- Audio CD
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (January 28, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1423336623
- ISBN-13: 978-1423336624
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.4 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 726 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,962,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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2001: A Space Odyssey Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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About the Author
Arthur C. Clarke was considered to be the greatest science fiction writer of all time. He was an international treasure in many other ways: an article he wrote in 1945 led to the invention of satellite technology. Books by Mr. Clarke - both fiction and nonfiction - have more than one hundred million copies in print worldwide. He died in 2008 at the age of 90.
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Onto the actual book:
Having seen the film 2001: A Space Odyssey many years ago and being blown away by how powerful it was, and also a bit scared by it. I loved the way it told a story without necessarily explaining everything, and really allowing one's own imagination to fill in some of the gaps. Knowing that there was also a novel, I had always wanted to read it, but never got around to it...upon seeing this Kindle version on sale, I decided to give it a go.
First of all, it was very interesting reading Arthur C. Clarke's introduction at the beginning. Sometimes I don't like reading such introductions because they either somewhat spoil the book you're about to read or don't add a whole lot, but this one was an interesting read for someone who had seen the film but not yet read the novel. I didn't realize that both the screenplay and book were written at the same time...making this a very unique pair as typically one comes before the other...so although this isn't a novel that simply came before a film like many are, or a novelization of a film that had been made (which is typically not worth the time of day to read), it is a novel written by a fantastic science fiction writer inspired by the collaboration of writing the screenplay with Stanley Kubrick.
Much of the book is very similar to the movie, but the way it is written adds many details without being bogged down...this is a very fast-paced read. The writing is focused on the big picture more so than the characters, but the main characters involved in each individual section get fleshed out well enough that it is very gripping to read.
Being written before we'd ever even landed on the moon, it's amazing how well this story stands the test of time. I enjoy stories involving space travel and a lot of times the era something is written can occasionally take you out of the story by laughable concepts or dated science. The feeling I got from this reading was that it explained things in a way that don't date the technology being discussed in any way that ruins the overall story. Although 2001 is 14 years before the writing of this review and clearly many of the breakthroughs and events leading up to this specific story haven't taken place yet or are different than actual history, it is fascinating on some of the things that are part of our reality now...beyond that, this is full of what ifs related to our own existence within a vast universe.
I definitely recommend this reading, whether or not you've seen the film and whether or not you plan to read the rest of the series. I likely will at some point, but this book is great as a stand-alone title.
There are some distinct differences between the film and the novel, most of them I think made the novel better. The man-apes at the beginning go though a lot more in the novel than in the film, there's more character development between them (although trying to do that in a film wouldn't have worked given that they are primitives that can't speak, but in the novel it works great), you actually see what the alien Monolith does to them, you see them gradually becoming more and more human after their encounter with the Monolith, and you see them confront the leopard that has been terrorizing them before they confront the rival man-ape tribe. There's more character development involving Dr. Floyd, Frank Poole, and Commander David Bowman. Our characters have more emotion in this novel rather than being almost completely emotionless as in the film. The novel is a lot clearer than the actual movie. It goes into more detail about the race who constructed the Monoliths. And I found the part where the computer Hal-9000 malfuntions and starts killing the crew more suspenseful than in the film. And instead of the Discovery spacecraft going only to Jupiter as in the film, it goes to Jupiter and Saturn, and it's Saturn where Bowman encounters the second Monolith, not Jupiter as in the film. The only thing I actually liked better in the film was the part were Hal overhears Bowman and Poole ploting against him. Hal's discovery of their intentions to disconnect him are played out differently in the novel.
Like the film though there are some parts that seem slow which is why I'm giving the novel four stars instead of five, but overall, I thought the novel was much better and a lot more suspenseful than the film. I really enjoyed reading this and I think any other sci-fi fan will too.