We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Childhood's End | [Arthur C. Clarke]

Childhood's End

The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.
Regular Price:$24.25
Sale Price:$4.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

But at what cost? With the advent of peace, man ceases to strive for creative greatness, and a malaise settles over the human race. To those who resist, it becomes evident that the Overlords have an agenda of their own.

As civilization approaches the crossroads, will the Overlords spell the end for humankind...or the beginning?

BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction by Hugo Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer, who explains why this novel, written in the 1950s, is still relevant today.

©2001 Arthur C. Clarke; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"In Eric Summerer's capable hands, the plot of Childhood's End is smoothly presented and fully credible. He highlights the patient nature of the Overlords, which has caused humans to become ever more complacent. Summerer excels at delivering the aliens' quiet and intensely engaging dialogue with people. His nuanced performance creates a growing feeling of uneasiness in the listener as the Overlords' insatiable curiosity and watchfulness begin to suggest something less than benign at work." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3206 )
5 star
 (1170)
4 star
 (1154)
3 star
 (637)
2 star
 (152)
1 star
 (93)
Overall
4.0 (2248 )
5 star
 (915)
4 star
 (747)
3 star
 (406)
2 star
 (112)
1 star
 (68)
Story
4.1 (2211 )
5 star
 (813)
4 star
 (898)
3 star
 (397)
2 star
 (72)
1 star
 (31)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    William H. Richter MD Defiance OH 01-14-14
    William H. Richter MD Defiance OH 01-14-14 Member Since 2013

    WRichter

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Trite, supericial, juvenile"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I would have liked this better when I was 12-13 years old.


    What could Arthur C. Clarke have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Science needed to be more in depth. Characters were superficial.


    Did Eric Michael Summerer and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes/No. Not by voice inflection, but by identifying the character, such as, " (So and so) said,...".


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. I expected more from Clarke


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't wait for the book to end. Stayed with it because of the author's reputation. A big mistake.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 11-26-13
    Simone 11-26-13 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    444
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    451
    317
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    63
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So Boring!"

    Perhaps I was just not in the right frame of mind, but I hated it. I was so bored!

    I never quite got the point, didn’t know who was who, couldn’t follow who was doing what… I made it all the way to 45% done only because I had a long wait at the doctor’s office and more time to kill on the bus on the way home.

    Perhaps I missed out – but I don’t care! 3$ wasted.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucas Theisen Denver, CO USA 11-23-13
    Lucas Theisen Denver, CO USA 11-23-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    142
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Maybe I am just not good at reading the classics"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Time was well spent listening to this book, however, as far as classics go, listen to Heinlein... Starship Troopers and Moon is a Harsh Mistress are much better. However, this book was interesting. And the outcome was pretty unique. Probably just not my type of book.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Eric Michael Summerer and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) ?

    Narration was good.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnold toronto, ON, Canada 03-31-13
    Arnold toronto, ON, Canada 03-31-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    205
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic Concept But Flawed Execution?"

    This is not a book you'll forget which is annoying since it's greatness lies in its one main idea but I didn't enjoy the execution of the story. For instance I've already forgotten the lead characters names and the subplots seemed like time fillers. There were too few characters to support a novel. It would have been a better novelette. I would encourage others to read it though if they are interested in early science fiction. That's why I read it. The reader did a good performance and his voice works well on the 2x setting on my player!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JULIO Redmond, WA, United States 09-17-12
    JULIO Redmond, WA, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome first half, nonsense second half..."
    Would you try another book from Arthur C. Clarke and/or Eric Michael Summerer and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) ?

    The firs half of the story is awesome. It is very plausible and well written. The scientific fiction is nearly perfect in the sense that it doesn't harm the laws of physics we know. It's all very plausible and that makes it a great story.

    The second half is nonsense, and unfortunately contradicts a lot of things mentioned in the first half. I'm very against the anthropocentric view of the universe, so the second part of the book was a disappointment to me. I really wish the author had developed the story differently. Still, no one can he's not very talented and this book isn't a great science fiction story.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandre Chambly, QC, Canada 04-02-12
    Alexandre Chambly, QC, Canada 04-02-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ok book,"
    What did you like best about Childhood's End? What did you like least?

    Interesting concept and idea.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have explain what happen to the human race and what happen next


    Have you listened to any of Eric Michael Summerer and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    nope did not or if I did I don't remember


    Do you think Childhood's End needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    yes but a short story to explain what happen to the next stage of human evolution.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer VA 01-22-12
    Amazon Customer VA 01-22-12

    Shay

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dissapointed."
    What did you like best about Childhood's End? What did you like least?

    It was easy to listen to but I kept waiting for something to happen and it never did. Interesting theory but I like a little excitement in the books I enjoy most.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorena indianapolis, in, United States 01-16-12
    Lorena indianapolis, in, United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2011

    Currently live in Florida..believe it or not I miss the changing seasons..even the snow and ice.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Old friend revisited"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Time well spent. This book is a good example of the growth of the Science Fiction genra. It moves from the


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    most interesting: Clarke kept the suspence going through the book to the end.


    What does Eric Michael Summerer and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    can't think of anything at this time


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no, it's too far out of date. Did not enjoy 2001 for the same reson


    Any additional comments?

    Re-reading the old masters is always eye opening. As I mentioned earlier..Science Fiction has matured considerably and to appreciate the current crop of writers it helps to have a grounding in

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luke Vancouver, BC, Canada 09-17-11
    Luke Vancouver, BC, Canada 09-17-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting ideas, but flat characters & no story."

    Some fans of speculative fiction might consider this a masterpiece. However, if you enjoy a good story with interesting three-dimensional characters, then this story is NOT for you. While the ideas explored in Childhood's End were intriguing, the lack of any interesting plot or relatable characters made it hard for the story to really capture my attention.

    The performance was good, but without a solid story behind it, it ended up falling flat.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    djinx Central U.S. 09-04-11
    djinx Central U.S. 09-04-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    126
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dated!!!!"

    I think I would have enjoyed it more 20-30 years ago. The story probably deserves better than I am rating it but I just didn't enjoy it that much. Even the narration felt dated (maybe that was intentional).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 121-130 of 140 results PREVIOUS1121314NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.