The Children of Men

By P. D. James,

Book cover of The Children of Men

Book description

Told with P. D. James's trademark suspense, insightful characterization, and riveting storytelling, The Children of Men is a story of a world with no children and no future. The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Children of Men as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I was really drawn into James’ dark but believable premise, concerning a depopulated Earth, and the resulting instability and hopelessness of such a societal crisis. The dreariness of her depiction of a childless world is sobering and timely. The plot is not complex, but is very absorbing and fast-paced. The fact that the novel ends on a note of hope and second chances is one of the things I especially liked about it, and makes it well worth an occasional re-read.

Written in P.D. James’ inimitable style this is, nonetheless, quite unlike her crime fiction. The fertility of men has plummeted to zero, and this dystopian classic explores the political and social response now that humanity’s last generation has already been born. Society’s response is political apathy, resulting in an autocratic government with enforced male fertility tests and female gynecological tests. Non-elite people over 60 are expected to commit suicide, and some are forced to do so, or be murdered. This is the story of a struggle against oppression, and the human toll of that struggle.

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