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Childhood's End Audiobook

Childhood's End

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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 (5319 )
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4.2 (4144 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Oliver New York, NY, United States 02-02-15
    Oliver New York, NY, United States 02-02-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    317
    8
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    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Classic of all Classics"

    Story-
    Birth of 2001
    Need anymore be said?
    Just fantastic.

    Narration-
    Wasn't crazy about the narration, but not due to any real fault-- it is clear and certainly didn't get in the way of the story. I know, totally unfair to mr narrator and I do apologize. It is well read, just a tad flat for my tastes. ( For reference, a few of my fav narrators: Mr Guidall, John Lee, Stefan Rudnicki...)

    Story trumps all.
    Get it and enjoy the hell out of it ;)

    Again, not a bad narration just not

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank 01-30-15
    Frank 01-30-15 Member Since 2015

    Ok,so I had the best intentions.I started listening for work, but now I'm re-discovering the classic sci-fi books that I read as a kid.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
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    10
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    Performance
    Story
    "Makes you stop and think"
    What made the experience of listening to Childhood's End the most enjoyable?

    It was quite the adventure to listen to this book


    What did you like best about this story?

    Really made me stop and wonder how I would handle what developed in this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Burgess 01-29-15
    Rob Burgess 01-29-15 Member Since 2007

    Burgi3

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It Will make you think"

    This book was recommended by a friend. I had no idea what to expect I was pleasantly surprised. This book deals with the end of the world from a totally different perspective and is an excellent sci-fi novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Collier Waltham, MA 01-29-15
    Jonathan Collier Waltham, MA 01-29-15 Member Since 2012

    I am remarkable.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    41
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    Performance
    Story
    "Thoughtful, Satisfying, Creative"

    This is a story that I'll certainly listen to again someday, and look forward to recommending it to others.

    It is well imagined, with thoughtful plot arcs that aren't common in much of today's science fiction.

    The ambitious exploration is toward the discovery and fulfillment of humanity's purpose. It has a satisfying conclusion that isn't a Hollywood ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 01-28-15
    Peter 01-28-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    Story
    "This is a must read for Sci Fi fans"

    This is a short easy read. If you are looking for character development, that is not what this book is about. Clarks' gift is in articulating the wonder and majesty of the future. This he does in spades. You do not have to be a science fiction fan to appreciate "Childhood's End". Beware however, I expect that this work has the ability to turn you into one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Eugene Lehr Riverside, California USA 01-19-15
    Mark Eugene Lehr Riverside, California USA 01-19-15 Listener Since 2005

    Dr. Mark E. Lehr

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Exceptional"

    Finally making a movie of it! Best A.C. Book. Maybe we will evolve instead of annihilating ourselves. Better sooner than later.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Pang Earth 01-18-15
    J. Pang Earth 01-18-15 Member Since 2010

    Computational cognition, ethics, transhumanism, etc.

    ratings
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    120
    21
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    Story
    "Origin of great scifi over last 62+ years"

    So many things stem from this. Incredible how many have ripped off elements of this story. This is foundational fundamental reading. You're not in he scifi club unless you've read this

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shane 12-28-14
    shane 12-28-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book that should be read if you like scifi"

    Easy to listen too, the voice talents presented this book in such a way as to draw me in for hours at a time.

    Arthur C Clarke wrote this without the typical mistakes a lot of people make these days. Instead of focusing on trying to invent technology, or use flash phrases in over abundance from the period he lived in, the man told a wonderful story. He does have a lot of surprises for the reader in this book, and quite really? bravo.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 11-27-14
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 11-27-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting View of the Future"

    This was an interesting story. I particularly enjoyed his ideas from the 1950s of what the 21st century and beyond would look like. I was amazed at his foresight when he was discussing how tv would take up the time of humans and make it hard for humans to keep up with the various programs; he then went on to discuss how humans would be more interested in watching real life events of other people - reality tv before it was invented!

    I knew I would like it when, at the outset, the overlord wiped out animal cruelty. Who wouldn't love that? It was interesting to see how he portrayed the overlords as benevolent people rather than these tyrants. I was definitely unprepared for the twist at the end.

    The narration was good, and the story moved along at a nice pace.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DKW Ham Lake, MN, United States 10-27-14
    DKW Ham Lake, MN, United States 10-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
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    Story
    "Pretty boring"

    I thought this was pretty boring. I got through about an hour of it. Then I got restless waiting for something interesting to happen, and went and looked at the synopsis of the book online to see if I had anything to look forward to, and it looked pretty bizarre and didn't seem like it would get much better, so I gave up on it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • David
    Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
    3/31/10
    Overall
    "Thoughtful"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
    6/9/09
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Wakefield, United Kingdom
    12/29/12
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, United Kingdom
    4/16/11
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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