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Childhood's End Audiobook

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.
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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

4.1 (4834 )
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4.2 (3707 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-26-14
    James Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-26-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    Story
    "Never thought a book could be so suspenseful..."
    Any additional comments?

    Childhood's End was a book that I tore through in a matter of hours. It's incredibly difficult to step away from. The ending was amazing and totally unexpected. Bravo.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonas 01-14-14
    Jonas 01-14-14

    Description: Indescribable

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    Story
    "This is a different take on futurism"
    Any additional comments?

    I'd read this in excerpt form years ago, and it was a tantalizing glimpse. The future of mankind is to become... other than mankind. This is a primer of how very different the future might be from the now.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edie Windsor, Ontario Canada 12-06-13
    Edie Windsor, Ontario Canada 12-06-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "WOW!"
    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't all that interested in this book at the beginning but I followed it through to the end. It was worth it. As I was listening to the end all I could think was "WOW"!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 11-29-13
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 11-29-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Quaint and entertaining..."

    I bought this one from the daily specials. I was pleasantly surprised with this story first published in the early 1950's (1953, I believe). I found it quite amusing to here ideas written down as "fiction" that have since come to fruition. The "radar oven" would be todays microwave.

    All this aside, the underlying story and idea was very entertaining, if a bit depressing in the end. The narrator did a pretty solid job as well.

    So, to sum up, I would recommend this, even if only from a nostalgia perspective.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 11-26-13
    Linda 11-26-13 Member Since 2012

    snowbyrd13

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent, Classic Science Fiction"

    I was captivated by this story. If a block of time had been available to me, I believe I would have listened to it in one sitting.
    The story was capitivating and the ideas thought provoking.
    I plan to revisit some of the classic science fiction books I read in the past. I just may have forgotten how good they were!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 05-23-13
    Eric 05-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Much less than I expected"
    What did you like best about Childhood's End? What did you like least?

    Clarke is considered one of the "big three" so far as science fiction writers go. Perhaps that's one of the reasons that this book so failed to impress me. It reads like a list. "First this happened, then, this happened, and, then, this happened, also, this." Very dry and non-engaging.


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

    "Really? Waste of my time."


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I'm not sure the narrator could have made the work less dry.


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

    Nope.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen San Diego, CA, United States 05-17-13
    Stephen San Diego, CA, United States 05-17-13 Member Since 2012

    I'm just this guy, y'know?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not with a bang..."

    It's fascinating to read a classic like this. There are many themes and ideas in here that will resonate as familiar to the reader... and this story is the origin of some of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sami 03-31-13
    Sami 03-31-13
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    "a classic that stands up to its reputation"

    the story started out a little quaint, understandably (after all, it IS a science fiction book written in the 50s), but as the story develops, it's hard to ignore the bigger questions it poses, the deeper underlying message. the conclusion, of course, leaves one dazed thinking of the very meaning of existence. amazing read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jbean 03-15-13
    Jbean 03-15-13
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    Story
    "Brilliant!"
    What made the experience of listening to Childhood's End the most enjoyable?

    I love being able to listen to Audible via my iphone!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Childhood's End?

    All of them! Seriously, though, the imagery by Clarke of the Overlords and the world in which they live and the imagery of Earth blew me away!


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

    Very professional.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Of course! I had not been so moved, enlightened, and inspired by a story for some time...especially when we see the Earth in its final moments. Brilliantly written! Definitely on my list of top favorite books!


    Any additional comments?

    Will be listening to this book over and over, I'm sure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael LONG BEACH, CA, United States 03-12-13
    Michael LONG BEACH, CA, United States 03-12-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Clarke's Best"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Childhood's End to be better than the print version?

    Not better, per se, but perhaps more enjoyable.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The honest, objective view of Mankind as a species.


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

    The history behind the novel was enlightening.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The ending moved me deeply, as a human being, even though it's only fiction. This is a credit to Clarke's vision.


    Any additional comments?

    Better than 2001 Odyssey series. All the alien sci Fi movies should pay royalties to this book, e.g. Independence Day, etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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