Children of Men by P.D. James

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CHILDREN OF MEN by P.D. James

Author and Importance of her work

Phyllis Dorothy James (1920 - ) is one of the greatest English novelist of all times, and unquestionably, the greatest mystery writer alive. She is often compared to Agatha Christy because of her mastery to accomplice suspense and to make the reader addictive to her stories, but the fact is that her writing goes higher than that. She has said that her influences include Jane Austen, Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh. Her first novel Cover her face became an unexpected success and her reputation rose instantly. Today, every book she publishes with her name on the cover sells millions of copies around the world.

The Times (one of the most reputed newspapers in the UK) among others, called the novel one of the three best most compelling English novels of the last twenty years. In 2004 it became a major motion picture starring Clive Owen (Great Britain’s shinning star), Michael Caine and Julianne Moore. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón the film has little similarities with the novel in terms of plot and theme.

The Children of Men was published in 1992.

Born in Oxford.
Economic Difficulties. Could not go to College.
Married a doctor who went to WW-II and became insane. Started to write at her thirties because of her husband’s disease. Whe her husband died she started working at a hospital.
She became fascinated with medical aspects of murder, gothic scenery and Georgian architecture.

Cover her face
A mind to murder
The Black Tower
Death of an expert witness
Innocent Blood
An unsuitable job for a woman
A Taste of death
Original sin
Unnatural causes
The Murder Room

CHARACTERS

Dr Theodore Faron: normally called "Theo", is an Oxford don. He is the main character of the story along with Xan and Julian He is a Professor and a historian. His wife Helena left him two years before the story begins. Their marriage deteriorated after Theo accidentally ran over their daughter, Natalie. He just wants lead a quiet life anonymously.

Xan Lyppiatt: One of the main characters of the book. He is Theo's rich and charismatic cousin. He appoints himself Warden of England. It is the year in which the last general election is held. Out of necessity — people have lost all interest in politics — Lyppiatt abolishes democracy. He is called a despot and a tyrant by his opponents.

Xan is arrogant, confident, sharp, magnetic, appealing and wants what every powerful man wants: more power. Xan is also merciless and quite evil and mad. Unlike Theo, he does not want to lead a quiet anonymous life. He wants to be the ruler of England forever and ever at any cost. He feels he is the only person in England who can lead a country full of troubles. Protection, Comfort and Pleasure are the three key aims of his party slogan. Xan keeps the roads paved, the electricity running, and relocates the populace to the larger metropolitan areas as villages and towns decrease population. Xan also denies rights to Sojourners, deporting them at the age of 60; he tolerates no political opposition; and criminals are exiled to a lawless penal colony on the Isle of Man.

Rolf: The leader of a rebellious dissident group called the fives fishes. He is ambitious, aggressive, bad tempered and a wannabe. He thinks he should be the Man in charge by right since he believes his sperm is the only fertile one. When he finds out it is not true, he becomes extremely agitated.

Luke: A former priest. Member of the Five Fishes. Noble and personable. He is the father of the baby that is about to be born. His sperm is fertile. He dies trying to protect Julia.

Julian: Mankind hope for the future. The only woman alive who did actually get pregnant. She is very happy knowing she will be a mum but she is terrified by the circumstances. She does not know what to do. She trusts Theo.

Society: It was a person, it would be unquestionably the main character of the story. Chaos and frustration...
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