Eric Althoff's Reviews > 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 by Arthur C. Clarke
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it was amazing
Recommended 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 beyond itself to become more than its most basic designs for destruction. Our best sci-fi is about ideas, not laserbeams, and Clarke cuts to the very heart of our need to question the universe and ourselves to find God or whatever unseen beings are represented by that ominous black monolith found by the apes, on the Moon, and orbiting Saturn. (Note: Clarke's book has the astronauts traveling to the sixth planet, not Jupiter, as in the film; this was amended in the three sequel novels that followed.)

Much like David Bowman, his evolution into the Star Child is at once a frustrating and beautiful allegory for our recognition that we are but infants in this universe of ours, and that our evolution requires a humility before the sheer vastness and incomprehensibility of creation.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 1, 1991 – Finished Reading
August 15, 2007 – Shelved

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