Childhood’s end [sound recording] by Arthur C. Clarke

   Chris  Review by:  Chris

Title:  Childhood’s end

Author:  Arthur C. Clarke

Collection:  Downloadable Audiobooks

In a scene like the one in the 1996 film Independence Day or the ABC television series V,  Childhood’s End begins with numerous spaceships suddenly appearing over Earth’s major cities. They belong to a benevolent alien species called the Overlords.  The Overlords claim to want end ignorance, poverty, war, and disease on Earth, and they do it within fifty years.  However mystery continues to cling to them because in all that time, no one has ever seen an Overlord, even on TV, and no one knows why.  Is this kindness what it seems to be, or is it intended to make Earth’s inhabitants pliable before the Overlords invade the planet?  Or perhaps there is a greater purpose behind these actions.  The end of Childhood’s End was not at all what I expected, although in hindsight it reminds me of Clarke’s most famous work, 2001: A Space Odyssey.  I like the way the dark, fearful, and suspicious tone of the novel turns to one of hope and change, though still retaining its uncertainty.  This was a fun read and could appeal to those who aren’t necessarily sci-fi fans.

This title is part of the Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium and can be downloaded for free with your library card from

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