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2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  197,145 Ratings  ·  4,216 Reviews
On the Moon, an enigma is uncovered.

So great are the implications of this discovery that for the first time men are sent out deep into our solar system.

But long before their destination is reached, things begin to go horribly, inexplicably wrong...

One of the greatest-selling science fiction novels of our time, this classic book will grip you to the very end.
Paperback, 297 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Roc (first published June 1968)
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João Sousa This book is very well written, so I would say it is a "page turner". Sometimes I still pick it up just to read a chapter or two.

Community Reviews

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Jack Beltane
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The book is always better than the film, but I'd never read 2001 before. What I didn't know, until reading the foreword, is that this novel was literally written in tandem with the film, with Clarke and Kubrick feeding each other ideas. At some points, however, filming overtook writing, or vice versa, and the two stories, though similar, split along two different paths.

After reading the book, the film becomes little more than a very well crafted container: It's pretty and neat to look at it, bu
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Lyn
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Classic.

I read 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was a teenager and knew it was a very influential work of fiction because of the film and all the attention it had received. Still, though I found it very entertaining, I did not really get it.

Thirty years later, I have read it again, and though I may not completely get it the second time around, the more mature reader can better grasp the vision and message of the genius author. I especially enjoyed the many allusions to other works and found the re
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Sr3yas
I remember watching 2001: A space Odyssey about seven years back and almost losing my mind during the overlong Stargate sequence and what followed after that acid trip.


*The I might puke face*

Fast forward to 2017, one of my buddies called me up and said, 'Sreyas, 2001: Space Odyssey is a fricking classic. You should read the book before watching the movie'. Fortunately, I had a copy of the novel with me and I jumped right in!

❝ If he was indeed mad, his delusions were beautifully organized.❞

T
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Dan Schwent
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
An alien artifact teaches a man-ape to use tools. Heywood Floyd goes to the moon to investigate a mysterious situation. Dave Bowman and his crewmates, most of them in cryogenic sleep, head toward Saturn....

Let me get my two big gripes out of the way first.
1. Arthur C. Clarke's characters are cardboard cutouts and largely interchangeable with one another.
2. Arthur C. Clarke's prose doesn't bring all the boys to the yard.

Now that I've got that out of the way, I enjoyed this book very much. Some o
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Apatt
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
When I first read this book as a teenager I hated it, I thought it was so dry and impenetrable. I loved the Kubrick movie for its weirdness though. Clearly I was not one of the brighter kids of my generation. Having said that while I like it very much on this reread I can see why I could not appreciate it in my teens. Clarke’s scientific expositions can be very detailed but I would not call them dry now because I find them quite fascinating. The fact that when you are on the moon Earth is the mo ...more
Tara
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1001-list
“He now perceived that there were more ways than one behind the back of space.”

As a longtime admirer of Stanley Kubrick’s dazzling film, I was more than a little hesitant about picking up this book, apprehensive that it might not be able to live up to my perhaps overly demanding expectations. And it did take me a good 50 pages or so before I really began to connect with Clarke’s writing. After that initial rough patch, however, I became increasingly immersed in this absorbing story, eventually
...more
Kelli
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave Bowman: What's the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
Dave Bowman: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL.
HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disc
...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Wow. This is really something. Forget what you think you know if you’ve seen the film.

This is surely a landmark piece of Science Fiction. Although Clarke divulges a lot more detail here than Kubrick incorporated into his film, the mystic aspect of space is still present. I also enjoyed learning more about the monoliths and their true nature and/or purpose.

For some reason I thought the opening sequence (the Dawn of Man) would be boring. It wasn’t. In fact, despite being much more comprehensive th
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Stephen
4.5 Stars. The books of Arthur C. Clarke (at least the ten or so that I have read) have been consistently good and of very high quality. When I pick up one of his books, I can be confident that I won't be disappointed. This book is terrific and don't think that if you have seen the movie you know what is going to happen.
Brendon Schrodinger
Daah daaahh dah

DA DA!!!

boom boom boom boom boom


That's how the book starts. I swear. No lie. Then there is twenty pages of men in rubber suits called Oog and Ugg.

No, not really.

I'm like most people I guess (only in this regard) in that I saw the movie before the book. And it's a damn fine movie if you have some patience. It's beautiful and oh my god it's full of stars. So it's natural that the comparison is made between text and movie here. But, unusually, the book was written alongside the movi
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Sidharth Vardhan
“They became farmers in the fields of stars; they sowed and sometimes they reaped.
And sometimes, dispassionately, they had to weed.”

