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
  • 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 (3795 )
5 star
 (1443)
4 star
 (1377)
3 star
 (705)
2 star
 (170)
1 star
 (100)
Overall
4.1 (2775 )
5 star
 (1181)
4 star
 (913)
3 star
 (471)
2 star
 (137)
1 star
 (73)
Story
4.1 (2731 )
5 star
 (1076)
4 star
 (1088)
3 star
 (455)
2 star
 (79)
1 star
 (33)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Rafael Denicolay Uruguay 01-24-12
    Rafael Denicolay Uruguay 01-24-12 Listener Since 2009

    South pole

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great begining, not so great an end."
    What did you love best about Childhood's End?

    I loved the idea of an alien civilization enforcing law but not interfering so much with the rest of people's lives.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters who spoke directly to the aliens were credible and likable.


    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?

    The narrator is professional, it is easy to follow the story and get a feeling of the character's emotions.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the first half of the book, but I didn't like so much the underlying story, once revealed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina West Haven, UT, United States 01-23-12
    Gina West Haven, UT, United States 01-23-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    151
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Technically great, in spirit, a bit depressing"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I don't know if there is one specific thing that I didn't like. Over all it was interesting and unique, but I think the ending was unsatisfactory.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It left me feeling depressed and empty, but maybe that was the point?


    What about Eric Michael Summerer and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) ’s performance did you like?

    Nothing negative to report.


    Did Childhood's End inspire you to do anything?

    Go back to listening to fantasy for a while.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrian Muscat, Oman 01-23-12
    Adrian Muscat, Oman 01-23-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    I very much enjoyed this book - brilliant premise, and plot continually developed. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila 12-28-11
    Sheila 12-28-11

    Technology Fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Expected Better"
    Any additional comments?

    The narration was fine and the story was easy to follow, but I expected better from Arthur C. Clarke's

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HARRY Safety Harbor, FL, United States 12-26-11
    HARRY Safety Harbor, FL, United States 12-26-11

    DVD Lover

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Arthur Clarke's Masterwork"
    What did you love best about Childhood's End?

    I have read the book many times when I was a child, and I loved what the Alien looked like, I guess you can't judge a book by it's cover.


    What other book might you compare Childhood's End to and why?

    I am not sure Arthur Clarke's books compare to anyone's.


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

    No I haven't.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I exercise while I listened to this book, and I am not sure I could have lasted that long.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan WAUKESHA, WI, United States 12-24-11
    Jonathan WAUKESHA, WI, United States 12-24-11 Member Since 2014

    Husband | Programmer | Problem Solver

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sci-fi with a free market conservative theme"
    Would you listen to Childhood's End again? Why?

    No fantasy here. Just good science fiction with some politics and economic theory thrown in for good measure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann 12-09-11
    Ann 12-09-11

    Ann

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not great, but interesting"

    Interesting story, but I wanted more depth. One of those books that you finish and say, "Oh, that's it huh"? Hmm....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAM 11-29-11
    CAM 11-29-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    199
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Haunting"

    I read Childhood's End decades ago, when I was a teenager, and loved it. I have re-read a few of my former favorites from my youth and found them dissatisfying, but this book did not lose any of its impact. While some of the scenes and characters feel a wee bit dated now, the story is as engrossing and haunting as ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wyatt Calgary, AB, Canada 11-29-11
    Wyatt Calgary, AB, Canada 11-29-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great Classic"

    A classic tale from a time when SciFi was at its zenith. Sir Arthur was always one of my favourites and a 're-read' from a book I read as a very young lad reminded me of how great he truly was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RH BRENTWOOD, TN, United States 11-28-11
    RH BRENTWOOD, TN, United States 11-28-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    206
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "5 stars....from a tepid sci-fi fan"

    I've never been a huge fan of sci-fi but I always love a good story - and this epic doesn't disappoint. I thought I knew where it was going a couple of times and was delighted to find out I was wrong each time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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.