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2001: A Space Odyssey Paperback – 1 Jan 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 126 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 (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 April 2016
Format: Paperback
Most sci-fi makes the universe feel... well, mundane. Few authors of science fiction actually convey the haunting wonder of the cosmos, and the mysteries that we may never grasp.

But Arthur C. Clarke clearly did not have that problem, as evidenced by his legendary "2001: a Space Odyssey." Written concurrently with the famously artistic (and glacially-paced) Stanley Kubrick movie, this is a hauntingly expansive, mysterious story that looks toward the strange, almost mystical expanses of the universe, from computers gone mad to mysterious aliens of almost godlike power. And yes, it's full of stars. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do.

The story begins millions of years ago, when a tribe of starving hominids encounters a mysterious black monolith. This strange object somehow affects their development, allowing them to develop tools and start killing for food and dominance. Fast forward to 1999: Dr. Heywood Floyd travels to the moon colonies for a meeting, and learns of a magnetic disturbance on the crater of Tycho. A strange black slab of mathematically-precise proportions has been unearthed there, designated TMA-1, and upon being found sends a signal towards Saturn's moon Iapetus.

Then we switch to the Discovery One mission, a sleeper ship that has been launched towards Jupiter; three crewmen are in suspended animation, while Frank Poole, Dave Bowman and the AI computer HAL 9000 run the ship. At first, all is well. But when HAL begins exhibiting strange behavior, Frank and Dave begin to suspect that something is seriously wrong with him -- and Dave's seemingly mundane exploration mission turns out to be just the beginning of a far stranger experience, which will take him past the edges of human existence.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Before I read this a few years ago on paperback I had only heard of Arthur C Clarke and seen 2001. From what little I knew about him I was expecting this to be a cold and very dry hard sci-fi book. I was wrong. Although it has the same plot as the film the book is a much different and deeper experience. In the film, Stanley Kubrik left all of the thinking to the audience about the plots meaning. Arthur C Clarke takes you by the hand and opens it up to give you a lot more to think about. The film and the book complement each other very well.

It's still amazing to think that the film and book were written before humankind had walked on the moon such is the attention to detail on space travel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read this book in the past in paperback but on seeing this book, and its three sequels, available on the Kindle, I decided to go ahead and buy all four. This has to be one of the best books, and indeed best movies, I have ever read/seen. Arthur C Clarke is best known for his science fiction novels and they are all vary interesting yet easy to read; he doesn’t bog us down with meaningless scientific description and jargon but writes in such an easy style that even non-intellectual people like me can read his novels easily. It tells of the story of early mankind’s development when an extra-terrestrial superior intelligence gives the early man-apes a bit of a much needed boost by using a large crystal slab that suddenly appears on day outside a man-ape tribe’s cave. Another of these slabs is hidden on the moon and acts as a kind of alarm clock telling its creators that these man-apes have developed to such a level that they have reached the moon. The story then tells of man’s attempts to locate the source of this intelligent life.

The book is close to the film except one major thing; in the book Japetus, a moon of the planet Saturn, is the destination whereas in the film the destination is Jupiter.

An enjoyable and easy to read book that I finished in two days. Recommended.

A note on the Kindle version; no proplems at all.
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