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2001: A Space Odyssey Paperback – 19 Jul 1990


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Product details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New edition edition (19 July 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009979800X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099798002
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 884,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

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 artefact 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.

Review

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 artefact 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 load)

Brooks Peck, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW ('Arthur C. Clarke is awesomely informed about physics and astronomy, and blessed with one of the most astounding imaginations...')

NEW YORK TIMES ('For many readers Arthur C. Clarke is the very personification of science fiction'THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION)

Arthur C. Clarke is one of the truly prophetic figures of the space age ... The colossus of science fiction (NEW YORKER) --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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Oli on 13 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
An incredible, beautiful, awe-inspiring book that has had a considerable impact on my life. The prose is excellent, but the thing that makes this book so brilliant is it's scope.
It is also based on _real_ science without being overly technical. For example, in both the book and the movie the "Dawn of Man" (or Primeval Night) part demonstrates memetics eight years before Dawkins published The Selfish Gene. We see how one meme allowed man to develop.
That's all that I can say without spoiling the book, but it is amazing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Sedon on 28 Dec 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To think that this book was written over forty years ago, and yet the author has achieved a high success rate with his detailed predictions for the immediate future. This is a highly imaginative, superb story, one which really makes you think about our role in the universe. To be read again ...... and again.

And what a great idea (especially in 1968) for the spaceship's computer Hal to have a nervous breakdown!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. Webb on 23 Aug 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Arthur Clarke's writing is as expected; a classic of course. This was my first book to buy and read on a Kindle and I was disappointed at the poor quality of the scanning and proof-reading. There were quite a few classic scanning errors ('r n' misread as 'm' and so on) and a few others where I couldn't guess the intended meaning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barclays on 9 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
Where do I start? Yes this is without doubt a masterpiece. Every page a thought provoking wonder. Yes the movie is a superb moment in film history but this book is in my view even better. If only the movie had stuck more closely to the novel then I feel many people would have not felt so baffled. A wonderous work
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Jan 2004
Format: Paperback
Arthur C. Clarke's monumental novel 2001: A Space Odyssey is top-notch science fiction that more than earns its spot among the greatest works published in the genre. Reading the novel is quite a different experience from watching Stanley Kubrick's wildly famous movie adaptation of the story. The movie is far too abstract and vague for my tastes, concentrating more on visual wonders than sound plot development. Many of the questions left unanswered in the movie (along with some questions and answers the movie never even addressed) can be found in the novel, and this made for a much more rewarding and satisfying 2001 experience for me. Moviegoers had to wait sixteen years to learn the real story of Hal's failure, but Clarke explains it (and in more detail) in the pages of his original 2001 novel. There are actually a surprising number of differences between the novel and the film, which strikes me as somewhat strange given the fact that the book was inspired by the idea of the film; as a matter of fact, much of the writing took place during the film's production, and Clarke has said that some movie shots led him to make changes to the novel as he was writing it.
The story begins in the ancient past, providing much more detail about the appearance of a huge black monolith on earth and its deliberative interference with the man-apes of the area. The film fails to convey the overwhelming impact of the alien monolith on the evolution of life on earth, and that is one important reason why I find the film too vague. The events of Clarke's first few chapters are of great importance in one's understanding of the story, and all the facts become clear in this book. One will also find some major differences between the novel and the movie in terms of the setting of the final events.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By finnbee@yahoo.com on 26 Mar 2001
Format: Paperback
Gripping brilliant awesome stunning amazing superb excellent masterpiece! And even that doesn't credit it enough. This book should replace the bibles in hotels. If you like Sci-fi & computers you might become addicted. Some great symbolism in it too. What an amazing prediction of the future. Clarke may as well have travelled into the future to find out his facts. READ IT!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rxb66867@glaxowellcome.co.uk on 23 Nov 1999
Format: Paperback
The basic premise of the book is an absolute blinder and it doesn't stop there. The ideas are way before their time and the situations encountered, by both the characters and the reader, are fantastic. Things do get a tad strange towards the end of the book but I found it compelling, couldn't put it down!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By the brain specialist on 15 Oct 2005
Format: Paperback
There really isn't much more to be said about this novel that hasn't already been said. It's so open ended that virtually any interpretation can be applied, so let's keep it simple. Let's get this straight. The people that say they understood every aspect of the film without reading the book are either lying (ie. they read the book first but won't admit it for fear of undermining their intellectual superiority/reasoning process) or they don't really understand it at all. The only people that appreciated the last half hour of the film, without reading the book were hippies on an acid trip. So let's get down to cases. This is the greatest ever sci-fi novel because, a) it offers an interesting twist on evolution.... b) until the stargate it is based on real physics right down to the very last nut and bolt.... c) despite clarke's stark use of description, it manages to convey a real sense of isolation in "between planets".... d) probably most important of all, it is totally believable. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. For readers of all ages and all persuasion, you won't be disappointed.
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