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)
I bought his book because of the 3 part TV miniseries, and was curious as to its adaptation.
They changed the story enough, to allow insights in to the core of it, but retained the core, itself.
At first, I was disappointed with the choice of narrator, thinking they would use the actor, who play Korrellan, but that passed quickly, as their choice was an excellent one.
This new interest in this book, and The Rapture, has been prevalent in media as of late, why, I do not know.
The book is solid, the story, excellent, and finely crafted, very mature, instead of pulp sciFi.
I have re listened to this book, a second time, to flesh out the TV series again.
Dare to listen, or read, if you are very religious. It may harden, or crack your resolve.
While Clarke's ideas and predictions are sometimes insightful, this is not a satisfying "story." The characters are flat and interchangeable. And because even the few conflicts that arise feel devoid of emotion or consequence, the characters lack souls. The entire book feels more like a distant history, told by an eloquent robot, spanning a hundred year period, and sprinkled -- in deference to the humans who will read it -- with random human stories that have no impact on the larger events. One could remove huge sections of this book and it wouldn't really matter. I guess what I'm saying is that this wasn't my cup of tea.
While I may disagree with how fast some characters were to capitulate, I'll concede that a great many humans really weren't meant to inherit the multiverse, and the story's depiction of the future was surprisingly accurate for its 'born on date'.
This is a great book, the story is superv. The narrative is superv. You might have to read or listen to this book twice, to truly appreciate this book. It's a keeper.
Bits of the book are dated now, but the story is absolutely timeless... (the recent movie demonstrates this.)
Summerer's narration was spot-on!
I would recommend this audiobook to a friend. It's one of Arthur C. Clarke's best novels and really good science fiction. It depicts the encounter with an alien race, a really hard thing to do well, in well thought and interesting manner. I usually like science fiction that describes future in terms that are almost unfathomable for modern human and the concepts in this book are just that.
The young scientist Jan was my favorite character. He had curiosity, intelligence and he felt trapped in the world engineered by the Overlords. He used his intelligence to break free from this prison, but with unforeseen consequences.
The introduction by Robert J. Sawyer provided a little background into how this book was received by the public and how Arthur C. Clarke himself felt about it. I think it was a good addition to the audiobook.
If not in one sitting, there were moments I wanted to continue listening the story, but had to put it on hold. The last one and half hours I listened unable to stop.
The reveal of the overlords proved to be very suspenseful. Very fun and interesting book! Due to age, it does not entirely hold up to the state of modern technology and other science fiction standards, but is nonetheless an enjoyable book.
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