July 21st, 2012


Book #46: 3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

This is Arthur C. Clarke’s final sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and inevitably, there will be spoilers for the previous books in the series.

[Spoiler (click to open)]

This book brings back Frank Poole, who was killed by Hal in the original book, as he is resurrected 1,000 years in the future after being retrieved from space. This proves to be quite a masterstroke on Arthur C. Clarke’s part, and it is good to return to the character.

The best thing about this book is the first part, which describes all of humanity living in giant “towers” hovering over the Earth, and wearing “braincaps”; later in the book, we learn about a secret vault where all types of plagues – and apparently computer viruses – are quarantined. The book then proceeds to talk of Frank Poole’s journeys through space and his landing on Europa, where the Alien Monoliths were preventing anyone from landing.

Inevitably, Dave Bowman and Hal make another appearance, but this type they have somehow merged to form one entity, “Halman”, but his conversations with Frank Poole were one of the most enjoyable parts of the book. I also enjoyed Poole’s comments that he was glad he wasn’t taken from the year 1001 and left in 2001, which he believed he could not have coped with.

Like the previous books, this is overly wordy in places, and does not live up to the original; the only bad point was that there are constant recaps of events in the previous three books, just for anyone who missed them or forgot; the conclusion, where they find out the purpose of the monoliths does not seem quite as epic as a reader might have expected, and feels a little rushed, but in the end makes for a satisfying conclusion to the series.

If you read the previous three books, I recommend trying this one too.

Next book: Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Book 3

3. Endless Night - Agatha Christie
Blurb: The site of the house cslled The Towers had once been known as Gipsy's Acre. When it was sold Michael Rogers went to the auction, though he hadn't any money. His dream was of a new house on the old site, to be built by his brilliant young architect friend.
It was at Gipsy's Acre that Michael first saw the girl he was to marry; the account of Michael's courting of Ellie, their growing attraction to each other, is the starting point of the drama that begins and ends at Gipsy's Acre.
The story ends in the revelation of a monsterous crime, complete with all the paraphernalia that had been required to effect it.
A new novel by Agatha Christie is always a momentous event in the calendar of crime novel publishing. In this doom-laden story, different in kind of form from the experiences of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, all the author's great gifts of subtlety and interpretation are on full display. Here, from the master of crime story-telling, is something new and different - something extraordinarilt exciting.
Pages: 203
Thoughts: Still not quite sure how I feel about this book. I almost feel let down by how the story unfolded. The book is incredibly similar to "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", in that Christie re-uses a plot device in this novel too. I feel cheated at who the culprit was, but was not surprised when I began the second to last chapter, as a lot of unusual behaviour was explained. Would only recommend for die-hard Christie fans, otherwise a bit of a let down.

3 / 50 books. 6% done!

745 / 5000 words read. 15% done!