The Children of Men by PD James is quite the interesting premise to say the least. I have been reading it for about a week now and am having an great experience with it. The book is set in the near future in a dystopian world in which humans lose the ability to reproduce. I’m 134 pages in so far and this book has so far been very hard to put down.
I decided to read this book because I love the film and wanted to see what differences were made when it was adapted. So far, there hasn’t been anything drastic. But there have been some changes that seem pointless. They don’t take away from anything, but I am not sure why they made the change. Whatever changes were made must have been for good reason because the film was well received by critics. The book is very good, however the elements that made the film so enjoyable are not present in the book. Not at the books fault though; one of the best aspects about the film is the long takes with incredible amounts of detail. There isn’t really a book equivalent of not cutting the shot. The long takes aren’t the only appealing thing about the film, but they are their absence is most notable in the book.
Theo (the protagonist) in the book is way more fleshed out of a character in my opinion. The film’s take on Theo is way more “blank slate-y” and less unique. The film’s version of Theo seems like he was created to have the audience project themselves onto his character. Both characters were very likeable. I am not far enough into the book to discuss other characters without giving away spoilers. I found this quote from Theo to be quite telling of his character:
I don’t want anyone to look to me, not for protection, not for happiness, not for love, not for anything. (James 26)
I’ll wrap up this post on a different topic. A lot of crazy stuff has been happening in the world of politics and because of this I have discovered a book called Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I was planning on reading The Body by Stephen King next, but supposedly Brave New World is very similar to Orwell’s 1984, which is an absolute classic book. So I picked up a copy of Brave New World and can’t wait to read it next.
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