I was expecting a puff piece that had only adjectives like "wonderful, spectacular" to describe its subject.
I was hoping to enjoy a handful of special-effects secrets-- important in this truly (TRULY) ground-breaking film.
I got SO much more. There are negative (and positive) reviews that run into several pages, and go deep into both technique and subject matter. There is double or triple the usual volume of pictures, a real blessing...and with thorough descriptions. (Although, to be fair, I admit I have a murder contract out on the editor who decided to remove all "the" and "a" from the CAPTIONING for those pictures. It makes the captions horribly unreadable.)
Errr...back on track, eh ? There's a discussion of alternate endings, and the text to the Arthur C. Clarke short story that was written at the same time as this script. There's the ending and other snippets from the novel, which adds new depth to understanding the film.
Oh, and hordes of notes on production, stuff that was edited out of the final version, and the apparently endless mountains of alternate special effects which were discarded in favor of what we see today.
It makes me weep to think that my DVD of this movie lacks outtakes and deleted scenes, now that this book has shown me how much I'm missing. (For example, the original film as presented at its premiere, was at least 19 minutes longer.)