How strange is it to never have seen this iconic movie yet still form some sort of preconception of the plot based on soundbites and references? Doing some additional research I found that the book was written concurrently with the Stanley Kubrick movie, though was released shortly after the film hit theaters. Sorry, I can’t tell you how well this movie and book mesh but I can tell you the book blasted away the notions I had developed.
Clarke writes a brilliant science fiction story that explores complex ideas about the origins and development of humans with subtle alien intervention. Written in excellent prose and style, the premise and storyline are incredibly gripping. It doesn’t feel like it was written over 30 years ago as the vivid descriptions of the solar system, planets, stars and even the technology (futuristic for the time and even now) were stunning.
While HAL is all you think about if you have even the slightest knowledge of the movie I was surprised he wasn’t the centerpiece of the story that I expected given the preponderance of sound clips from the movie. No, the story was deeper and much more interesting than that.
The colorful descriptions throughout the last several chapters were amazing though required some focus to stay with it. Even after I finished the final words, I found myself thinking about the ideas Clarke passed through to the reader and was more amazed at this true science fiction classic.
So glad that I got the chance to read this long thought about story. Find your copy on Amazon: 2001: A Space Odyssey