BOOK REVIEW | Childhood’s End by Arthur C Clarke

“A first-rate tour de force.” – The New York Times

“Frighteningly logical, believable, and grimly prophetic… [Arthur C.] Clarke is a master.” – Los Angeles Times

“There has been nothing like it for years; partly for the actual invention, but partly because here we meet a modern author who understands that there may be things that have a higher claim on humanity than its own ‘survival.’ ” – C. S. Lewis

BOOK REVIEW | Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
Review By Mark David Major

(Book blurb begins) Childhood’s End is one of the defining legacies of Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey and many other groundbreaking works. Since its publication in 1953, this prescient novel about first contact gone wrong has come to be regarded not only as a science fiction classic but as a literary thriller of the highest order. Spaceships have suddenly appeared in the skies above every city on the planet. Inside is an intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior alien race known as the Overlords. At first, their demands seem benevolent: unify Earth, eliminate poverty, end war. But at what cost? To those who resist, it is clear that the Overlords have an agenda of their own. Has their arrival marked the end of humankind… or the beginning? (Book blurb ends)

Over the years, I have read books I love, books that I enjoy, and books ranging from merely OK to severely overrated. However, it has been a while since I read a book that truly blew me away. Childhood’s End (1953) by Arthur C. Clarke blew me away. Clarke’s prose is easy to read. The story of Childhood’s End itself manages to be, simultaneously, wonderful and bleak, tragic and triumphant. It achieves an amazing narrative balance. Childhood’s End is the best Arthur C. Clarke book I have ever read – and I have read quite a few – period, end of story. For years, I have been saying that, in my opinion, The Martian Chronicles (1950) by Ray Bradbury was the best science fiction novel ever. I have no qualms about saying Childhood’s End is its equal. Truly, a masterpiece of literature in general; and specifically, for the science fiction genre. Mark’s Grade:

Childhood’s End
by Arthur C. Clarke

Paperback, English, 256 pages
Del Rey; 1st Impact ed edition (July 3, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0345444051
ISBN-13: 978-0345444059

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