I had a hard time ploughing through this book. I found it way too long and very tedious. I hung in there based on others reviews. Although I am a Sci-Fi fan, this was not an absorbing story.
I very seldom like older sci-fi books. I usually find it distracting when they talk about an invention that has already came and the novelty has worn off. Childhood's End, however, is not like that. Arthur C. Clarke had a way of building his fantastic world in a way that it came alive but he was vague enough that it wasn't distracting. The concepts at the end are harder to grasp, by design, but the book is a wonderful read. I was shocked to find myself saddened by the end. The narrator does a very good job, as well, though almost all his accents have the same sound. Considering the cast of characters come from every corner of the Earth, however, he did a good job at making the voices distinguishable, even if they did have the same accent.
I'm a fan of Rama series and 2001, but I found this story to be lacking plot and incredibly depressing to boot. It starts off well, but every crisis point is sort of self-resolved and the characters seem to not have much of an investment in living.
I could tell this was written a while back by terms like "radar range" but it was still an enjoyable book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story.
This reader often sounds like a synthesized computer voice. In fact, he sounds exactly like the voice on the AT&T Labs "Natural Voices" website where you can type in something and hear different computer voices read what you have typed. Is this reader actually the "Mike...US English" computer voice? I thought the dialogue was okay, but I had trouble concentrating during the expository sections of the text due to the dullness of the voice.
This book drones on. I thought it was me not paying enough attention, but I actually got lost with what was going on it was so boring. This is the same writer that wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey & had I thought about it, that movie was a story that could have been told in about 10 minutes, but was hours long. The book is very disconnected, the character development is poor & after I restarted it to try and get into it, I finally gave up after the 4th chapter.
Had some interesting parts but jumped around a lot. Not one person except for the aliens lasted more than a few chapters. Not because of action or battles but because massive amount of time has past.
Considering that it was written in the '50's, it is quite good. But compared to some of the writing on even a mediocre sci fi television show, it just doesn't hold up. I understand that Clarke was a pioneer and I respect that, but the story doesn't hold up all that well.
Maybe it has a place in SF history, but it has not aged well at all. Summerer tackles the narration well, though the story is not one that I would call decent SF. It didn't leave me feeling fulfilled, nor excited.
Too many questions went unanswered. Why? Who? and Why? again. If you want to complete your SF library, or adore Clarke, then you may as well get this one, because there are better audio books on offer out there if you're looking for something meaty.
If it wasn't a Clarke, I'd have said "meh"
I know a lot of fans will protest any criticism of one of the greats, but I prefer my science fiction not to wander into the realm of fantasy and religion, which this one does. When the paranormal and God (or any unknowable and all powerful entity) is the driving force of the plot, it is fantasy and religion in my opinion. So I feel a bit mislead by the fact that this masquerades as sci fi. That is not to say that it won't have a great deal of appeal, and if you like fantasy and religion, it is well written and well done. However, if you do not like those things, and are hoping for a science fiction novel, though superficially this seems like one, by the end it has completely transformed into a fantasy story about religion. I suppose the warning should have been the introduction by Robert J Sawyer, who is endlessly preoccupied with religion, but I don't think it is clear enough