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The City and The Stars (Corgi SF Collector's Library)

The City and The Stars - Arthur C. Clarke A somewhat utopian vision of humanity's distant future.

The city of Diaspar has stood for countless millions of years sealed off completely to the outside world and it's inhabitants living eternal lives free from strife and suffering. They spend their lives in the pursuit of pleasure, reaching new artistic heights and exploring abstract ideas. That is until Alvin comes along who, unlike everyone else, is somehow disatisfied with his life and has an insatiable curiosity to leave the city and find out what's outside...

Apparently, this is one of Clarke's early novels and it shows. The characterisation is weak and the story feels rushed. The ideas are bubbling over but they are only barely held together within the story. Many fascinating and interesting concepts are touched on but there is little narrative tension to keep the reader interested.

Worth a read but I don't think it deserves it's place in the SF masterworks series.