The Children of Men by P.D. James

Published: 1992

Genre: science fiction

Length: 241 pages

Setting: 2021, England

Font: Sabon

Interest: I was looking for a book to fulfill an Alphabet Soup Challenge and saw this one. I’d watched the movie and found the premise interesting. I didn’t realize the movie was based on a book.

Summary: Theodore, the narrator, is a 50-year old Oxford don living in a time when children have stopped being conceived. The Omegas, the last generation of children, were cossetted and the res of the world is fighting ennui. Why bother doing much of any improvements to the world if there is no one to inherit it. England is run by a Warden, with foreign young(ish) people shipped in to maintain the country, mandatory fertility testing, forced suicides for the elderly, and criminals shipped to the Isle of Man. Theodore gets involved with a group trying to revolt against the Warden. Things get very serious when one of the group shows up pregnant and trying to hide until the baby comes.

Final thoughts: The book was not as action-packed as I remember the movie being. The first half of the book is basically about how society changes when there isn’t another generation to follow. I wanted more science in the fiction – why did it happen? Wouldn’t IVF still work? Yes, she addressed this issues, but I wasn’t satisfied with the answers she gave. I also was dissatisfied with the ending. The baby is born, Theodore shoots the Warden and takes up the mantle, immediately going a bit power mad. It didn’t seem to fit his personality that was presented in the rest of the book.

Title comes from: A line in the burial service Theodore says in the book

Reading challenges fulfilled: 89/100 in my 100 Book Challenge, and a J in the Author Alphabet Soup Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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