No 2001 A Space Odyssey is not just a film by Stanley Kubrick it is in fact a novel by Arthur C Clarke, who incidentally helped write the screen play for the film at the same time he was still writing the book…unusual. Anyway, this is not a film review or a rant about books being better than movie adaptations so on with the book review!
Written a year before man had even graced the moon with his presence, 2001 A Space Odyssey
is a story of exploration into the unknown depths of space and a look into mans place in the universe.
A 4 million year old monolith is discovered on the moon, and so great are the implications of this eerie object that, for the first time, men out sent out to the far reaches of the solar system. However, before they can reach their destination thing start to go horribly wrong.
On reflection, I found 2001 A Space Odyssey to be an odd read. I was completely absorbed within it and loved every page, character and idea but still ended up slightly disappointed. I felt as if what I was reading were 2 truly remarkable sci-fi novels, that didn’t belong together; 1 about the true origins of evolution and insignificance of man in a vast, mind boggling universe, and another thrilling tale about a computer so advanced it has developed almost real consciousness and become evil!
As much as both elements of the book were fascinating, original and beautifully written, I wish they had been separate novels, with more time, space and detail given to each. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fantastic book and, in my opinion, most definitely worthy of its spot in the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die, I just feel that perhaps each stunning idea could have been expanded into a much longer and more detailed novel, as together they just left me wanting to know a lot more.
However, I am sure there are many of you who completely disagree, so feel free to leave me a comment and tell me why I am wrong.