Sunday, May 31, 2009

BOOK: The Children of Men by PD James

The Children of Men by PD James, 241 pages

It's the End of the World challenge

Early this morning, 1 January 2021, three minutes after midnight, the last human being to be born on earth was killed in a pub brawl in a suburb of Buenos Aires, aged twenty-five ears, two months and twelve days. This first line drew me into the story immediately. How on earth do they know who the last person born on earth is? It turns out that all of a sudden one year, all the men on Earth became infertile. The first half of the book sets up the situation that exists on Earth. Imagine knowing that there were no more children to be born? The second half of the book is a much more suspenseful tale and more action, involving an attempted coup and a band of rebels on the run.

I've read other reviews that state that the movie is very good as well, but different. I imagine that the movie would be very good. There wasn't as much intrigue in the book as I had hoped. That may have been due to the main character who was rather cold and not that likable. That's a cliche in some ways, but he wasn't someone I was rooting for. The story in the novel was okay, but the situation had so much potential. I still liked the book, but I would love to see the movie and see the way this world would look.

This book completes my It's the End of the World challenge, reading 4 books that are apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic. I read:

Specials by Scott Westerfield April 2
The People of Spark by Jeane Duprau Mar18
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Apr 23
The Children of Men by PD James May 31

I still want to read the next book in the People of the Spark series, and the next book after The Hunger Games is being released in the fall, but I won't leave it that close. The best read was The Hunger Games, a great suspenseful read.


  1. It helps that Clive Owen is in the movie and he's HOT!! The movie is fantastic. I haven't read the book, but I definitely need to!

  2. I was not crazy about the movie, but I really want to read this book! Your review makes it sound lovely, and as you say, that's a first sentence that draws you right in.

  3. stephanie - Clive Owens is def. a selling point. I need to see that movie now.

    jenny - I hope you enjoy the book. The book is a quieter version of the movie (I'm guessing), so you might like the book better.

  4. A friend in book club really liked this one. I thought it sounded too creepy at the time, but it also sounds interesting. Hmmm... And I have never read any PD James, so I should really fix that!

  5. tll -well, it is a little creepy, and a little violent, but it wasn't on a par with a Stephen King book or anything. I'd say Coraline was creepier. I think this book is quite different from her Det Morse books.

  6. I didn't really like the book when I read it - like you, I thought that the concept was great, but I thought that it could have been carried out much better. I REALLY disliked the movie though! They changed a lot from the book, which I didn't like and it was just too, well, Hollywood.

    Well done on completing the challenge!

  7. Hi!
    This sounds like a great book! I have just finished Uglies and Pretties by Scott Westerfeld and am planning on reading the last in the series. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!


  8. I've been really curious about this book. I have read a couple of P.D. James' mysteries and enjoyed them quite a bit. I haven't yet seen the movie--on the off chance I actually read the book anytime in the near future (which probably isn't realistic).


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