18 January 2010

THE CHILDREN OF MEN - P D James, narr John Franklyn-Robbins

From the back of the BOCD: P D James, best-selling author of the Adam Dalgliesh mystery series, has proven herself adept at writing novels that are suspenseful without being gratuitously violent, complex without being complicated. Her characters are convincing and their plights believable, which makes THE CHILDREN OF MEN all the more compelling.
The human race faces extinction. It is annihilation brought not by disease or nuclear war, not by crashing meteorites or colliding stars. Men and women have ceased, simply, to procreate. In 1994, sperm counts hit zero; pediatrics wards were rapidly and permanently depleted. Overnight, it seemed, the human race had lost its power to breed.
The last generation of children to offer mankind a chance was born in 1995--the Omegas. Coddled and overprotected, the Omegas were the world's last, great hope. When they, too, reached sexual maturity unable to breed, everyone realized homo sapiens had become a doomed commodity.
Now, 25 years later, a pervasive lethargy blankets the world. Pornography has been legalized. Massive numbers of people have fled back to the cities, fearful of encroaching nature. Ritualistic suicides are sanctioned by the government as a means of ridding countries of their surplus elderly. Anarchy reigns in the prisons, immigrants are enslaved, renegade Omegas terrorize the land.
I will say right now that I enjoy the Adam Dalgliesh mysteries that P D James writes, I can read those any time, watch the movies made from the books at the drop of a DVD. I really tried to bring the same enthusiasm to this book, but just couldn't get into it as much.
The premise is intriguing, but very bleak. Humans no longer reproduce due to some unknown malady. They have dolls as their babies with baby showers, baptisms, etc (creeeepy) or over-baby their pets.
A miracle occurs and the small team of rebels that becomes the center of the story is on the run.
There is death, sadness, oddities and a story that meandered. I will always love reading P D James' mysteries there is no doubt about that. It was just that this very bleak look at a possible future was not for me.

Three why does the future always seem bleak in books and movies beans....

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