- Book: The Children of Men
- Author: PD James
- Pages: 241
I picked up The Children of Men by PD James because the film was so impactful. It left me wanting more, so naturally I decided to read the book and see what changes were made. To my surprise, everything was changed. The only thing both versions share is the premise and the names of the characters. Other than that they are completely different stories. However, this is not a complaint. I found it quite satisfying to be experiencing a different plot because I would not get upset at any changes that seemed like poor decisions. The entire plot was changed, which gave me a new experience with the same interesting premise that I enjoyed so much.
The Children of Men‘s premise is that humans have lost the ability to reproduce 30 years prior to the current setting. Our protagonist, Theo Faron, is a professor of history at Oxford and finds himself in the company of five rebels to the government. In this dystopian society, the government has overstepped their boundary of control in an effort to be the first country to solve the repopulation problem. SPOILERS AHEAD, BE WARNED: This small group of rebels are weak, but have something of priceless value: the first known pregnancy in years. Having to run from the law they wish to give the child a private birth before it is used for political power.
The biggest aspect about the book that I find to be better than the film is Theo’s character. Naturally, there is a lot more room for character development with a book. Especially when the protagonist keeps a diary, which allows the reader to know their thoughts despite the third person narration. One quote I particularly like from Theo’s diary shows his character very well:
“Now, for the rest of our lives, we’re going to be spared the intrusive barbarism, of the young, their noise, their pounding, repetitive, computer-produced so-called music, their violence, their egotism disguised as idealism. My God, we might even succeed in getting rid of Christmas, that annual celebration of parental guilt and juvenile greed.” (James 45)
The Children of Men is a book that I would recommend to anyone. It is more than a dystopian novel. There is a lot to think about in terms of mortality and how valuable the young are to society (even with the violence and conflict young people bring). However, as with any book there are many ways to interpret the book. So I think it should be read with an open mind. The goodreads reviews are positive as well if you needed any more a reason to read it, which you shouldn’t because you just read this review and it should have peaked your interest! So go out and read The Children of Men before the real repopulation-free world comes.
Word Count: 480