2001 A Space Odyssey Paperback – Jan 1 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
But Arthur C. Clarke clearly did not have that problem, as evidenced by his legendary "2001: a Space Odyssey." Written concurrently with the famously artistic (and glacially-paced) Stanley Kubrick movie, this is a hauntingly expansive, mysterious story that looks toward the strange, almost mystical expanses of the universe, from computers gone mad to mysterious aliens of almost godlike power. And yes, it's full of stars. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do.
The story begins millions of years ago, when a tribe of starving hominids encounters a mysterious black monolith. This strange object somehow affects their development, allowing them to develop tools and start killing for food and dominance. Fast forward to 1999: Dr. Heywood Floyd travels to the moon colonies for a meeting, and learns of a magnetic disturbance on the crater of Tycho. A strange black slab of mathematically-precise proportions has been unearthed there, designated TMA-1, and upon being found sends a signal towards Saturn's moon Iapetus.
Then we switch to the Discovery One mission, a sleeper ship that has been launched towards Jupiter; three crewmen are in suspended animation, while Frank Poole, Dave Bowman and the AI computer HAL 9000 run the ship. At first, all is well. But when HAL begins exhibiting strange behavior, Frank and Dave begin to suspect that something is seriously wrong with him -- and Dave's seemingly mundane exploration mission turns out to be just the beginning of a far stranger experience, which will take him past the edges of human existence.Read more ›
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.
This easy-to-read book (first published in 1968, a year before the first Moon landing) by Sir Arthur C. Clarke is the first installment of his "Odyssey" series of science fiction novels. It is divided into six parts: (1) Primeval Night: six chapters (2) TMA-1: eight chapters (3) Between Planets: six chapters (4) Abyss: ten chapters (5) The Moons of Saturn: ten chapters (6) Through the Star Gate: seven chapters.
This novel is classified as science fiction but is so much more. It also has other elements such as the evolution of man, science, astronomy, computer science, extraterrestrial (ET) intelligence, and suspense.
Evolution of man is the subject matter of part one of the novel. Here you'll be introduced to ape-men and how they adapt to their environment. Two major ape-men introduced are "Moon-Watcher" and "One-Ear."
Science is presented throughout the novel. For example, "A man who weighed one hundred eighty pounds on Earth might be delighted to discover that he weighed only thirty pounds on the Moon. As long as he moved in a straight line at a uniform speed, he felt a wonderful sense of buoyancy."
Astronomy is introduced throughout parts two to six. Overall, Clarke gives good descriptions of our solar system, the asteroid belt, Jupiter, and Saturn. All these are presented with a sense of wonder.
Computer science is represented by the supercomputer HAL (which stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer). HAL was "the nervous system" of the Earth-built spacecraft 'Discovery' (which was piloted by astronauts Dave Bowman and Frank Poole). "Without [HAL's] supervision, 'Discovery' would be a mechanical corpse.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Great book in V.good condition - good service. Large print version.Published 4 months ago by Survivor Howard
Decent book. Didn't feel as utterly mind breaking as the film, but filled in some gaps the film had.Published 18 months ago by Kevan
Arthur C. Clarke ...no need to say more. Favorite SF writer.Published 19 months ago by Reader Rabbit
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. Read morePublished on May 25 2014 by Dexter
I enjoyed the beginning but as the book went on it got dull. Concepts were abstract and just kind of weird.Published on Jan. 4 2014 by kea
And this is probably is best known and most popular book. It reads like the classic "thinking mans" sc-fi that it is. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2013 by Bootsy Bass