2001, Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark

Read: 25 May, 2013

The book is, in many ways, very similar to the movie of the same name. According to Clark’s introduction in my copy, the two were created together, and Clark worked with Kubrick in writing the novel.

I haven’t seen the movie in years and had completely forgotten the TMA-1 portion of the film. What always stood out for me was HAL, but HAL actually gets a relatively short section of the book.

The novel gives a lot of backstory and explains elements that – if I remember correctly – are more ambiguous in the movie version, which I enjoyed. But, like the movie, not a lot happens. The pace is very slow and, in the book version, we also get a lot of science and technical details that I thought would be boring.

But I actually found it all quite compelling. It built the ambiance, and helped me “fall into” the story. By the time HAL started going rogue, I was thoroughly primed. I was surprised to see how well Clark manipulated me and had me on the edge of my seat.

It’s a pretty short book, easily read quickly. Some of it is pretty weird – which should be familiar to anyone who’s seen the movie – but it was much more explained in the book. I thoroughly enjoyed 2001 and definitely recommend it for anyone interested in reading through Science Fiction classics.

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