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3001: The Final Odyssey

3001: The Final Odyssey

Arthur C. Clarke
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4.4 of 5
Del Rey (January 28, 1998)
Science Fiction
A Main Selection of the Science Fiction Book Club®Selected by the Literary Guild® and Doubleday Book Club®3001 is not just a page-turner, plugged in to the great icons of HAL and the monoliths, but a book of wisdom too, pithy and provocative.”—New ScientistThe body of Frank Poole, lost for a thousand years since the computer HAL caused his death en route to Jupiter, is retrieved, revived—and enhanced. In the most eagerly awaited sequel of all time, the terrifying truth of the Monoliths’ mission is a mystery only Poole can resolve.Praise for 3001 The Final Odyssey“A one man literary Big Bang, Clarke has originated his own vast and teeming futuristic universe.”Sunday Times“Well-paced and absorbing . . . It is as a flight of fancy by the master of science fiction that 3001 makes its mark.”The Times“In his exciting new novel, Clarke reveals the ominous answer about the ultimate purpose of the monoliths.”Daily Telegraph“Serene, uplifting, and icy clear.”Mail on Sunday“From the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. 3001 The Final Odyssey is a tour de force that finally answers the questions that sparked the imaginations of an entire generation.”—Buzz Aldrin
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7 Reviews
  • I almost didn't buy this book (even on sale for $1.99) because the reviews were so bad. But since I really liked the other 2 sequels, I figured I'd give it a shot. Having read it, this book is now right behind "2001" as one of my favorites of Arthur C. Clarke! It actually has a little character development (a rarity for Mr. Clarke) and completely follows the events of "2001". I think it nearly makes "2010" and "2061" completely irrelevant, partly due to retreading of the main plots points from each book, and because it maintains focus on the elements of the original. "2010" and "2061" are certainly worth reading, but they only follow "2001" in sequential time. The character focus shifts and there's not much added to the Monolith discoveries in either book. "2010" has a fairly major event involving the Monoliths, but "3001" sums that up in a chapter or two without leaving anything important out.

    As far as the ending "ruining the series", I disagree. This book (as with most of Mr. Clarke's novels) does not wrap everything up in a tight bow. Rather, it ends the immediate worry of what the Monoliths are "really up to", and gives the human race some breathing room. I also really enjoyed the ride of this book in discovering human life in the 31st century. My only real leap in logic is the fact that Frank Poole could have ever existed to tell his story. But he is a nice central figure to have around, so I can let that go :)

  • In this volume Clarke went into reverse: it was not an adventure into the unknown but an adventure into too much known. It pretty much tries to give us an idea that maybe, despite dreaming of it, we might not be really fit to live in the real distant future.
    In some respects the limitations and reveal of the monolith are somewhat disappointing. On the other hand it brings it back to our own universe, where technological advancement does not make you a God.
    While not well received as the rest of the series it is surely worth the read.

  • Though it felt a little different to its predecessors, it was an interesting, albeit short ending to the saga.

    I feel a little wrong complaining about a dead author but I was rather disappointed that, yet again, he copied entire chapters from previous books; three in this one, one of which had already been repeated in book 3! I'm surprised at him for that.

    There were also a couple of inconsistencies with previous books as though Clarke had forgotten details.

    Nevertheless, it was an unexpected twist to the story and left me wanting more. I was very glad to read recently that books 3 and 4 are being made into films.


  • Really enjoyed this final chapter in Arthur C. Clarke's vision of what might have transpired in our development and evolution. Although it is not the creation story that much of us might embrace, it is always interesting to read what different possibilities might have lead to our existence. As a Sci-Fi buff, it did leave me wishing that there was an effort for some writer or director to come forward in putting together the story of 2061 and 3001 in some version of a motion picture so as to complete the story of Hal, David Bowman, and Frank Poole to a close visually for the many fans of this Arthur C. Clarke saga.

  • I first read this book when in the late 90's. I was blown away by it at the time, but that was about 15 years ago and I have become a little more jaded since then. It's an interesting piece of speculative fiction, and it calls into light a lot of interesting topics about society as a whole. However, overall I felt that it was a little shallower than I liked and I occasionally got the feeling that Clarke was sort of phoning it in for a few chapters just to get the book done.

    Still, a good read, and decent closure for the 2001/HAL universe. RIP Clarke, you will be missed. I wish I could give this book 3.5 stars. Giving it 3 stars feels too low and 4 stars seems too high.

  • This detailed look at the planning and production reveals lots of info about how Kubrick worked and insights into his collaboration with Arthur C. Clark on the script. Clark seems to have been steamrollered a bit by Kubrick but I can't argue with the results. It's a page turner.

  • Few writers could have accomplished such a feat of wrapping up such a complex and multi-faceted story of The Space Odyssey as Arthur C. Clarke did in 3001. It's difficult to say more without giving away too much to those who haven't read this book yet, so I'll just leave it there...Enjoy!

  • As the ending to the series, this was okay. It was a bit slow. Lots of leading up to the climax, and then all the action took place in about 2 pages, and then, it was just a clean-up effort for the characters. I felt there could have been more action and less scientific explanation of things with no bearing on the plot. And yet, for all this, it is a strangely satisfying last chapter to the entire series. I can't explain it. But, I would recommend reading this one, and the three before it.