Yes, I read another book by PD James. I try not repeat authors within the space of a few weeks, but sometimes it happens. I figured that since this was so different from any of the Adam Dalgliesh books, it would be OK.
This book was published in England in 1992. I’d guess that it was released in the US in paperback in 2006 because of the movie, starring Julianne Moore. I am hoping to see it soon. It’s now available on HBO on Demand, but we’re having some issues with that right now.
I digress! This book has quite the interesting premise. The year is 2021, the place, England. No human being has been born since 1995, due to worldwide male infertility. The population is decreasing and aging. Already, there are fewer workers to maintain basic services. Schools are closing. Towns are becoming deserted. England is ruled by a dictator, Xan Lyppiatt, the self-proclaimed “Warden of England”. Mass suicides of the elderly are state-sponsored (and encouraged). All criminals are deported to the Isle of Man, now a penal colony where chaos reigns. People engage in bizarre behavior, such as dressing up dolls and parading them around in prams, and holding church christenings for cats.
Our protagonist is Theodore Faron, and Oxford historian and former professor(when there were students). He is first cousin to the Warden, and a former member of the Council of England. He lives a solitary, quiet life until he is contacted by a former student who is part of a small band of revolutionaries. They ask him to use his influence with the Warden to demand certain changes. Well, we know that dictators don’t take kindly to suggestions of that nature.
So, I won’t say any more about the book, but I do recommend it! I haven’t really read any science fiction in quite a while, and I do enjoy it.
And I was just informed that our HBO on Demand is now working, so I’m going to watch the movie now.
(False alarm-HBO On Demand not working, so I’ll have to go read something now.)
Published in hardcover-Knopf 1993
Softcover edition-Vintage 2006