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5.0 out of 5 stars AC Clarke is a legend
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.
Published 9 months ago by Bootsy Bass

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3.0 out of 5 stars started good and went down from there
I enjoyed the beginning but as the book went on it got dull. Concepts were abstract and just kind of weird.
Published 6 months ago by kea


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4.0 out of 5 stars Great complement to the film, May 25 2014
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars More detailed than the film (especially towards the end), May 17 2014
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
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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
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Bootsy Bass (Winnipeg) - See all my reviews
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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
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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
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
...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
By 
Jacob Gest (Denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, May 10 2004
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Sarah Sammis "Avid BookCrosser" (Hayward, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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I remember being captivated by the film when I saw it on cable. I'm too young to have seen it in original release. I remember also being completely baffled by it. I stayed up all night trying to figure the movie out. I wished there were a class I could take so that someone could explain the darn thing to me.
That summer after seeing the film, I read the book. It explained a great deal. It works well with the movie as Clarke and Kubrick collaborated. I think 2001 is Kubrick's best film.
Flash forward about 3 years. I enrolled in college as a Film Studies Major. My very first class showed a film print in the correct aspect ratio of 2001. And we got a lecture about it (not my last one either). So, if ever a book/movie inspired me or shaped my life, it has to be this book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic can be boring, March 13 2004
By 
Bart Leahy (Huntsville, AL) - See all my reviews
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Stanley Kubrick got together with Arthur C. Clarke to make "the proverbial good science fiction movie," and then proceeded to sift through Clarke's works for an idea. They settled on "The Sentinel" and a few bits from "Encounter at Dawn." Kubrick could have made Childhood's End into a film, used the same special effects budget, and made a much better movie. As it is, Clarke and Kubrick have created a massive albatross, a "classic," a visual masterpiece on the screen, and one of the most boring books you're likely to read. Clarke is partially to blame, of course, since he is known for writing about big concepts and remarkable speculative technologies, not characters.
2001 is such a part of the culture now, I don't think I'll be blowing any secrets here by revealing plot points. But just in case you haven't seen or read 2001, you have been warned. The book (and the movie--from here on, I'll talk about the book) starts at "the dawn of man," three million years ago, on the African plains. We confront our ancestors, Australopethicus, or whatever they're called. They're starving, vulnerable, and afraid. Then a strange object appears, probes them, and begins to give them ideas. The hominids begin using animal bones as weapons. The object, a black, featureless monolith, disappears, and leaves the hominids to their destiny. The book fast-forwards to our age. The movie does this really well, by using a sight-match between a bone thrown up in the air and then a space station orbiting the planet. The point being, the use of tools became the basis of human evolution.
We come to the present, 2001. There is regularly-scheduled traffic to the moon (courtesy of Pan Am, which has disappeared and reappeared in the real world), a space station orbiting the moon, and a complete lunar base. It's all straightforward technological speculation. However, as you read, you find two very obvious things wrong: there are no characters worth considering, and nothing much seems to be happening. The tools seem more interesting than the people. When we come to the Discovery mission, heading for Jupiter, we come across two of the flattest characters known to science fiction: David Bowman and Frank Poole. We almost welcome the presence of the schizophrenic, flat-voiced computer, HAL 9000. HAL makes things interesting by killing people. The flatness of David Bowman becomes useful once he encounters the Monolith. Then the narrative becomes nothing but descriptions of what Bowman sees. Clarke, after all, is best at describing the remarkable and the alien, not for portraying human reactions to them. So by the end, Bowman is transformed by the Monolith, and once again we are looking at another stage of human evolution. The book, anyway, is better at explaining "what the ending means" than the movie is. The visual feast of the movie allowed Clarke to write a successful sequel 20+ years later. The second book is the best of the lot. You might be better off just reading that one, since it summarizes much that is in 2001, and takes off from there. Just because 2001 is a "classic" doesn't mean you have to like it.
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2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (Hardcover - Dec 1994)
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