Written a year before Neil Armstrong became first man to step on moon, the science fiction story is really well written. Clark mixes his speculative predictions with true events from past (like the panic caused by broadcastings of Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’) and once he quoted Niels Bohr (““Your theory is crazy-but not crazy enough to be true.”) I loved his descrip
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Ahmad Sharabiani
389. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film. Clarke and Kubrick worked on the book together, but eventually only Clarke ended up as the official author. The story is based in part on various short stories by Clarke, including The Sentinel (written in 1948 for a BBC competition, but first published i
...more
Lisa
Without doubt this is a science fiction classic, and an early example of a novel and a movie that are born at the same time, adding detail and nuance to each other by the makers’ consistent communication and reflection on the respective effects of different media on the end result.

It is an experiment on many different levels, and a very successful one. As a story, I found it interesting and compelling, especially the hilarious initial chapter on early humans and the reason for their development
...more
Jadranka

Posle čitanja jednog ovakvog remek-dela teško je naći prave reči koje bi iskazale divljenje koje osećam prema Arturu Klarku; čovek je pravi genijalac, vizionar, a na momente mi se činilo kao da nije sa ove planete.

Priznajem, oduvek sam bila fascinirana Svemirom. Kada sam bila mala, Mesec je za mene bio nešto najveličanstvenije što postoji. Svakakve ideje su mi se u to vreme motale po glavi, počev od toga da li neko živi na Mesecu, pa do toga šta bi bilo kad bi Mesec jednog dana pao na Zemlju?! Š
...more
Melody Sams
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like a lot of sci fi, the first half of the novel was a bit slow and hyper focused on a mysterious technology. It sets you up for curiosity. Which is great because if you love sci fi it’s probably because you like your mystery with a hint of tech.

But then came the descriptions of said technology. Which covered a good portion of the central half of the novel. This is a rough depiction of my face while reading it 🙄.

Then came the mind blowing, spectacularly done third act, which is a bit hard to g
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Eric Althoff
Aug 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi goons
Subversive, mysterious, incredible, mind-boggling, and ultimately hopeful, Arthur C. Clarke's "proverbial good science-fiction" novel--written concurrently with his and Stanley Kubrick's screenplay--is the ultimate trip into the universe and mankind's cycle of evolution. The apes of the first section evolve into spacefaring humankind, and then the protagonist, David Bowman, morphs into the Star Child, showcasing hope that from the darkness and the slime, this fragile human species might see beyo ...more
Duane
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the few instances where the movie was better than the book, but not by much. The remarkable thing about this book is how it stands the test of time. The science, the technology, the language, the style, all fit into our modern view as if it was written last week. It was published in 1968, before men walked on the moon, before cell phones, before...well, almost everything we take for granted these days. It is science fiction at it's best.
Joe Valdez
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stuart
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
2001: A Space Odyssey: The perfect collaboration between book and film
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Arthur C. Clarke collaborated with Stanley Kubrick to produce the novel version of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) in order to provide the basis for the brilliant film of the same name. So although the book can be considered the original work, Kubrick also had a role in its creation, and Clarke rewrote parts of the book to fit the screenplay as that took shape.

Readers and viewers will foreve
...more
Henry Avila
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
The opening scene , a tribe of ape- men ,in Africa,finding a strange gyrating monolith .Another rock to these few primitives, at first.But after the light show,the tribe is fascinated.It teaches them how to make and use tools.Kill animals and prevent their own extinction. With an unlimited supply of food and not be dependent on plants and fruit ,for survival.Very rare during the long drought conditions(millions of years long).The human race might reach its destiny ,for better or worse ,after all ...more
foteini_dl
Άντε να βρεις λόγια να περιγράψεις ένα αριστούργημα! Θα σταθώ στο γεγονός ότι ο Clarke έγραψε έναν ύμνο στη μοναξιά του ανθρώπου στο σύμπαν και στη μηδαμινότητά του (μαντέψτε!δεν είμαστε και τίποτα σπουδαίο,τελικά),καθώς και στα θεμελιώδη υπαρξιακά ερωτήματα σχετικά με τη ζωή και το θάνατο.
Αυτό που μου έκανε εντύπωση σε σύγκριση με την ομώνυμη ταινία του-τεράστιου-Kubrick (που είναι και η αγαπημένη μου ταινία,μαζί με το Solaris του Tarkovsky),είναι ότι το –φιλοσοφικών προεκτάσεων-τέλος του βιβλί
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Terry
Aug 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Terry by: Kirstine
Shelves: sci-fi
3 – 3.5 stars

Another entry in my occasional forays into classic SF and I’d have to say this one was definitely a success. The Big Ideas in this one are sufficiently big and yet handled deftly enough that they don’t completely overshadow the story. The prose and characterisation, as I generally expect from ‘classic’ SF, were unexceptional (one might say ‘workmanlike’), but I didn’t find them to be off-putting as I often do when I try dipping into earlier examples of the genre where the ‘big idea’
...more
Scarlet
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jill
Recommended to Scarlet by: Samadrita
I did not expect a book on extra-terrestrial life to leave me thinking about the evolution of mankind.

