Childhood's End

by Arthur C. Clarke, published 1953

Arthur C. Clarke’s prose is uneven, but his stories always have their moments of inspiring beauty and profound concepts.

The book is divided into three major time periods. Each section is significantly different than the one prior. The final section is the most powerful.

The story begins with first contact. The aliens are shrouded in mystery, which does most of the drama’s heavy lifting. Therein lies the problem for me. The concept does not serve a higher purpose nor create compelling drama.

Section two does not offer much more in the way of poetry, but the drama intensifies. The third section is filled with the kinds of questions that really make the book worthwhile.