Review: Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

Childhood’s End is considered Arthur C. Clarke’s greatest work. Better than 2001, better than Rendezvous With Rama, better then The Songs of Distant Earth.

I was excited to finally read it.

It was, you know, fine.

Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe it’s really hard for a science fiction book written in 1953 to have much of a punch in 2020. Some of it was interesting, some of it a little silly.

Aliens arrive in giant silver ships and hover over every major city on Earth. They offer the end of ignorance, disease, and poverty, but mankind has to allow itself to be ruled. After several decades, some people begin to chafe at their benevolent overlords.

Recommendation: Read it. It’s short, and if you’re a science fiction fan, it’s good to read a classic once in a while.

3 thoughts on “Review: Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

  1. Yes, I know that it’s better than 2001, Rendezvous With Rama, and The Songs of Distant Earth.

    I don’t think there is anything silly about it – given the premise upon which it is based.

  2. I read this book as a teenager, and I didnt really understand it then. Then I read it again and realised its a powerful analysis of the human psyche, ther reason why the human race can NEVER work together in peace is that most humans value FREEDOM more than peace or comfort. I realise this is a concept partly lost on a generation in Europe that has not experienced war and living in a nation (UK) that struggles with its own identity.
    I would recommend this book for its ideas, for any thinking person, as essential reading together with social classics such as 1984, War of the Worlds and Victor Hugos Les Miserables.

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