Great science fiction tells us more about ourselves than works of non-fiction.
Childhood’s End is a book that provokes thought and wonder in me. I love the dichotomy between the Overlords appearance and actions. I am fascinated by Clarke’s ability to portray them as simultaneously everything humanity strives to be and potential harbingers of doom at the same time.
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. The reason for this comparison is in the way both authors are able to examine humanity and provide their ideas as to how an outside perspective would view our cultures and traditions.
There a quite a few intriguing scenes in this book but I would have to say that Jan Rodricks’ return trip to Earth. Clarke’s description of humanity’s ultimate destiny is captivating, strangely beautiful and ultimately heartbreaking.
The themes explored in Childhood’s End allow for reflection and create many moving moments. There are a few that stand out to me. First, when the Overlords assume supervision of the planet and provide their instructions as to how we should treat each other. The second standout moment is when Stormgren gets a glimpse of Karellen and how he decides to handle that information. The final standout moment is Rodrick’s return trip to Earth and how Clarke imagines the ultimate fate of humanity in this narrative.
I find Childhood’s end poignant and timeless. This is a great example as to why Arthur C. Clarke is one of my favorite authors. The narration can be a little robotic at times but it does not detract from the superb story that Clarke has told. I recommend this book to anyone with a love for science fiction.
What's fun about Childhood's End is what Arthur Clarke gets wrong about the future. What's thought provoking is what he gets right.
I'm not much of a fan of "god out of the machine" stories. But most things are not in our control. No getting around that. It's what the humans make of their situation that's the story.
I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.
I would recommend it to anybody! One of the greatest SF stories of all time.
I hate to give the story away, because it does have some twists and turns, but the Overlords turn out to be very distinctive characters that I grew fond of and came to have great empathy toward.
No but the narration was fantastic, couldn't say enough about the way it was done, just great.
No too long....which is a good thing!
As an older reader returning to the genre I decided to revisit the classics. Audible does a great job and I am really enjoying my return to the classics of SF. This book is a cornerstone of the New Wave Era of SF and if you are thinking about reading it don't miss it. Fantastic!
This definitely reads as classic sci-fi but I'm impressed with the author's imagination considering it was written 60 years ago. While there is zero depth to any of the characters, the story and underlying themes keep this an interesting read.
It had been 10 years since I last read this book. Even though I knew how it all turned out, it still was disturbing. It is one of those books where the credits roll (We hope that you have enjoyed this presentation from Audible) and and I am still sitting there trying to sort out the thoughts and feeling I am experiencing from the conclusion.
When the ships take their positions over the major cities. This is the original. I always think of the movie "Independence Day". This is where it started. Actually, it first came out in Clark's short story "Guardian Angels" a few years earlier.
When we can hear Karellan's thoughts as his ship leaves the solar system and he watches the sun getting smaller and smaller.
Absolutely, but I showed restraint and knocked it out in two days.
On some print versions there is a qoute by C.S. Lewis that say, “There has been nothing like it for years; partly for the actual invention, but partly because here we meet a modern author who understands that there may be things that have a higher claim on humanity than its own survival.”
Intelligent, Riveting, and PROFOUND
Karellen is an incredible character to listen to, primarily because he is [obviously] just a manifestation of Arthur C. Clarke. Yet the wisdom he provides the listener is always so precisely calculated that it incurs a thought process about the potential state of humanity if we, too, had such intellect within reach.
I listened to this story and after about 10 minutes I was able to figure out who the aliens were what was really happening. Unlike 2001 a Space Odyssey which keeps you guessing this one didn't. To me this was a book about holding kids back until their ready for something they will never be ready for unless your stop holding them back. The story line is easy to follow and reminds me of how easy it is to follow the story lines the press tries to feed us everyday.
Being able to listen to a classic staple of Science Fiction that I'd missed previously.
The Giants Series by James P. Hogan. Similar plot structure re: humanity's first contact, although Childhood's End is much more focused on a 'repressive' sort of approach.
Soothing, over-exaggerated, focused
My listening strategy has been primarily on commutes, so all the books I've listened to have been piece-wise.
I really was intrigued with how much all the philosophy of this book still applies today. We still do not know how to access our spiritual reality, and protect our children.
When Jan realized that his world as he knew it was at an end, and the way he accepted it without apparent fear.
I loved the head master.
Lots of suspense and mystery, twists and turns and interesting science fiction artfully woven into an elegant story. Like many of Mr. Clarkes stories they deal with macro ideas by telling personal stories.