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2001 A Space Odyssey [Paperback]

Arthur Clarke
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 19 1990
Arthur C. Clarke has been the presiding genius of science fiction for almost fifty years. His works include the ground-breaking and profound CHILDHOOD'S END, RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA and EXPEDITION TO EARTH. Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, made into one of the most influential films of our century, brilliant, compulsive, prophetic, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY tackles the enduring theme of man's place in the universe. On the moon an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. But, before they can reach their destination, things begin to go wrong, horribly wrong...Look out for more information on this book and others on the Orbit website at www.orbitbooks.co.uk

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When an enigmatic monolith is found buried on the moon, scientists are amazed to discover that it's at least 3 million years old. Even more amazing, after it's unearthed the artifact releases a powerful signal aimed at Saturn. What sort of alarm has been triggered? To find out, a manned spacecraft, the Discovery, is sent to investigate. Its crew is highly trained--the best--and they are assisted by a self-aware computer, the ultra-capable HAL 9000. But HAL's programming has been patterned after the human mind a little too well. He is capable of guilt, neurosis, even murder, and he controls every single one of Discovery's components. The crew must overthrow this digital psychotic if they hope to make their rendezvous with the entities that are responsible not just for the monolith, but maybe even for human civilization.

Clarke wrote this novel while Stanley Kubrick created the film, the two collaborating on both projects. The novel is much more detailed and intimate, and definitely easier to comprehend. Even though history has disproved its "predictions," it's still loaded with exciting and awe-inspiring science fiction. --Brooks Peck --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Odyssey is an oddity: it is a novel based on a screenplay by Clarke and Kubrick that itself was based on a Clarke short story. And though it has thrilled fans for 31 years, still no one is really sure what it means. This nice hardcover sports a new introduction by Clarke.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great complement to the film May 25 2014
By Dexter
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After I'd read the book I was researching it was discovered that is was written while the film was being filmed and was worked on by both Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke. The book takes some of the ideas in the movie further but still doesn't necessarily explain them. I liked this because the mystery of the Monolith from the movie could too easily be destroyed from an unsatisfying explanation in the book, but the book doesn't to this. Instead I found the book added more mystery to those created in the movie by explaining the ideas some more, but not outwardly solving these mysteries for the reader.

For those that loved the movie this book is a fantastic extension of it. On its own it's everything a good sci-fi novel should be.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
2001: A Space Odyssey was written essentially alongside the script for the film of the same name. Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick worked very closely together on the two projects, and Clarke considered Kubrick as a co-author of the novel in everything but name.

The major plot points are nearly identical between the film and the novel: monoliths from some mysterious extraterrestrial civilization seem to be influencing human evolution at key points in its development. The film and the novel differ on small details such as the destination of the manned space mission to investigate the obelisks (Jupiter and Saturn, respectively.)

That said, the novel often reveals far more detail than the film; this was especially appreciated for the famous, trippy, kaleidoscope of colours scene. As a result the film seems to make a bit more sense now, especially given that the novel provides some insight into the nature of the monoliths and their makers.

Standing on its own, the novel contains an interesting story that manages to stay coherent across millions of years and millions of lightyears. The tension Clarke creates in the scenes with HAL approaches that in the film, although seems a bit too short. The ending, of course, is still a bit weird, but does its job in tying together the whole novel. I probably won't read any of the sequels, but 2001 gets four stars.
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3.0 out of 5 stars started good and went down from there Jan. 4 2014
By kea
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the beginning but as the book went on it got dull. Concepts were abstract and just kind of weird.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AC Clarke is a legend Sept. 29 2013
By Bootsy Bass TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
And this is probably is best known and most popular book. It reads like the classic "thinking mans" sc-fi that it is. A must for anyone reading sci fi, and a good intro to Arthur C Clarke.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The penultimate space fiction novel July 23 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read this book, at least 10 times, since I was a kid. By far my favorite. Arthur C. Clarke was in a class of one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars At last I understand the ending Jan. 13 2012
By Glenn
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There's a great forward in this book - Arthur C. Clarke explaining how Stanley Kubrick's movie and his book were done almost simultaneously. Much in the movie is left really ambiguous. The book - though it takes some thought - ends a little more satisfactorily. It's a sweeping epic - well it had to be to cover three million years and several planets. Well worth the read!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expected better May 23 2004
By Bao
...at times far too poetic for a casual reader like me. The plot was very hard to grasp, it left me with many unanswered questions...although the writing was magnificent and descriptive, it was slow paced and often "boring." There were some very enticing moments but were followed by lagging scenerios .,..
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2001 July 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
2001: A space Odyssey by Aurthur C Clarke.
Sadly not having read any previous literature by Arthur C. Clarke I will not be able to tell you if 2001 is one of his better works or not but as far as science fiction it is definitely high on my list.
The book starts off with the main character being Moon watcher, an ape man in pre historic times. It follows a story line depicting how it was possible for this creature and his tribe to evolve into humans. You as the reader are only made to see the very beginnings of this and are promptly whizzed away to the future (approximately 1999 A.D.) where the rest of the story of man continues.
The dialogue in this book I found to be somewhat few and far between, which I happen to like. The author does not have his characters drone on and on towards each other but rather carries the story on a narrative. The descriptions in this novel are wondrous to the point that no movie could possibly portray.
Overall I would strongly recommend this book to nearly anyone I could get to read it. I also would like to point out that those of you who have seen the movie should definitely read this book, I myself saw the movie first and was surprised to se how differently this story was originally intended.
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