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Publisher's Summary

Glasgow, 2025. Dr Amanda Maclean is called to treat a young man with a mild fever. Within three hours, he dies. The mysterious illness sweeps through the hospital with deadly speed. This is how it begins.

The victims are all men. 

Dr Maclean raises the alarm, but the sickness spreads to every corner of the globe. Threatening families. Governments. Countries.

Can they find a cure before it’s too late? Will this be the story of the end of the world - or its salvation?

Compelling, confronting and devastating, The End of Men is the novel that everyone is talking about.

©2021 Christina Sweeney-Baird (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Fiercely intelligent page-turner...at once thoughtful and highly emotive." (Paula Hawkins)

"The stuff that classics are made of." (AJ Finn)

"Brilliant, prescient, unputdownable." (Jenny Colgan)

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What listeners say about The End of Men

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Wake me up when it’s over

I was so excited to read this book , but throughout the book all the characters felt similarly monotone with no real emotional substance.

I grew impatient , lost interest and then went I to sleep . Zzzzzzzzz

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couldnt finish. incoherent story.

pointless scenes. characters were whiners. painfull to listen to. gave it a good go, just could not do it.

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Fantastic

Best book I have ever listened too. An amazing twist on a post apocalyptic book! I’m sad it came to an end

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  • Lisa
  • 19-05-2021

Great narration, otherwise disappointing.

I was looking forward to reading this book with all the rave reviews but unfortunately I was disappointed.
The concept is interesting, it’s written much like World War Z where you are predominantly listening to accounts of the characters experiences rather than being led through a story in real time. The narration was excellent and I would listen to any of the narrators again. The author could have done more research into the medical aspects, so much is really, really incorrect.. even a simple google search would have produced information required (a fever of 38.8 mild?? in reality in most health systems it would initiate a sepsis pathway). For me the most irritating part of the book was the character Catherine; a self involved, sulky, selfish, horrible human.. listening to her whining the majority of the way throughout the book was PAINFUL! I stuck with it because I hoped she would grow somehow throughout the book, but alas, she remains a selfish brat throughout the entire book, she is WOEFUL and unfortunately, ruined it for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • VJ
  • 29-04-2021

Thought Provoking

A very thought provoking novel. Intelligently portrays the way the world could be affected by a gender specific pandemic.
Fantastic narration - especially by one of my favourites - Cathleen McCarron.
I will look forward to further audio books from this author.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Floaty
  • 03-06-2021

Interesting Concept. Transparent, ridiculous story

I was fascinated by the idea of this book, a plague that only infects and kills men, and the social, political and personal upheaval that would result. I was disappointed.

The actual writing and narration are pretty good. All first-person accounts, but there’s nothing wrong with that. But then the real agenda starts creeping in.

It’s pretty clear that the author wanted to make a point about about how terrible men are at everything, and how much better the world would be if women were in charge. It’s almost as if the author has started with this premise and tried to build a story to lead to that conclusion. Pretty transparent, pretty disappointing.

Get the men out of the way and see how great the world becomes when it’s women who are in all the positions of power. Yawn...
Only you just cannot imagine things happening the way they do. The author has taken great unrealistic and illogical leaps to try reach their feminist utopia, in some cases embarrassingly so.

One key premise expressed by one of the characters that served as the foundation for future events was so obviously and fundamentally incorrect I genuinely thought I had missheard it. “10% of the men can only produce 10% of the children...”

Sorry, what?! I’m no doctor, but it’s obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that this isn’t true. A single man could literally impregnate hundreds of thousands of women, if the medical and moral structures would accommodate it, (which they surely would if there was a population crisis on this scale).

But this obviously flawed premise gave rise to women being carefully and rigorously selected for reproduction. It’s pretty clear that the author simply chose to ignore this inconvenient biological reality as it didn’t fit with the female power narrative that was being constructed. And this wasn’t the only example.

What happens when 90% of the men are gone, do those remaining become highly sought after by women? Women forced to compete against each other, as they already do in the real world? No, of course not, we can’t have that, it wouldn’t fit the agenda. Instead, the women simply all decide to become lesbians. Hilarious!

I can say that the narration was pretty good overall, with many of the voice actors bringing their roles to life. But someone please let them know that Penrith is in Cumbria, not Yorkshire, and precisely nobody in Cumbria speaks with a “ey up lad” Yorkshire accent.

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  • Shelly Turner
  • 30-04-2021

Impossible to stop listening

This book gripped me so much so that I finished it in one sitting!
Excellent book, fantastic characters and narration. By far the best book I’ve read / listened to so far this year, likely to be my favourite of 2021

1 person found this helpful

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  • E Lewis
  • 23-06-2021

Beautiful, thoughtful, thought provoking.

Beautiful, thoughtful, thought provoking.

