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Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
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Childhood's End (original 1953; edition 2001)

by Arthur C. Clarke

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,652140565 (3.93)223
Member:prehensel
Title:Childhood's End
Authors:Arthur C. Clarke
Info:Del Rey (2001), Edition: 1st Impact ed, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Read, Read but unowned
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Read, Sci-Fi

Work details

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke (1953)

  1. 51
    Nightfall by Isaac Asimov (weener)
  2. 30
    Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler (Medellia)
  3. 20
    The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Contains the short story upon which Childhood's End is based.
  4. 11
    Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind by Richard Maurice Bucke (bertilak)
  5. 01
    More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon (rickyrickyricky)
    rickyrickyricky: Similar philosophy, stronger writing, & less dated by mid-century sci-fi cliches and ignorance.
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» See also 223 mentions

English (131)  Danish (4)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (139)
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
The first part of Childhood's End was suspenseful but it mellowed out after the Overlords revealed themselves to the next generation of mankind. I'll try to steer away from spoilers but the evolutionary theme brought 2001: A Space Odyssey to mind. And maybe I read the biblical analogies into the storyline, such as the Overlords, with their distinctive appearance, being sent(cast) down to earth and then having no possibility of joining with the Overmind (Heaven?) as a parallel of Satan's fall At any rate, this book is still relevant almost sixty years after it was first published and only shows its age in a few technological details. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
I came very close to liking it, but I just can't cope with the ending. Clarke said somewhere that it was beyond good and evil, but it looks more like evil to me. That was the saddest piece I have ever read in sci-fi. And it bothered me that it was implied that humans were the only thing that mattered at all on Earth (and then not even them). That is just such a small-minded Western thinking. A Buddhist woulld have bee appalled!
No such transcendence for me please. No, thank you. :)

( )
  LauraM77 | Jun 28, 2016 |
the story line was interesting initially but I was actually really unhappy with the ending...

The interaction between the Humans and the Overlords was the best part of the story. The control they exerted without violence -- just the threat (or the show of what they COULD do if they chose to) was enough to make the humans fall into line. Even the "rebellious humans" were tame in what they tried to do.

The book and writing was good enough for me to rate it a 3 but that's the highest I could go. The book was a little over 300 pages and it still took me 15 days to read it. ( )
  bhabeck | Jun 4, 2016 |
It has been several decades since I last read this book. I started reading it with some trepidation -- would it hold up to my memories? How dated would it be?

The answer is that the technological trappings are indeed dated, but they are not the heart of the story. That has to do with what mankind is, how we as a species will grow and change, and what makes us human. While the author now disagrees with his conclusions (as stated in his foreword), it is still an interesting exploration of those themes.

The hard part for me is deciding how I feel about the novel. It is well-told and well-written. It made me think. Like the author, I don't think I like the ending at all now; in my youth I thought it marvelous, though. It is a classic as no one really explored the topic as well as Clarke did back then.

If you like classic, thought-provoking science fiction, then I think you should read this book. I cannot predict who will like it. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | May 13, 2016 |
I found this 1953 sci fi classic to be well-written and thought-provoking but I didn't like the ending. Clarke in the foreword hinted that he himself didn't like the ending anymore (~50 years after it was first written) when he mentions that after working with Yorkshire Television on a show about paranormal abilities, he discovered that the paranormal was almost all fraudulent and no longer believed in it. ( )
  leslie.98 | Apr 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
I'm not sure Childhood's End is the first book my dad gave me, but it was one of the first, and it's certainly the one I remember most vividly. And it's probably a book that changed my life.
added by RBeffa | editDaily Kos, DOM9000 (Jul 8, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur C. Clarkeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bing, JonForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bringsværd, Tor ÅgeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Csernus, TiborCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deutsch, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellis, DeanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernandes, StanislawCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haars, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempen, BernhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover Artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, Robert J.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schjelderup, DaisyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Summerer, Eric MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The opinions expressed in this book are not those of the author.
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The volcano that had reared Taratua up from the Pacific depths had been sleeping now for half a million years. (Original)
Before she flew to the launch site, Helena Lyakhov always went through the same ritual.  (1989 Updated Version)
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This was the moment when history held its breath, and the present sheared asunder from the past as an iceberg splits from its parent cliffs, and goes sailing out to sea in lonely pride. All that the past ages had achieved was as nothing now; only one thought echoed and re-echoed through Mohan's brain: The human race was no longer alone.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345347951, Mass Market Paperback)

Without warning, giant silver ships from deep space appear in the skies above every major city on Earth. Manned by the Overlords, in fifty years, they eliminate ignorance, disease, and poverty. Then this golden age ends--and then the age of Mankind begins....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:34 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The author questions the survival of mankind in this science fiction tale about Overlords from outer space who dominate the world.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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