are-there docudrama, as vivid as Max Brooks' World War Z. Part parable, part thriller, and altogether provocative, this is the stuff that classics are made of." (AJ Finn, New York Times best-selling author of The Woman in the Window

What listeners say about The End of Men

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    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been more...

Since we have all had our realities turned upside down by a global pandemic, this seems, well, redundant. We already know what it's like not to be able to travel, or be able to go out. Most of us have lost people to the pandemic, and had our livelihoods taken away. Since this was about only men being affected, it would have been vastly more interesting to see what a life without men might look like. Do women mess it up? Do they change things in fantastic ways? There are literally endless ways it could a go. Yet, there is none of that. Not all of them even die, and new immune boys are being born within like 2 years...it just didn't MEAN anything. Instead, there were characters like Catherine who do nothing but prod on and on and on and on and on and on like she was the only person truly hurt by losing her child and husband. She is petty, and jealous, and just such a small person, it becomes completely creepy, and I wanted to get the heck out of her HEAD. I would like her to re-write this, and really get into it...see where it goes. Have something, anything happen.

8 people found this helpful

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WOW! The timing is perfect!

This is a masterpiece. Loved every second of it!
A horrific pandemic that almost destroys the world! Told from the point of view of different members of society, some in political power and others in the medical field and one VERY brave journalist who makes people take notice after a heroic Emergency Room Dr is ignored while trying to raise the alarm.
This novel really makes you think about our male dominated society and the resilience of women.
All the narration was top notch too. Spot on.
Two thumbs up!

4 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t finish

Conceptually interesting, but so much repetition. Feels like we keep reliving the personal losses which are a valid part of this, but it lacks balance. Could not keep me interested. Returned.

3 people found this helpful

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Very Interesting

Very interesting idea. Especially in enduring COVID, this book brought back memories of the start of our own global pandemic. I really enjoyed the style and concepts. Very creative.

3 people found this helpful

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Incredible lack of empathy

I spent hours listening to women emote about what THEY had lost - my son, my husband, my brother. Personally I am horrified by the thought of a loved one dying, scared and in pain. Aren’t you? My own misfortune in having to go on without them would pale in comparison. Yet that is all these characters seem to care about. I was left feeling pretty queasy.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing.

One of my new favorite books. This is beautifully written, incredibly emotional, and has really touched me.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointing full of politically “correct” themes

Start of this book was fine, typical, “end of world” storyline with interesting characters and thought provoking scenarios..the last half of the story deteriorated to the point where the authors true colors stand out but the story loses all of its punch and steam!!! Out the door goes a great post apocalyptic story replaced by a left wing, dreamy, post apocalyptic rebuilt society story with all of the “great society” talking points including healthcare for all, paid childcare, LGBT mental health programs, paid family leave along with unnecessary stuffing mentioning ideas like specialized womens clothing for firefighters and the military instead of those horrible men centered clothing lines that we used to have - also redesigned cars that do away with all of those “male centered” design features-I kid you not!! Now motor vehicle accidents and deaths are down 47% among women drivers in this fantastic new society!!🤩 Along with too many other pie in the sky utopian fantasies that have no room here to mention..plus total government control of your personal life and your working situation through mandatory draft work programs. All done under the guise of rebuilding a just, feminist run left wing society! Alongside all of this are continuous definitive anti-male comments from all of the female characters… after listening to this book I’m sure some people will believe that men are the root of evil for all of our societal problems… finally at the end we find a dating app, to end all apps, biggger than Facebook that is only for females and in this story most women choose to become lesbians and the few poor males left on the planet complain about being sexually harassed by lonely horny women!! ..of course all of the feminist characters say that they have been harassed their entire lives so too bad so sad -deal with it!! Traditional families are not the way to go In this brave new world!! God forbid we choose long term couples first for adoption! We must move forward with single parents, transgender and gay parents first in line!! No mention of religion or churches to help heal our society! No we need psychiatrists and humanist philosophy to move into the next great world building ..By the way who is paying for this fantasy socialist world?? The world almost ended but now we have a new economy so strong and rich we can afford unlimited social programs !!! Sounds like the liberal solution to our deeply entrenched societal maladies is the end of the world as we know it - power to females !!! It’s so over the top it was ridiculous…this author needs to go into politics and run for office - although half the country will not vote for her ….and that’s the issue - it’s fine to have left wing opinions but not everyone agrees with those ideas and why put them in the book - it does nothing for the story and is just filler to pad out the book - very unfortunate…why alienate half of your audience and ruin the story??

1 person found this helpful

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One of the best books I’ve ever read

No exaggeration - this book is brilliant. The writing is excellent, the storyline is creative and well thought-out, the different perspectives break up the rhythm well, and the voice acting is first-class.
There are 3 or 4 books I continually recommend to anyone who will listen, and this will be one of them, going forward.

1 person found this helpful

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Good emotional roller coaster.

I don’t write reviews but this book deserves one. This book is so good. The story has happy moments, depressing moments, moments of hope and joy, moments of anger and shock. This is a good story. If you are looking for a thought provoking story this is it.

1 person found this helpful

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Very interesting!!

I was concerned that this might be a man bashing book but it wasn’t. The story and all of the stories within the story were interesting.