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Wow, I've been in a blogging blackout for quite a bit. Honestly, it feels extremely unmooring being out of it for this long. The good news is, I have a few posts planned out and am hoping to spend some time today and tomorrow trying to get caught up. At least that's the plan, we'll see what tries to come in the way of that. Renovation updates Not a whole lot to report here. The work in the kitchen had to be paused while we wait for new island cabinets and granite to come along. I am hoping for some progress on the granite this week - if that happens, we will be able to start using everything except the island and that will be a huge win for me. At this point, I am trying to get the house as ready as it can be before my parents travel from India. It will be extremely tight.  Most of the recent work has been in the master bathroom. It's coming along nicely, albeit a little slower than we hoped.  Life We were expecting to have visitors over the Thanksgiving week as our ren

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke | Thoughts

Published in: 1968   ||   Format: ebook   ||   Location: Earth, Moon, Space

One line review: Monoliths can mean bad news, disappearing monoliths even more so; sometimes, they can have ulterior motives too and make you smarter.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


The more wonderful the means of communication, the more trivial, tawdry, or depressing its contents seemed to be.


Ever since I read 2001: A Space Odyssey, I have been seeing references of this book in everything - the monolith that suddenly showed up and just as suddenly disappeared in Utah. And then, that report of an interstellar object (Oumuamua) that visited our Solar System recently. Plus, the mystery in 2001: A Space Odyssey is not even unusual if you have recently been watching a lot of Star Trek. For a glorious minute, I almost said 'eh, been there, seen that' before earth came crashing to me and reminded me that even Star Trek was fantasy. (That was a very glorious minute though.)

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the spacecraft Discovery is on its way to Saturn on a highly secret mission - something that the crew and the onboard computer HAL seem to have had a different understanding of. As they count down the days, it isn't clear if they are all on the same page. It isn't long before things start getting fatally wrong. 

This is the second time I started this book. Even this time, as during my first attempt, I struggled to read past Part 2 (of 6). Without giving a lot away - this book can be thought of as three stories or timelines.  Each story ends abruptly (almost in a cliffhanger) and aren't connected to the main thread of the story until much later. By the time I started Part 3, I didn't feel too good about getting into another story that may end just as abruptly, but I'm glad I persisted because things do start coming together soon. 

I typically enjoy reading or watching about space - it is, to me, the final frontier - the one whose mysteries are far from being solved. It feels lonely sometimes imagining Earth as the only one with sentient life and so, I prefer to believe that we just don't have the means to detect life on other planets yet. 2001: A Space Odyssey is set in a period when we just begin to have the ability to send manned spacecrafts on interplanetary travel and so, it doesn't feel too futuristic. This book was released right after the beginning of the Space Age, when it may have seemed possible to be on the Moon by 2001. Sadly, it's 2020 now and our Space goals are mostly still the same. 

Much of 2001: A Space Odyssey reads as fast-paced and is filled with tension. Even as the spacecraft nears Saturn, there is so much anticipation and fear filling this moment. I enjoyed most of the book, except for the last part, which is where things get really wacky. It was certainly far-fetched but mostly, it felt like an attempt to make things larger than they are but instead, it ended up feeling sillier than it should be. Remember the GOT last season? All that buildup for what Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen could become, and then poof, that ridiculous ending. That's what I felt when I finished 2001: A Space Odyssey

Still, I'd like to know where the story goes next (2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three, 3001: The Final Odyssey). I don't know how soon I will read it - if they have similarly outrageous endings, then it may be worth it to wait a while. I do feel that if this book had ended right before that last part, it would still have gotten a wonderful ending and I may even have rated it 5 stars. It could be a good standalone book but after reading the synopsis of the second book, I know we will be seeing these characters again.

If you have read this book, what did you think of it?