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2001: A Space Odyssey Paperback – 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857236645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857236644
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.9 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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

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)

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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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Arthur C. Clarke – the ne plus ultra of SF, alongside Isaac Asimov – writes about infinity and eternity with a brevity that is simply awesome. Not for him longeurs needlessly swelling his books to, say, Peter F. Hamilton’s Brobdingnagian proportions, oh no. You get a two sentence reflection on what it must feel like to sit waiting for eternity for nothing to happen, and those sentences sink like stones to the heart of you and stay there for a long time.

This is what 2001 gets right – a sense of scale dwarfing the series of acutely tiny personal stories set in unimaginable vastness that feels described down to the dust in its corners. The passage of time, too – though jumping some three million years ahead between parts one and two – and the sense of age and majesty this invokes floats effortlessly behind everything you read; the gap is important, and the significance it is underlining is never overdone. What it gets wrong is that something like this needs an end, and compressing all that vastness back down towards a finishing point proves possibly too grand a task for even Clarke’s awesome abilities. I like to think it’s due to Kubrick’s influence but, whatever the reason, the ending is just weird and doesn’t feel at all Clarkeian to me.

If you’ve come to this after the movie, unsure if it will be your kind of thing, here’s a test: read chapter 7 (Special Flight). That casual technical speculation sprinkled with a mixture of scientific awesomeness and indistinguishable complete invention? That’s Arthur C. Clarke right there. Seriously, there’s a sentence in The Hammer of God that completely changed the way I think about gravity (I appreciate this might make me sound like an idiot...I can live with that). If chapter 7 reads like your kind of thing, welcome aboard; if not, give Clarke a wide berth, his myriad wonders aren’t for you.
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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
This book is revolutionary. It well and truly set the standards for all future sci-fis concocted thereafter. People had been blown away by that epic, The End of Eternity, by Asimov, but then this magnificent tour de force nudged its way in, and changed everything yet again. The main theme of it is that of how humans first got their supreme intelligence. Clarke dives keenly, unflinchingly, authoritatively and confidently into this concept, generating a story that actually is a proper epic, despite the fact that it isn't that long. In common with Asimov's work, however, the thing that gets this book down a tad is how unrealistic the characters are. The way they react to the perilous situations that are thrown at them is a little cheesy. The storyline is next-level. You will most certainly not be bored. The narrative moves from Earth; to the moon; to Jupiter; to Saturn; and to...some place that I don't even know what to call, but that's cool anyway, in next to no time, meaning that this book reads kind of like a rollercoaster ride! The level of imagination behind it is just unthinkable. NEVER BEFORE THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN had anyone ever gotten CLOSE to matching the depth and passion exibited by this book, (and that's really saying something when you think back to End of). There's a good level of well-founded suspense in there as well, which adds a good bit of tonal impact. This is a magnificent whirlwind of a ride, that you'd be very ill-advised to miss.
Reviewed by Arron S. Munro.
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Format: Paperback
Summer is here and that can only mean one thing; a lazy day in the garden reading my book. Science Fiction is not always the best genre for doing this, the tomes can he heavy both physically and psychologically. With the impish and trippy ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ by Arthur C Clarke, you may think this would be the case, but it is actually a very approachable book that is easy to read. So easy in fact that I completed it in one sitting.

Written in parallel with the filming of Kubrick’s movie, it shares the same DNA as the film, but with some minor changes. It follows man’s journey to the stars from the cave all the way to beyond our understanding. Rather than coming in at 1000 pages and reflecting on every moment of man’s past and future, Clarke concentrates on a few key moments. The best are the cave men coming across a strange obelisk that opens their minds and the famous Hal section in space.

‘2001’ is extremely well written. It has some high minded concepts, but Clarke never loses the reader. The science is explained in a way that is approachable without being patronising and he continues to move the narrative forwards throughout. There are certainly small issues with the book; the vignette feel of the stories give it a disjointed feel and the end is a little too trippy even for me. However, read the book as a collection of connected short stories and you have a fun and extremely interesting science fiction book that will appeal to fans of the genre, but is also accessible to those who are not.
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