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.
"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)
My first read of Arthur C. Clarke. At first I didn't like the beginning but then it picked up. I guess I was a little disappointed in the ending. All in all, the story was interesting. It wasn't action packed or a love story but more an intellectual commentary on what's more important in life: scientific advancement or culture.
Society, philosophy, science, and fiction, and whenever possible, combined!
Very good performance and engaging story. The mystical element, which i see now is a theme for Clarke, is curious and important to understand many subsequent sci-fi works.
I liked this book, it was an easy read and definitely compelling. but I felt that the episodic nature of the storytelling left a feeling of something missing at the end. the individuals felt less like characters and more like conduits for the plot/explanations. Also, the Eurocentric treatment of the future and of certain descriptions (e.g. discussion of the n-word, ahistorical treatment of the white minority in south africa as exceptional, comparing one of the few non white characters to chocolate), as well as scattered sexism/gender essentialism were disheartening, but I guess I shouldn't have expected much better from a white male author of the time. still enjoyed the interesting history and future of humanity.
Overall I found the story interesting, but I object to Clarke's apparent fascination with the paranormal. At that point it's not "science" fiction anymore, it's just plain old weird fantasy. Yuck.
This is the most unique point of view of a book I have ever read. I have not thought this way before and will think of the world differently from here on out. READ THIS BOOK! Good from beginning to end. Unbelievable!!!
If you give me something original I will probably like it, regardless of the genre. Stick to a formula and I want to hurl a book at your head.
It's not so much alien invasion as it's more 'aliens show up for a while, do their own thing, people are okay with it'
I really enjoyed it even if (spoilers, kind of) the ending made me a bit sad. Highly original and I love the design of the aliens.
Dr. Nils Rasmussen
After finishing this novel, it was amazing to look back at just how much of science-fiction had been influenced following this book's release. Without Childhood's End, we might not have ever seen such sci-fi movies as "Independence Day", "District 9", "Battle of Los Angeles", or any other plots that feature the scenario of giant spacecrafts hovering over major cities.
But this novel is MUCH, MUCH more than just the simple idea of aliens vs. humans. It's actually not that at all. Instead, it is a far further complicated, and somewhat more realistic vision of what might happen if one day we all wake up to the skies full of flying saucers.
I would not call the ending of this book a "twist" even though it is completely unpredictable. Usually, a "twist" is cheap and sort of gimmicky. If you've read any of Clarke's other work, you know that he is above such things. All I will say is that you shouldn't bother trying to predict the book's outcome. No matter what you do, it won't be anything similar to your expectations.
9.27 / 10.00
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