Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece
Narrated by: Todd McLaren
Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (162 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Regarded as a masterpiece today, 2001: A Space Odyssey received mixed reviews on its 1968 release. Despite the success of Dr. Strangelove, director Stanley Kubrick wasn't yet recognized as a great filmmaker, and 2001 was radically innovative, with little dialogue and no strong central character. Although some leading critics slammed the film as incomprehensible and self-indulgent, the public lined up to see it. 2001's resounding commercial success launched the genre of big-budget science fiction spectaculars. Such directors as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and James Cameron have acknowledged its profound influence. 

Author Michael Benson explains how 2001 was made, telling the story primarily through the two people most responsible for the film, Kubrick and science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke. Benson interviewed Clarke many times, and has also spoken at length with Kubrick's widow, Christiane; with visual effects supervisor Doug Trumbull; with Dan Richter, who played 2001's leading man-ape; and many others.

©2018 Michael Benson (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A fascinating, detail-rich account of the long slog to make the science-fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey." (Kirkus)

What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    120
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    104
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    122
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A thorough and deeply enjoyable story about the making of an epic film

Younger people have little idea how impactful the film 2001: A Space Odyssey was when it first came out. It inspired a whole generation of filmmakers, including major names like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron. The film is visually sumptuous, employing cutting edge special effects, many of which were pioneered by Stanley Kubrick and his team. This book is a wonderful romp through the making of the epic, revolutionary film. It provides so much wonderful detail about Kubrick's obsessiveness, his attention to factual detail and his often-times tyrannical style of directing. I loved every second of it, and went back right after finishing it to watch the film again. Doing so right after reading the book opened my eyes to many details I had missed the first (and second and third) time around watching it. I confess I even learned a lot more about the plot, which was very confusing to me at times. It's an excellent summer read.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Book Wholly Equal to its Subject

I thought about demeriting this book one full star for committing the discourtesy of ending. I still may.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Book written on Stanley Kubrick's film 2001 a space Odyssey

Very informative book containing tons of details not found in other works on this subject.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fascinating journey through the creation of a masterpiece

for any cinefile let alone a fan of Kubrick and this movie, this is an exceptionally well told tale of the epic journey to create one of the great films of all time. it is such a compelling story filled with endless “wow” moments that I found myself compelled to listen any moment I could get. can’t wait to see the film again now that I know the true story of how it was made.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Epic achievement!

My appreciation for the film 2001 A Space Odyssey has only grown over the years. This book has actually increased that appreciation immensely. I had no idea of the extremes, expenses and innovations that went into filming even short sequences, many of which were discarded as being sub par. Watching this movie now blows my mind on a whole new level.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

narrator’s accents are offensive and distracting

Over the top accents have no place in a non-fiction book. I cant even get through this.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

An extensive, sometimes hard to follow 'Making Of'

#celebrity #film #london A 'making of' focusing mainly on Arthur C Clarke (roughly 20%) and Stanley Kubrick (~80%). Some of the lengthy technical descriptions about how shots were achieved did not translate well to audio as it was too difficult to picture in my mind, I expect this will be different for different readers. Despite this problem there was enough fascinating insight into both of these men to keep the story interesting. #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Tells you everything you want to know about...

... the making of 2001. It's not my favorite movie (confession: I've never been able to watch it in its entirety), so it was, for me, too much information. But if you loved 2001, this is probably a must listen. It should answer every question you have about the movie. I had a huge problem with the narrator doing dialects. Even if they were good, which they are not (his Carl Sagan sounds nothing like him and I have no idea what his accent for Kubrick's German wife sounded like), it was unnecessary. The narrator should never call attention to himself and by doing accents, he does exactly that. Had he not done so, I'd have given his performance 5 stars.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

I thought I knew everything about 2001: A Space Odyssey, having read books about it before, but this is an incredible work of scholarship that brings an amazing level of new detail to every aspect of the film. From the first glimmerings of an idea to the final vindication of Kubrick's vision after disastrous press screenings, Benson succeeds in making everything fascinating. Kubrick comes across as unexpectedly loveable despite his manic single-mindedness, and Arthur C. Clarke's romantic and financial trainwrecks are another surprise. I especially enjoyed the material about the creation of the man-apes, which turns out to be an amazingly complex collaboration between director, actors, and make-up artists. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in film.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The best book regarding film making, studios, etc

I have yet to see 2001: A Space Odyssey but I had enjoyed other books on making movies and gave it a shot.

Out of the dozens of books and memoirs I have read, this is by far the best book for taking the reader onto the set and inside making a movie.

I am amazed at the first hand material, most of it word for word, that was collected, and how it is woven to create a diary from all perspectives.

I would have given it 20 stars if I could.