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 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).
Incredibly boring book. If I had been reading it, I would have skipped to the last page about half way through and tossed it aside. I was waiting for some glorious ending, but then the ending was just plain stupid - and boring.
Well. I understand this is classic sci and fi and I am a sci fi fan but I found this long and sometimes boring and predictable. The narrator does a great job and it's imaginative for when it was written but I feel like I been there done that so honestly I didn't finish it which is unusual for me.
I am sure when this book was new, it was exciting and thought provoking. However in the light of history and where we are today, it is mearly quaint and naieve. The book now appears simplistic and it is read by a simplistic and uninspired reader.
Although in its time it may have been a great book, it is out of date and badly read. I cannot recommend.
The forward was a glowing review about how this book is Clarke's best. The story starts strong, draws you in with mysterious but benevolent alien visitors, foreshadows some deep comment about the human race, our history, our self-imposed fate, and something bigger than our world. But the end of the story did not deliver, except for on the last one. There was no deep meaning here that I could appreciate... just a whiz-bang sci fi ending. Oh well.
Very interesting and detailed vision of humanity's future but with an apocalyptic ending. As a lifelong Science Fiction fan, I still love Arthur C. Clark's writing but this one was a little hard to take.
I did not enjoy this story. Never connected with it. The plot and events seemed preposterous. The dialogue was terrible. Tons of preachy comments that will keep this book stuck in the 1950s. Eric Michael Summerer's narration does not help the book any. In fact, I'm wondering if I would have rated the book two stars with a good narrator.
yes... like rather clark just not this one
slow read story line poor.
I'm an astronomer. Scifi is all I ever read/watch/listen to. (with the occasional epic fantasy here and there, for diversity :)
Oh wow, I really didn't like this. What a depressing and pointless book. Not that sci-fi books are obliged to be hilariously entertaining at all times but pointlessness is inexcusable. There was no character development. Even if I strongly disliked the main idea of the book (the end of days of mankind is boring, I think) I would still have been interested in seeing the emotional turmoil of the Overlords explored. Their's must be a loneliness worth a thousand books, and all they got were a few hurried sentences.
I guess the true beauty of this book is not so much the journey but the thoughtfulness it provokes when finished. It made me want to join a book appreciation society that i might find someone to discuss it with. In the end i annoyed my friends on facebook until they read it too. i'm pleased to see that everyone has a different stance on it and everyone had their own person/race to empathise with. The book can be heart-breaking but only if you are the sort of person who dwells on a book on completion.
"Good but depressing"
I enjoyed this book. It was well written and thought-provoking, but the ending seemed somewhat empty and hopeless, although I expect other listeners will interpret it differently. It is certainly worth listening to and is well narrated, and I can understand why it is regarded as a classic, although some of the plot-lines seem a bit higgledy-piggledy and unsuccessfully shaped to fit.
"A Classic well worth the listen"
Not the greatest narration, and written some time ago so some technological references were a little dated.
But none the less it is a classic with some great twists and real impact.
"An engrossing performance; vintage Sci-Fi"
A great audiobook performance means you don't notice the narrator. Eric Michael Summer puts in a clear well-voiced performance. Like all the best performers, Summer's range persuades you to forget only one man is doing the voices; you soon get immersed in the story.
Childhood's End is a mini-epic of a novel, written with Clarke's usual clarity and poignancy. For those of us who have been downloading his five volumes of Collected Short Stories from Audible, Childhood's End is a MUST. And certainly my book of choice for my desert island disc selection.
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