I love post-apocalyptic fiction. I will read basically anything that has that phrase in there somewhere, whether it is good
or shockingly bad
. I'm definitely not an expert, but I've dipped my toes in at least, and the funny thing is that I still don't have an actual favorite way the book goes. The designated post-apocalyptic event could be disease, or zombies, or nuclear warfare, or regular old warfare, or a natural disaster. (Or it could even be a Biblical apocalypse, but I haven't read any of those.) The story could follow an entire civilization or one individual. I don't really care.
Most people are bashing Children of Men for being dull and slow, but for me, the story works. It's the right setting, plot, and characters for the story that P.D. James was telling. I have not seen the movie, but I would anticipate that just by virtue of being a visual event crammed into 2 hours it would move more quickly than the book. In fact, I very much liked the slow pace of the novel. It mimics the aging population of England. No one is moving quickly. Even the youngest of society could be experiencing arthritis and gray hairs. Beyond being old, most people in society are complacent. There is nothing to look forward to; why act quickly when any betterment will be fleeting, when soon, the buildings will be empty and nature will overtake what you've worked so hard on?
I also liked the unreliable narrator. He is annoying, a sometimes stereotypical old professor, yet he changes and grows throughout the novel. He's thoughtful, but confused at times, and judgmental. However, it was a little silly to bother having bits from his diary in the novel when the rest of it is first-person omniscient anyway. It felt superfluous, almost like it was supposed to serve some other purpose.
Overall, I really did enjoy it. I might try watching the movie (again; I think I got ten minutes into it when it first came out), but I think I will naturally see it and the book as different beasts.