Top positive review
A Good Read
on 20 June 2017
Childhoods end is evidently a younger and less developed Clarke written in 1953 it considers mankind in the wake of contact from a Alien species known as the "Overlords". Whilst to the contempory reader such a premise may seem painfully cliche the execution of the idea is strong, and as a standalone novel it is palatable to the modern reader.
It might be easy to miss the context in which it was written. This book is cold war era where the percieved threat of total annihilation has evidently influenced Clarkes thinking here. A benevolent Alien race seeking to progress man to a higher state of evolution might well have seemed very desirable at the time. Furthermore The book would have emerged whilst Satre (died 1980s) and Heidegger (died 1970s) were still alive and as such the interlectual influence of pop-existential thought was in its prime and clearly felt within the novel.
'2001 a space odyssey' was written in 1968 and 'Rama' in 1973 and having read the three books I must admit that I prefer later Clarke. In comparison this book is more like 2001 than Rama (perhaps because of the stand alone format). Within his later novels there is evidently a progression in his skills of character development and the intricacies within the plotline that are notably lacking here. This is a plain and simple story with few unpredictable outcomes
I certainly enjoyed this book and would recommend to others as casual reading akin to the style and complexity of 2001. For me Rama for me remains the pinnacle of Clarkes literary achievements and essential reading for any fan. Do give this book a try its a wonderful and well thought out tale and certainly worth a go.