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2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

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2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Old 04-17-09, 11:43 AM
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2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

I've never seen Kubrick's film nor read Clarke's novel, but I finally wish to rectify that situation. I can get the 2001 novel from my local library, but I probably will not be able to view the movie any time soon, though I do wish to see it eventually. I've heard alot of people say that the book and the film should be enjoyed together, but is the 2001 novel a completely satisfying read even if I've never seen the film? And does anyone have any opinions on if the book should be read before viewing the film, or vice versa?
Old 04-17-09, 11:49 AM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Read the book. It's always better to read it before hand. That way you make this visual image in your head from what you read...

After reading it, watch the movie and compare what you pictured in your head to what Kubrick provided for you in the film...

2001 is genius... Nothing else like it nor will there ever be.
Old 04-17-09, 12:19 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Read the book last, and only if you have trouble understanding the film. The novel completely demystifies the movie, reducing it to a straight-forward sci-fi story where everything is explained.
Old 04-17-09, 02:55 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Agree with watching the movie first, then reading the book. It's fascinating how Clarke and Kubrick collaborated on the whole project. Clarke working on the novel and Kubrick on the screenplay, exchanging drafts and notes, reworking, adding subtracting and even exchanging scenes/dialogue/sub-arcs from both throughout their development.
Old 04-17-09, 06:56 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
The novel completely demystifies the movie, reducing it to a straight-forward sci-fi story where everything is explained.
My brother returned from vacation this week, pushing the 2001 novel on me hard. This is only remarkable for the fact that he hardly ever reads books. Anyway, I'm currently reading the book, having seen the film several times in the past. The above quote is my take as well. But very interesting, as was mentioned, to learn of the collaborative effort of Clarke and Kubrick.
Old 04-17-09, 09:59 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Movie, then book, then movie again.

The movie was designed to act directly on your subconscious. (It doesn't work well on a small screen.) If you read the book first, you have all these left-brain explanations running interference.

But the movie is also improved after reading the book. So if you do it in the order above, you get to enjoy both experiences.
Old 04-17-09, 11:38 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Totally disagree. Read the book first. It's Clarke's vision and should be interpreted through his eyes. The movie is great in its own right, but in many ways it departs from Clarke's vision.

And calling 2001 just a straightforward sci-fi (sic) story is a horrible disservice. It is an example of science fiction at its finest, right up there alongside Dune, Hyperion, Stranger in a Strange Land, etc. Quite frankly, it's hard to take the opinion of someone who says that seriously.
Old 04-18-09, 06:10 AM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Clarke would disagree that it's exclusively his vision. If you look at the first pages of the book, it says that it's based on the movie. (The movie says that it is based on the book.) It was a collaboration. If you want to read the pure Clarke vision, read The Sentinel.
Old 04-18-09, 10:24 AM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Originally Posted by mgbfan
Totally disagree. Read the book first. It's Clarke's vision and should be interpreted through his eyes. The movie is great in its own right, but in many ways it departs from Clarke's vision.
No, 2001 was a collaborative project, not exclusively Clarke's vision. Find a copy of The Lost Worlds of 2001, which contains alternate versions of the story and makes clear how much input Kubrick had in the development.

And calling 2001 just a straightforward sci-fi (sic) story is a horrible disservice. It is an example of science fiction at its finest, right up there alongside Dune, Hyperion, Stranger in a Strange Land, etc. Quite frankly, it's hard to take the opinion of someone who says that seriously.
The novel 2001 is nowhere near Dune. If you want that from Clarke, read The City and the Stars, Childhood's End, Rendezvous with Rama or his short stories.
Old 04-19-09, 11:54 AM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
The novel 2001 is nowhere near Dune. If you want that from Clarke, read The City and the Stars, Childhood's End, Rendezvous with Rama or his short stories.
I've read City and the Stars and Rama (all of them). 2001 is the better novel, IMHO. I'll add Childhood's End to my to-read list, though.
Old 04-24-09, 06:30 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Thanks for the opinions, everyone. I've decided to wait and read the 2001 novel until after I've seen the film. I picked up Rendezvous with Rama to read over the weekend instead. I had already read Childhood's End, and greatly enjoyed it, so Rama should satisfy my Clarke fix for now.
Old 06-27-09, 05:02 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Honestly, I would recommend never reading the novel unless the movie goes completely over your head after three or four viewings. I understand that the movie and novel were done in collaboration, but the book leaves nothing for the audience to discover on their own, which kills what was so great about the movie in the first place. And it's nowhere near Clarke's best, and especially not as good as any of the Dune books (well, of the actual Frank Herbert Dune books, not the Kevin J. Anderson crap).
Old 06-27-09, 06:10 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Clarke doesn't claim his vision to be the correct one, nor does he claim Kubrick's is 'correct' either.

I honestly recommend if you REALLY want to read the novel for clarification, only do so AFTER watching the movie. If you watch the movie first, it will be an incredibly thought provoking film, not to mention the movie came first. If you read the novel first, you'll have all the 'answers' and the film won't be the experience it should be.
Old 06-27-09, 06:50 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

The film makes a great soporific as well.
Old 06-30-09, 09:43 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

Originally Posted by djmont
The film makes a great soporific as well.
I found that it's riveting in the theater. YMMV.
Old 06-30-09, 10:44 PM
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Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey - reading the book without seeing the film?

The movie probably is more intriguing if you haven't read the book first. Plus, the movie is canon. The book 2010 is actually based on the movie 2001.

But I like the book 2001 better than the movie. The book is like an extended edition of the movie, and most (but not all) of the extra "scenes" are quite good. The first act involving the apes, for instance, is far more detailed and interesting. And as others have stated, the book answers some (but not all) of the questions raised by the movie.

Another reason I like the book better: the book is relatively immune to the effects of time. Even though the special effects in the movie have held up quite well, some scenes aren't as convincing as others. Also, the costumes of the apes and humans look dated.

Last edited by Ghostbuster; 06-30-09 at 10:47 PM.

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