You won't find any alien action here, no war-of-the-worlds scenario. Instead, 2001 is a book that relies on the sheer strength of ideas - which is what I believe good science-fiction should be about. All those intriguing what-if and maybe questions that can challenge your beliefs and change your perspective.

Maybe light is not the fastest medium there is. How do we know what lies buried on the mo
...more
Daniel
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Necu ovde nesto posebno pametovati. Jedna od najboljih SF knjiga. Savrsen spoj tehnologije i filozofije. Obavezno stivo za svakoga ko voli da cita (subjektivan sam :P ).

I jedna od retkih dela gde film i knjiga cine savrsenu simbiozu i treba oba dela upoznati.
Adina
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sf, 1001
I recently finished two SF books, this one and Prelude to the Foundation. I gave the book by Isaac Asimov 4* but after reading the Odyssey I will downgrade it to 3*. I believe the Odyssey is better literature and more thought provoking.
Roberto
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

L'evoluzione umana

Quando il regista Stanley Kubrik lesse il racconto "La sentinella" scritto nel 1951 da Arthur Clarke, autore e inventore britannico, in cui si parlava dell'accelerazione dell'evoluzione umana dovuta a stimoli extraterrestri, ne rimase fortemente impressionato. Successe a questo punto una cosa abbastanza anomala: il regista e lo scrittore collaborarono per realizzare sia un film che un romanzo fino a ottenere "2001: Odissea nello spazio", ritenuto un capolavoro della fantascienz
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Anna
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scinece-fiction
Επιστημονική φαντασία σημαίνει Άρθουρ Κλαρκ (και Ισαάκ Ασίμοφ και Φίλιπ Ντικ). Ο συγγραφέας - επιστήμονας και ο ίδιος, έχει να επιδείξει πολλές επιστημονικές ανακαλύψεις από το 2ο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο και μετά (ήταν αεροπόρος της Βασιλικής Αεροπορίας, από αυτούς που πρωτο-ασχολήθηκαν με τα ραντάρ (βασικά που σκέφτηκε ότι μπορεί να υπάρξουν), σπούδασε φυσική και μαθηματικά, συνεργάστηκε με τη ΝΑΣΑ, για να τα παρατήσει όλα και να .... πάει στη Σρι Λάνκα όπου αφοσιώθηκε στη συγγραφή.

"Πίσω από κάθε πλά
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Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
DNF: 35%

This book was so fucking BORING! You want an author who can take the wonders of space, the uncertainty of life away from earth, the dangerous and fascinating premises of extraterrestrial beings and make it less interesting than counting the paint dimples in your ceiling!? Arthur C. Clarke is your man, apparently.
Sara Mazzoni
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ciclo-1
Un po’ di storia

Nel 1964, Stanley Kubrick scrisse una lettera ad Arthur C. Clarke per invitarlo a New York a discutere di un progetto. Clarke all’epoca viveva già da anni in Sri Lanka, paese in cui rimase fino alla morte, ma accettò la proposta di Kubrick e i due finirono per incontrarsi in un ristorante hawaiano dove si trattennero a parlare per ore. Kubrick voleva girare un film di fantascienza, uno fatto bene, di certo non uno dei b-movie dell’epoca (che disprezzava) e Clarke gli era stato ra
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Owlseyes
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Owlseyes by: c lark
Before the book, or the movie, since they are looks into the future, allow me to recall Clarke's wishes when he turned 90 (yes,"90 orbits" completed round the sun): (1) evidence of extraterrestrial life to be found, (2) humanity to kick its addiction on oil, rather than clean energies, (3) a lasting peace to be reached in "his" divided Sri Lanka--his abode for 50 years.

How would he like to be remembered? [though he had many trades, I would say]

---as a writer, like Kipling.









I've watched a lot
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Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co
...more
More about Arthur C. Clarke

Other books in the series

Space Odyssey (4 books)
  • 2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2)
  • 2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey, #3)
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #4)

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“Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth.

Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star.

But every one of those stars is a sun, often far more brilliant and glorious than the small, nearby star we call the Sun. And many--perhaps most--of those alien suns have planets circling them. So almost certainly there is enough land in the sky to give every member of the human species, back to the first ape-man, his own private, world-sized heaven--or hell.

How many of those potential heavens and hells are now inhabited, and by what manner of creatures, we have no way of guessing; the very nearest is a million times farther away than Mars or Venus, those still remote goals of the next generation. But the barriers of distance are crumbling; one day we shall meet our equals, or our masters, among the stars.

Men have been slow to face this prospect; some still hope that it may never become reality. Increasing numbers, however are asking; 'Why have such meetings not occurred already, since we ourselves are about to venture into space?'

Why not, indeed? Here is one possible answer to that very reasonable question. But please remember: this is only a work of fiction.

The truth, as always, will be far stranger.”
226 likes
“It was the mark of a barbarian to destroy something one could not understand.” 120 likes
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