Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Book Details
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Paperback, 320 Pages
2000, Roc Trade
ISBN: 0451457994

It has been over thirty years since the publication of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the science fiction classic that changed the way we looked at the stars--and ourselves. From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn as man ventures to the outer rim of our solar system, Arthur C. Clarke takes us on a journey unlike any other.

This allegory about humanity's exploration of the universe, and the universe's reaction to humanity, was the basis for Stanley Kubrick's immortal film, and lives on as a hallmark achievement in storytelling.

I didn't love 2001: A Space Odyssey, but space travel in general doesn't really do it for me. The original concept, taking into account when it was written and how far we've come since then, is well beyond anything conceivable and I believe that is one of the main reasons this book is so highly regarded.

Unfortunately, this book is all concept. The pacing is slow and the story drags for the majority of the book. What should have been terrifying never really effected me as it should have. The characters were hard to become emotionally attached to and most of the time I found myself rooting for the "villain" to win so the book would come to an end. Even the actual ending of the book felt like a disappointment.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic science fiction novel and hugely loved by most. While I can see why it's been enjoyed by the masses, I just couldn't garner the enthusiasm others have had. I appreciate how imaginative and unique the book would have been considered in the sixties, but given a first time reading in the present day, it failed to impress me.


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