Loved:
💜The intricacy of this novel is staggering, imagining the impact of men’s disappearance from society down to the last electrician.
🎧Excellent production. Having a book read by eleven separate voices felt decadent in the best possible way and made it much easier to differentiate between the many characters.
💛Small moments made a big impact. A memorable one for me involved a female character scaring off an aggressive male, a scenario that turned the usual post-apocalyptic dynamic on its head.
💚In what I can only describe as sorcery, I came away from a book about a devastating plague feeling uplifted.

Could have Loved More:

I wouldn’t change a thing,

Shall I compare thee to:

A World War Z style telling of a Children of Men style disaster with the conscience of A Handmaid’s Tale. I went too far, didn't I…

<b>Other thoughts: </b>

In an extra tidbit, the accuracy of this book in describing life under a pandemic is all the more impressive given that Christina Sweeney-Baird finished it in 2019.

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  • simon
  • 15-06-2021

mixed

loved the first half of the story, found it thought provoking, but it fell away after that and didn't go anywhere. some characters became annoying.
some questionable narration too.

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  • Ann Onym
  • 06-06-2021

The perfect audiobook

I absolutely loved it 🤗
Great story, with so many echo to so many things (Handmaid tales, Bible, Invisible women...)
It was an emotional, nerve racking, suspenseful, infuriating at time, listen.
And the rendering was gorgeous : I loved the way, when it was a character chapter, let's say Catherine, who meets let's say Amanda. How Catherine voice actress was doing both voice but with a slight Scottish accent and the over way round.
Some comments say, it's confusing, there are so many characters and voice act-resses/ors.
I think if anything, it makes it clearer and most importantly, it shows how everyone react differently, to the same thing (as with Covid)
I will definitely recommend

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  • ralphie
  • 24-05-2021

A powerful yet grim story

This story of course has many parallels with the Covid situation. The incompetent of authorities to deal with the outbreak quickly leading to the devastating deaths world wide, being the most significant. I started out intrigued but am sorry to say that relentless misery throughout most of the book soon became depressing, and distressing. Yes towards the very end of the story a little hope crept in, but for me not enough light to enjoy the End of Men.

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  • Janet 6917
  • 23-05-2021

Thought provoking

I loved the various readers as there was so many different characters it helped to bring the feeling that you were seeing different parts of the world and they were all equally very good. The story is very thought provoking in the world of today where we have division between race colour gender etc it brings to the mind the importance of everyone, to have a balanced world. I cried, I smiled, but above all I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.

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  • Leah
  • 18-05-2021

A great concept that wasn't done justice.

In reality this was probably more of a 2.5 star book but I've rounded it up to 3 stars mainly because I love the concept of the book as a whole. I can't begin to tell you how excited I was for this book!! I LOVE a dystopia and everything about this book, (the title, the cover, the blurb) screamed to me "BUY THIS BOOK!". So it's fair to say I had high expectations for it and if I'm honest, now that I've read it I feel quite flat and let down by it.

I purchased the audio book and I was shocked to see that it has 11 different narrators. I've never listened to an audio book with this many narrators but the thought of it really excited me. On the whole, I think the narration was brilliant. My favourites were the lady who narrated Amanda and the the lady who narrated Catherine. I was pleased that these two characters had the majority of the chapters and yet a little disappointed that they didn't have more.

There are A LOT of characters in this book, from different parts of the world with their own plots. Some of the plots do link up in a way but not all of them. And so it really had me questioning if some of the side stories are really needed. I understand why the author did it - the story is about a global pandemic so she's portraying how people all over the world were effected. I was hoping all the stories would be linked in some way, like Love Actually but nope, some are linked, others are just 'there'.

I don't mind books with lots of characters. But because there were various plots here I do think that if I didn't have the different voices narrating different characters then I would have got myself a bit muddled. I definitely recommend the audio book version if you're going to give this one a go.

At the time of writing this review, there is a glitch in the audio book. I contacted Audible about it and it's not just my version, it's all of them. It's just a breif glitch and I don't think many words were lost in the middle of it. If I remember rightly, it was about 2 mins into the first 'Dawn' chapter. I did carry on listening to the book regardless and it didn't effect my enjoyment of the book. While I'm on the topic of the character Dawn, I feel the need to say that she was my least favourite narrator. It felt like she was just reading out loud with no emotion at all. And I noticed little pauses mid sentence at the weirdest times that really bugged me. Again though, it didn't bother me enough to stop listening.

The reasons I've rated this book a 2.5/3 star instead of a 4 or 5 isn't down to the narration (okay maybe half a star went because of Dawn). The real probelm with the book for me is the many plots. The boring meetings that are discussed, the story about unrest in China (which took up too much of the book considering it's got nothing to do with the main plot at all). I wanted more of the emotion from Catherine and Amanda. I wanted to hear their opinions on what Lisa chose to do with the vaccine but after the vaccine was discovered we didn't really hear much more about that. I just think it could have been so much better. It's such a great concept and it just wasn't done any justice here.

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  • Claudiu
  • 18-05-2021

A tragedy

A sad story. Beautiful written. Loved the fact that the author spent some time to build the characters.
Felt very very very real. I empathized with almost all characters 😊.

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