Dr. Nils Rasmussen
This whole novel was actually based off of Clarke's previous short story, "The Monolith", but obviously VASTLY expanded upon.
As I'm sure is the case with most people, I saw the film 2001: A Space Odyssey BEFORE having the opportunity to read the book.
Let me tell you - it makes a LOT more content within the movie actually make sense.
The opening scene of the movie with the apes and the monolith actually spans the first SIX chapters of this book. That should give you an idea of the amount of material left out of the film which fills in the curious plot gaps.
I don't want to ruin anything by giving more away, but whether you have seen the movie or not, I believe it is your DUTY as a science-fiction fan to read this book. There aren't many modern-day masterpieces anymore, but this would definitely fall under that category.
PS = Also, do yourself a favor and be sure to check out Arthur C Clarke's library of short stories as well. He is truly a master of the medium.
9.31 / 10.00
Excellent Book! For fans of the movie, the book follows it exactly (until end).. but seems to move quicker and with more excitement. You won't be wondering what the hell just happened like the movie.
Now the ending was great. Actually made sense and kinda reminded me of 'contact' in how the aliens dealt with visitors. It made me wonder why the movie didn't use this storyline..? It would've been great and made sense. The movie ending is one big mess. I see what Kubric was trying to do, but he did it badly. BADLY. I came away with more respect for Clark, and less for Kubric. Clark was a genius and its a shame he didn't write more.(easy for me to say ha) Check out 'Childhoods End' for another Clark masterpiece. 'Rendezvous with Rama' is also good but maybe a tad anti climactic... to say the least.
Get the Book you won't regret it!
story idea is really interesting, and starts well, but feels rushed as it progresses.
2001 is an oddity because the The movie didn't follow the book. Arthur Clark and Stanley Kubric worked on the story together in order to make to make a movie and a book. They evolved in tandem up to a point with the movie coming out first. I’ll say a few things about the movie first, as they are relevant if you’ve seen it.
I remember hearing all the hype and then seeing the movie when I was a kid. The movie was, well, weird and confusing -- so much so that it I found it unsatisfying. I just couldn't get it and I suspect a lot of other people didn't either unless they'd read the book. Someone recently said to me, 'If you read the book the movie will make sense.' Well, I just read it. And, yes, the movie seems to make more sense now. I'm much more satisfied with the book, though. It seems to me now that the movie sacrificed clear storytelling for being oh-so-visually-stunning (read that last phrase in your best Stewie Griffin voice).
Movie aside, the story in the book is excellent. It struck me as very original (though based on earlier works by the author), which matters to me. What really blew me away though was discovering the book was actually published BEFORE the U.S.reached the moon and yet the description of spaceflight and life in space is so convincing. The plot was quite enjoyable, although I have to admit the tension between Hal and the crew is done better in the movie. "Open the pod bay doors, Hal. I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave." is only uttered in the movie. Still, I get some, but not all, of the interesting bits of the movie now and I'm glad for that.
If you want to understand the movie somewhat better and enjoy an excellent, old sci-fi story, I highly recommend this book. You even enjoy it more if you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t have its scenes in your head. The narration was excellent, btw.
Great story and forward read by Clark is great. Hard to believe that this story was only written as a thought experiment for the movie.
Of course it is different from the movie, but the tale is engrossing, vivid and thought provoking. The concept of exploring space has fallen away from the public perspective, however, it is through the exploration of space we can ensure our survival as species.
"The history of humanity will be written in the stars, or not at all." - George Arruda